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By Rebecca Bitzer, MS, RD, LD, CEDRD

I recently read a few posts on a National Eating Disorders forum about Lagom.  

Having never heard of Lagom, I quickly googled it, then found a few books at my local library and read up on it.  This Swedish concept means “not too little, not too much, just right”. The comments on the forum were about the challenge of eating enough to avoid a binge but not too much which you might consider a binge. This is a tricky concept because “just right” does not mean perfect.  Just right means learning to pay attention to what your individual body needs and sometimes actually eating a bit more than you need and sometimes a bit less. Ideally eating becomes “just right” as you learn to navigate what works best for your body and under which circumstances.

The tricky balance of honoring your body, your nutrition and your recovery is often a long and windy road.  

What I liked about these books is the way that they looked at how to balance not only eating, but all of life in a way that best suits you.

How can Lagom help find the art of balanced living?

Not only balanced eating, but also balanced living.  I found the books to be interesting (although possibly a bit triggering for some) so I thought it might be valuable to outline some of my favorite takeaways from the books on Lagom.

1. Values:

If you think having more will alway make you happier, you will probably never feel like you have “enough”. How can you re-examine your values and focus on being with people you love and doing things you love? This makes me think of quality instead of quantity which also focuses on intention and mindfulness with eating and life.  

2. Nature:

 I love this quote about the importance of connecting with nature. It reminds me of the importance of slowing down and being present in the moment. My favorite way to stay connected to nature and live in the moment is to go hiking in the North Carolina mountains. Climbing the mountain on fairly rough terrain means that I have to pay attention to each step that I take.I have been climbing black mountain since I was a child and it always brings me a wonderful sense of peace and family. My family vacations there every year. My grandparents and great grandparents have been vacationing there for the past 100 years.  

3. Early Bird:

A University of Toronto study showed early risers are happier than night owls. Getting up early has its benefits:

Fewer distractions

Time for exercise

Time for breakfast

4. How to Save Money like a Swede: The book includes a big list on ways to save money.

My favorite 3 are:

To get rid of unwanted clutter.  Take all your unwanted clutter to a consignment shop or have a yard sale for a little extra cash. Also, if you are in the simplified mindset of avoiding too much stuff, you will save money by avoiding buying things you may only want for a minute and focusing on things you really want/need.

Use your local library instead of buying book.

Invite friends over instead of eating out

5. Fika: The next tip also relates to eating.

 Take time to have coffee and a small sweet with a friend. This focuses on the importance of relaxing and connecting. Connecting is key with other people and also connecting with your body’s needs/wants when it comes to food and hunger/fullness levels.

6. Friends:

I loved this section on four easy ways to spend time with friends:

Picnics

Barbecue

Waffle afternoon

Bonfire (my favorite is eating s’mores)

7. Children’s activities:

The book includes a list of impromptu children’s activities. I remember once hearing that people have the most vivid memories of family meals, family vacations and being outdoors.  I definitely believe being outdoors is good for your heart and soul. The most clever activity I saw listed was to run through the alphabet and collect small pieces from the wild starting with different letters. This seems like fun for all ages!

I hope this give you some ideas of ways you might want to have more balance in your life.  Balance does not only refer to eating, it encompasses all aspects of living.

What is one way you might want to explore a new way of balancing life or eating?

For more support finding balance with your eating,  reach out to me at rebecca@empoweredeatingrd.com.

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