Eating healthy foods is not about having the willpower to stick to a ‘diet’, so I tend to avoid them.
There are times when a specific diet is required such as in the case of a known food allergy or intolerance, an autoimmune condition such as Coeliac Disease or to address a particular disease state, however for the majority of you eating a balanced diet will put you in good stead for a long and healthy life.
So, my approach is a little different. I believe in BALANCE. My philosophy is that if the majority of your diet consists of a VARIETY of WHOLE FOODS (foods that have been unchanged by processing) then you will be getting a balanced intake of macro and micro nutrients and it won’t cause inflammation or blood sugar spikes – which are the triggers of disease.
The challenge comes from getting you to a place where BALANCE is your everyday… or at least your most days.
And I, nor anyone else can’t force you to get there, it’s a choice that only you can make. You need to make the decision to choose foods that nurture your body and provide it with the nutrients it needs to carry out the many and varied processes that it undertakes every day over foods that are depleted in nutrients and that promote disease processes.
The first step is to notice how foods make you feel.
How does eating a takeaway burger and chips make you feel? Do you feel light and vibrant or does it make you feel sluggish and tired?
When you take notice of how foods make you feel you naturally gravitate towards healthier food choices because they give you energy, vitality and happiness. If you enjoy eating pizza, chocolate, ice-cream or drinking alcohol then you don’t have to give them up completely. If you deprive yourself of these foods through sheer willpower, this will only increase your desire for them, your resistance will wear down and you’ll most likely have them excess. Instead, if you just focus on how foods make you feel then you will naturally choose to consume them less often, in smaller amounts or in balance with the other things that you have eaten that day.
So, let’s go back to the burger and fries for an example. If you only eat the burger and fries occasionally and it is in balance with the rest of your day which let’s say included a smoothie and tuna salad, then chances are it hasn’t caused to many problems for you. However, if you eat the burger and chips for lunch every day and that’s in addition to an energy drink and a sugary cereal for breakfast and takeaway pizza for dinner chances are you feel, tired, bloated, unmotivated and unhappy. For some people this has been their ‘normal’ for so long that they don’t even realise that they can feel better than this.
To get you started on finding more balance in your diet start paying attention the feelings and sensations that occur after you eat/drink: For example, what did you have for breakfast today?
- Did this give you more energy?
- Did this help you to make healthier food choices for the rest of the day?
- Did this motivate you to exercise?
- Did it make you feel tired?
- Where you able to concentrate?
- Did you feel productive and motivated?
- Where you grumpy, irritable, happy or relaxed?
Make note of these responses by writing them down or making a mental note of them.
You’ve now started your journey to making healthier food choices…. well done you!