* What is "eating Naked"?
Eating Naked is all about eating clean, whole, unprocessed food. This means eating food without the ‘extras’ that are expanding our waistlines and making us sick: pesticides, toxins, preservatives, all those ingredients you can’t pronounce on the side of the package. When you take out this stuff, you’re left with nutritious, whole, real food, which is exactly what our bodies need to thrive.
* Why should we "eat naked"?
There are so many reasons!
#1 – for your health. You’ll give your body what it needs to heal itself and stay healthy. If you’ve got extra pounds to lose, the best way to do it is to eliminate processed foods from your diet.
#2 – for the environment. Growing food without pesticides and synthetic chemicals means less pollution, and less soil degradation (a real problem with industrial agriculture). Also, often naked foods come without all that fancy packaging, so there’s much less waste.
#3 – for the animals. If you eat animal protein, then it’s ultra important to eat naked so that you’re ensuring the animals lived in conditions in which they can thrive and engage in their natural behaviors, eating food they’re biologically designed to eat, and being treated with respect and humanity for the duration of their life. Not only is this better for them, it’s better for our health and the environment, too.
#4 – for the farmers. The ones who really suffer from use of pesticides and synthetic chemicals in our industrial agriculture are the farm workers who are handling mass volumes of the stuff on a daily basis. Cancer rates are abnormally high among these workers. Organic farming means you can feel good about what you eat.
#5 – and most importantly – because it’s truly delicious.
* What inspired you to start your blog and write your book?
I had a very powerful experience with food when I was in my early 20s. I had a bunch of chronic health issues (low-lying stuff, but still annoying), the most challenging of which was a skin condition I’d had since my early teens. I’d been treated for it by my Dr., but it was getting worse and the prescriptions were just getting higher. I ended up going to a Naturopath – I’d never heard of such a thing before – and she focused entirely on my diet. She took out all processed foods, identified a couple of food sensitivities, and I went home with a whole new way of eating. A month later, that skin condition and all the other little niggly stuff was gone, and it has never recurred.
Fast forward to several years ago when I realized I wanted to study nutrition and help people in the way she helped me. In my work as a nutritional therapist I’ve realized the thing that is the most important and most effective at making change in someone’s health and weight is to take the processed foods out of their diet. When they eat clean, whole, unrefined foods (what I call “naked foods”), they lose the weight, their energy comes back, and their chronic nagging health complaints improve.
This book is my way of sharing the key principles of eating naked in a way that’s accessible, fun, and most importantly, doable. I want folks to realize that the simplest and most sustainable way of looking and feeling great in their bodies is to eat naked.
* What is your top tip for tuning into your body and becoming a more mindful and intuitive eater?
Join the meal. Sit down, turn off the TV/Computer/misc distracting device, and be present for the meal. Smell it, take it in visually, and then really taste it. You can’t tap into your instincts around food unless YOU are there for the meal.
* How do you get rid of guilt about your body and food?
Our bodies are biologically wired to pursue pleasure and avoid pain. Eating is one of the ways that we give ourselves pleasure every day – several times a day. If we’re stressed about what we eat, berating ourselves for poor food choices, and questioning our own instincts around food, we’re not letting our bodies relax into the experience of eating. Then we’re not really tasting the food and we’re totally disconnected from our bodies’ response to the food.
When you can remember that pleasure is one of the key reasons for eating, and that to experience pleasure from food you have to be present to actually enjoy it (no mindless eating the jar of m&m’s while watching TV, that’s not pleasure, that’s habit and distraction), then you can give yourself permission to sit down to eat, to take a few big breaths before you take that first bite, to really savor every mouthful, and to experience the feeling of the food in your body. When you’re eating from this place, you can’t make a poor decision about your food.