Ep. 12: New Year, New You: The Non-Restrictive Approach to a Healthier 2024

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Welcome, everyone! This is Krissy, your host, and friendly neighborhood dietitian, and you're listening to the Inflamed in the Brain podcast. With the New Year spirit in the air, I'm excited to discuss my non-restrictive approach to anti-inflammatory eating. Let's kick off the year by exploring self-care habits without falling into the over-restriction trap that often accompanies the pursuit of health.

Understanding Over-Restriction: As we embark on the journey of better health in the new year, it's vital to avoid over-restriction. While some restrictions, especially related to specific foods, are necessary for health, extreme fear-driven limitations can lead to complications. I want to clarify the difference between sensible adjustments and the harmful restrictions driven by societal pressures, perfectionism, and deep-rooted beliefs.

Pathways to Inflammation: Over-restriction can trigger inflammation through various pathways, with nutritional deficiencies being a significant concern. The historical example of the low-fat diet trend highlights how misguided advice can compromise essential bodily functions. Over-restriction, fueled by societal diet trends, sets the stage for inflammation, symptomatic manifestations, and, ultimately, disease.

Overeating and Survival Instincts: Ironically, over-restriction often leads to overeating. The foods conscientiously removed for health reasons become irresistible, contributing to a cascade of effects, including heightened preoccupation with food and emotional responsiveness. These behaviors tap into primal survival instincts, signaling limited food availability and triggering overeating.

Non-Restrictive Anti-Inflammatory Eating Defined: What does a non-restrictive approach really mean? It's not about eating whatever, whenever. It's about respecting your body, providing necessary nutrients, and embracing flexibility. This approach encourages a healthier relationship with food, reduces the risk of inflammation from overeating and stress, and satisfies both physical and emotional needs.

Creating Abundance through Balanced Choices: Non-restrictive eating involves cultivating abundance through balanced choices. Rather than eliminating desired foods entirely, it encourages smarter ways to enjoy them. Balanced eating prevents overindulging, ultimately averting potential inflammation. Consider enhancing the anti-inflammatory properties of a food by pairing it with healthy fats, proteins, or increasing color and fiber.

Honoring Food Preferences and Abundance: By honoring your body with flexibility and embracing your appetite, you pave the way for abundance in your health journey. This approach not only simplifies the path to healthier eating but also eases the challenges of coping with a new diagnosis, fostering a positive relationship with food.

Satisfaction as a Key Factor: Taking satisfaction into consideration is crucial for health. Ignoring the satisfaction factor leads to increased cravings and unnecessary obstacles in your health journey. As someone managing autoimmunity, I've learned that satisfaction is as important as any superfood when combating inflammation. Prioritizing satisfaction helps steer clear of inflammation triggers, overeating, and nutrient deficiencies.

Adapting a Non-Restrictive Approach: To embrace a non-restrictive approach, start by honoring your food p

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