Good Enough is the New Perfect: A Mindful Approach to Healthy Living

August 23, 2018

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In a world where most of social media showcases the “highlight reel” of your life and restrictive dieting and long lists of rules for what is acceptable to eat are the norm – consumers are finally fed up and tired of the strive for perfection. The pendulum is swinging back, and a more relaxed, balanced approach to health is trending.

Health and wellness is shifting to be more holistic, and emphasizing emotional health in addition to physical health is increasing in popularity. Health experts are just as likely to talk about a new type of workout or diet as they are good sleep hygiene, stress relief and technology detoxes.

I have seen this trend among my dietitian colleagues, and even at conferences and trade shows that we attend. Less emphasis is being put on “dieting” and more emphasis on a healthy mindset and lifestyle. Instead of just blindly following rules, consumers are being encouraged to be more mindful about what they’re eating, why and when. This creates the space to enjoy a donut or a burger without guilt, but it also underscores the fact that people feel better when they eat more nutritious foods. The goal in life is not to always choose the healthiest option available, but to find a balance of healthy eating patterns that include all foods. Good enough is the new perfect.

According to a collaboration between Forbes and Innova Market Insights, the number one nutrition trend is mindfulness. “This new movement, mostly led by millennials, is quickly approaching the food category, as consumers work to truly understand everything possible about a particular food or beverage and then support the company, by aligning with its values and supporting it with purchases.”

Three ways we’re seeing mindfulness play out:

  1. Mindful of our Bodies. Think: body positivity, pursuit of health regardless of pants size.
  2. Mindful of the Earth. Think: food waste, sustainability, feeding a growing population.
  3. Mindful of our Food Choices. Think: nutrition + enjoyment, battling disordered eating.

This doesn’t mean that dietitians are ignoring health concerns, or even changing their views on nutrition. In fact, dietitians have always known that food is more than food – it is also about culture and family and love and emotion. They are, however, spending more time talking to clients about this side of things. Instead of simply providing nutrition information, they are adding an understanding that how foods make us feel – both physically and emotionally – is also important to our overall health.