New Guidelines for Eating

Avocado: a perfect food!
We all have different reasons for making lifestyle choices, especially when it comes to diet and exercise. Maybe we want to lose weight, maybe we suffer from conditions or diseases, we'd like to improve our energy level, or we'd like to exclude foods for religious or ethical reasons. But don't we all just hate the word "diet"?

I chose to follow a diet and exercise program based on my own issues. My workout options are limited due to scoliosis and other issues due to impending osteo-arthritis, and now I add diastasis recti to the list. It's literally abdominal muscle separation caused by pregnancy, so no crunches, planks or downward dog. There are a few approaches to healing this issue, and I chose the MUTU system. It is formatted as a 12-week website-based program consisting of 3 simple parts each day to improve core strength and abdominal pressure: healthy food, a walk, and a short core workout that intensifies over time.

What I like about the MUTU approach is freedom and lack of pressure. The first priority is to rest up, a goal for sleep deprived moms. This is followed by food guidelines for healthier eating and the second priority of walking each day. The third priority is following the workouts provided, on your own schedule, with no hard stop-date.

Since we are finally getting a little sleep, I'm working toward transitioning to healthier eating. My kids are super un-thrilled about eating less sugar and cheese... but the dog can't wait for those mandated walks.

The MUTU guidelines for eating are set forth as just that - "guidelines". Quoted from the MUTU website: "eat more fresh fruit + vegetables, more good fats, more good protein, less grains + NO processed foods." Loads of water is recommended, as is cutting down alcohol and caffeine. Also preferred are raw produce, organic and free-range foods when possible, and protein from beans and pulses in place of dairy sources. 

There is also a challenge to try new things from a shopping list provided. They've presented a lot of ideas, but I have to admit I still have some confusion about the strictness of the rules given the recipes they provide that don't seem to fit... but I get that overall it's about making certain choices and aiming for whatever is possible given your circumstances.

The ideas seem to be based on "Clean Eating" and similar to the Paleo Diet. Our family has the added requirement of a vegetarian diet, so Paleo is a nice idea for a few "clean" recipes. When I informed my husband of the diet he was very interested, but more so if we'd make it a total switch to a vegan diet. At least we're on the same page of healthy change in the right direction.

Here are the MUTU food principles we will be following, eventually eliminating animal products. For this month, I'm going to focus on adding and getting used to healthier ingredients to boost nutrition, and phasing out some of the processed foods and dairy.

In summary, here are my new guidelines for eating:

1. Eat more fresh fruit and vegetables
2. Elminate processed foods, making fresh at home if possible
3. Reduce wheat especially white bread and pasta, choosing at least wholegrain or better options
4. Eat protein at every meal, especially beans and lentils
5. Add nuts and seeds (plain, unsalted, raw if appropriate to the variety) to food, or as snacks, for healthy fats
6. Drink more water, less alcohol and caffeine
7. Eventually eliminate dairy (cheese, milk, eggs, yogurt)


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