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  • mariasylvesterterr

what should i eat? 5 reframes for making up your mind

nutrition of addition is one of my favorite recommendations for folks looking to increase the nutrient density of a meal without feeling tied to food rules.

you know, rules like "you shouldn't have carbs with lunch if you had them at breakfast" or moments like "anti-diet posts say i should have the cookie but i'm afraid i'm going to eat 15 of them."

instead of a rule or a fixed expectation, nutrition of addition is a flexible invitation. you can accept it, turn it down, or take a raincheck.

here's a reframe i want to offer you this week for when you get stuck on what you 'should' eat using nutrition of addition:

1. what am i in the mood for?

let's start with your preferences. consider flavors, textures, temperature, and energy available to prepare food for yourself. as long as we start here, we have a good chance of eating something that meets our needs. if we start with "i should have salad or something healthy," we may find ourselves chasing a food craving.

2. what's here?

next, identify what is present on the plate for you when you choose the food you prefer. we had leftover pizza in our house, so i'll use that as an example.

this lil slice from heaven had carbs [crust and cheese] and fat [cheese]. it also contained a hearty serving of joy and happiness.

3. what's missing?

PSA: this is an observation, not a judgment. it's helpful to take a look at your plate - especially when it is intended to be a meal - and ask yourself what nutrients may be missing.

in the case of the cold slice from heaven, it's a bit small. i am definitely going to be missing out on calories aka energy. additionally, i can tell there's not much protein or fiber with this option.

in the spirit of observing and not judging, i'm still going to rock out with the pizza with an awareness of what i may not be getting from this meal. i'm not going to add stress by looking for something else instead. let's work with it.

4. what could i add?

the key word here is COULD.

to meet my nutritional needs and ensure i'm not hungry in an hour, i could add protein on the side, like an air fried Impossible patty, some roasted chickpeas, or some chicken. for fiber, i could add a side of fruit, veggies, or salad.

there are other things i could add, like tuna or a protein drink or whole grains, but those seem really out of the realm of culinary delight paired with a pizza. again, observations over judgment.

5. now or later?

i notice with nutrition of addition, folks tend to think they need to add something now... right away.. with the meal or else it's just done for. and none for you, Gretchen Weiners. [see how all-or-nothing crops up?]

the thing is... you can ask yourself if you want to take your observations and act on them now... or later... or, both!

if you have no desire to cook anything, you may say the following to yourself: "i have some bagged salad and can add that pretty easily with my pizza. this will be just fine for now. without the protein, i may be hungry later so i will plan to have a higher protein snack/meal with my next eating opportunity."

does your inner voice sound like that? you know, like a thoughtful friend or a good partner in a group project?

if these moments with food come with a side of self-judgment or a bowl full of 'shoulds,' i want you to try practicing nutrition of addition with this important step of asking now or later?

feel free to send me an example of nutrition of addition in your own life. we can practice together!

if you're not sure where to start, you can book a call with me and we'll work through things one step at a time.

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