I have been thinking about how we eat and diet, often with no success, and also how we have shifted our focus from eating healthy to excessively dieting and restricting calories at the cost of depleting our body of precious nutrients.
Indeed, when dieting, we eat less of certain categories of food, but what our body needs is a selection of healthier foods that will supply it with the needed nutrients that will support and activate our metabolism as well as supply our cells with proper nourishment. Our body also needs to preserve its energy by avoiding attempts to draw nutrients from non-nutritional food or to deal with their negative impact on the body’s functions.
Some of us don’t necessarily know what is best to eat; we think eating salad and little meat while avoiding carbs and fat will help us stay in shape. However, this is not enough to sustain us and nourish our cells, so we start to feel weak and tired, the body panics and sends craving signals, we binge, then start all over again. While the focus is on losing weight, it should be on nourishing the body to create and maintain the best shape.
The same happens with exercising – we overdo it with no success, and fall off track for a while then start all over again. Yet, all our body needs are movement and balance. So, we constantly battle against our own selves, our desires, and our appetite.
I spent the last few months pondering on the subject and piecing together all I learned on my journey to better health and came up with a proposition to better ways of eating that benefits our body, brain, and spirit. Eating better is linked to better living since nourishing the body entails lots of reorganization in our lifestyle that is necessary to maintain appropriate eating habits.
First, let’s say that, for this proposition, I’m not going to use 3 words that I find often mislead us. These words are: Diet, Change, and New.
Our mind tends to be suspicious about these terms. The word “diet” is often thought of as being limiting, restrictive. The word “change” is scary because it echoes the idea of unknown and our mind does not like to deal with the unknown, the risky. The same goes for the word “new” as it brings a kind of doubt.
Unconsciously we are telling ourselves:
Wow, wait a minute, what if I don’t like this new way, what if it pushes me past my outside my comfort zone, what if I can’t handle that.
So, let’s skip these words and replace them with terms like healthier vision, better health, wiser choices, being reasonable, enjoying the goodness of nature and food with no exaggeration and instead with moderation.
Our ancestors ate what nature offered them with little knowledge of all the biology and the chemistry that we now have at our disposal. They did not have to choose from a super market filled to the brim, they had their choices in nature in their backyard or by exchanging with others. What we need to do now is be inspired by their wisdom and mix it with all the knowledge and the technologies available to us today. We then can celebrate our progress and our efforts to nourish our body much better.
Now, let’s get into better ways to feed ourselves, making wiser choices, better food combinations that benefit our health, and using knowledgeable cooking styles that can enhance our food taste, safety, and appeal. This article focuses more on the Mindset of eating healthier. The next one will cover some practical tips to learn and implement healthier eating.
The best way to go about this is to go through these mandatory steps:
Know what you like or dislike, your weaknesses, your strengths, your limitations and what motivates you. Also, know your numbers; have baseline measurements of your weight, your height, your waist, your blood pressure, your heart rate, your allergies, your blood sugar level, your cholesterol number. This is not to keep checking where you are at, but to have an idea where you are starting from and what needs to be taken care of first.
State Your Goal
Not in terms of how many pounds you want to lose, but rather in terms of how you want to feel and look, the size of dress you see yourself in with satisfaction, the condition of your skin, and how energetic, vibrant, and healthy you want to be. When you have a vision of what you want to become and you cherish it and work toward it, you have better chance to attain it. Think of the kind of food you would like to eat to feel like a prince or princess. An then get the healthier version of those. There is nothing to loose, but all to gain, including a leaner and fitter body, a sharper mind and a lighter spirit.
Envision a Different Mindset and Outlook on Your Habits
Find out what would be best to nourish your body and at the same time very satisfying to your spirit—what could you do to get in your best shape? What makes you feel energetic, calm, radiant, and sexy? Try to see things in a different light: the food choices you make and why, the time you spend to chew them, the timing of your meals, your sensations and feelings when you approach the table, and the people you share your meals with. Be grateful for the experience and its benefits. Feel all that differently, pay attention and stay present. Shut down the distractions like TV, iPhones, PCs. Stop doing this routinely, give value to the time you spend eating since it’s a precious moment of your life. It is a gesture that sustains life in you. Love your food, but love yourself first to stay healthy.
Treat Yourself Well
This way you can already feel good about yourself. Figure out which food stimulates your senses, whether it be the color, flavor, or presentation, etc. Think of a nice dinner that could be healthy, refreshing, and reinvigorating to you. Project in your mind a nice fruit tray with beautiful color, peaches, red or green apples, purple and green grapes, mangoes, blueberries, a piece of hard cheese or an excellent yogurt with nuts and dried fruits. Even picture a mango tree, a cherry tree, or anything else you can think of because they are all there for you in nature. It’s wonderful, isn’t it? Our planet has everything good for us.
What’s bad for us is what is deeply transformed and over manipulated one way or another, foods that have lost their soul, their natural core. Let your sight be amazed and stimulated by the beautiful colors, shapes and forms of natural whole food like some deep green broccoli florets.
Smell a baked cinnamon apple, feel the softness of a banana or a pear, salivate at the aroma of roasted meat, and be tempted by the vibrant color of some red pepper and eggs for breakfast turned over in coconut oil. Food can be gracious. Those fruits and fats are give you a nice skin complexion. Those proteins and cholesterol build your hormones. A glass of wine, from time to time, brings in antioxidants that protect your cells from aging too fast. A good shake or smoothie made of natural fruits and vegetables energizes and sustains your mind and body.
The point is to eat with purpose, and, for this, you need to learn about food. When you think about food that fuels you, think of meat, fish, lentils and cheese. When you think of food that detoxifies your body, think of beets, kale, spinach and lemon. Think of food that calms your nerves like yogurt, bananas, avocados, green leafy vegetables, and food that induces sleep like turkey, chocolate, honey and warm milk.
Rose-Moraine is a natural health enthusiast although her background is in nursing and psychology. Her journey became a quest for optimal health. She learns and gather information about natural health and now shares her experience and knowledge while still learning from new findings and researches daily.