how to make peace with heathy eating
There are numbers of health related articles and businesses and on social medias, people share their workout routines, clean diets that they claim to have given them the perfect body and health.
While it is great that people are more interested in their health and pursuing better health, there are also increase number of cases where healthy eating has become just rules and rituals leaving them a sense of obligation.
They may even sense of guilt when they cannot follow the “rule”.
Eating healthy itself is a positive thing, then how and why it can become “unhealthy”?
In order not to let healthy eating be as an obligation, it is important to understand what is healthy eating and why we should eat healthy.
why we should eat healthy
Okay, this may be an obvious question. Of course I eat healthy to be healthy!, you may be thinking.
But have you ever really thought about what “healthy” really means to you?
In holistic health, being healthy means that you are in balance physically mentally and spiritually.
This means that even if without symptoms or concerns physically, if you are unhappy about yourself or your life, and complaining everything that is happening around you, you are not mentally and spiritually healthy.
On the other hand, if someone is born with genetic illness that gives challenges in daily activities, if she/he has gratitude for what she/he can do, for people who support him/her and is overall content with her/his life, do you think this person is unhealthy?
So healthy does not necessary translate to “no symptoms”, it is much more profound.
So eating healthy should support not only your physical body but also should do good to you mentally and emotionally.
eating healthy for your body
Physically, you should eat healthy because your body needs right “ingeredients” (i.o.w. nutrients) to function.
Most people would think that WE are in control of our thoughts, emotion, or activities, but actually, all of body’s activities are operated by chemical reactions, which you cannot control.
From metabolism, hormonal activities, digestion, to thoughts and emotions… they all take place through many chemicals processing.
And in order to these chemical reactions work properly we need “right” nutrients from food. If your diet consists of processed food with not enough fresh foods, you are not getting enough nutrients that your body requires, and thus the chemical reactions may not go smoothly as they should or may even cause “errors”, which can lead to various“diseases” or “symptoms”.
Also the type of food that you eat affect not only our bodies but also precious bacteria in our gut. We now know that gut health can affect every part of our body, including brain health, immune system, detoxification, hormonal health and even mental health.
This is why we need to eat “healthy” for our body.
eating healthy for your mind and soul
We understand that it is important to give our body nourishment by eating “healthy” . But does that mean that we are going to be perfectly healthy if we follow “clean” diet 100%?
What about our social situations around the food?
What if the “right” food is not available in certain situation?
What if you are feeling that making perfectly healthy dish became a torture because you are too tired?
You may experience stress and anxiety because you constantly worry about your food was the “right” one.
I see many cases where eating has become stress, obsession and even exhaustion, just from genuine interest in becoming healthy.
Or she/he may not even start eating “healthy” because they do not want to feel restricted or deprived.
Obviously this is NOT healthy. At least this is not what I want for myself as health.
Being healthy should not stress you out, overwhelm you or make you feel guilty.
Nor it should not make you feel “superior” than others who are not eating like you.
Eating healthy should make you feel connected, nourished, energized and appreciate your body and life.
eat healthy both for your body AND your mind
You may be wondering how you can eat healthy without feeling stressed or restricted when choosing “right” food when we are surrounded by so many options that your body may not be happy about.
I struggled with this dilemma for a long time.
With my knowledge from education of holistic nutrition and my personal research, I understand how nutrition and the quality of food has great impact on our health.
At the same time, I have long history of unhealthy relationship with food that sacrificed my life and health. Thus ANY kind of restriction should not be my option to heal as a whole person.
It took while for me to find a balance.
And the ultimate answer was
Listen to my body.
Recipe to make your your mind AND body happy?
Listen to your body, eat well, and lay back
“ if you really listen to your body it will give you what your body agree with you”
Eating healthy for your body AND you mind does not have to be conflicted, if you are CONNECTED with yourself (meaning listen to yourself)
Often “unhealthy” food contains high amount of sugar, fats (often low quality), salt which over stimulate your taste buds. These hyper palatable foods make you want to eat more of it, and the more you eat the less you become sensible not only to the subtle flavor that whole foods have but also to your body’s reaction (signals) from food you have just eaten.
So it becomes vicious cycle. This is why it is hard to break up these foods. It is about NOT LISTENING TO YOUR BODY.
Also often people are not often paying attention to what they feel before, during and after eating.
They might eat on the go, shovel food into their mouth between works, and even they eat “healthy” they so so because they are told they should.
So they are missing the body’s answers telling what it needs and really wants.
That is why some may find it hard to stop so called unhealthy eating and others may struggle with obsession with healthy eating, because they are connected themselves!
“Slow down, feel what you feel inside. Eat mindfully”
Instead eating in a hurry grabbing whatever around you, or eating to distract yourself from certain feeling, slow down, take a moment and feel. your body, and your heart.
Rather than choosing food based on how mush carb, protein and fats you have eaten, listen to your body and heart what it needs.
What do they tell you?
Understand the nutrition and how certain food can do to our body is important as a motives and reasoning to eat healthy. However, do not get trapped in these information nor let these information rule you.
Rather than choosing your food from your “brain”, choose it by connecting your inner guide.
If you start pay attention to the inside of yourself, you will become aware of sensation, energy level or feeling that you and your body has been giving to you.
When you become more sensitive to the reaction the food you eat, you may notice that packaged food taste too overwhelming, makes your brain slow down, or makes you feel less energized.
You will be surprised how fresh foods are flavorful even without sauces and give your a sense of nourishment and energy.
You can trust your body that it can manage occasional “indulgence” if you give your body nourishment most of the time.
Once you are more connected and feel the difference of your internal signals when eating certain food, you are likely to choose “healthier” food NATURALLY rather than choosing it because you think you “have to”.
Eating healthy is no longer the rule of “must” or “should” but can become things that you “want” and “choose to”.
In my case I mostly choose unprocessed, whole food and cook my own, because I WANT.
But also I allow myself to enjoy any food when I go out or when food option is limited.
Of course this became possible as I give my body what it needs most of time so that it can handle occasional “breaks”.
Eat what you make you feel good, nourished and as a whole.
The more you listen and learn to trust your instinct, it will answer back to you with its great intelligence.
What is your relationship with your food? Have you ever struggled or are you struggling with food?
What food and eating means to you?
If you are struggle with eating healthy, or finding balance of healthy eating like I was, I hope this article was helpful to you.
I would love to hear your opinion or your experience.
Please feel free to leave your thought or any comment n the comment section below.
♥Thank you so so much for reading♥
DISCLAIMER; this article is intended as educational purpose for general population without existing condition. If you have certain illness/condition, you may requires total elimination of certain food(s).
This is my opinion based on my education, research and my personal experience. This article is NEVER intended to treat, diagnose or promise you to prevent illnesses or conditions.
ALWAYS consult with and seek advice from your licensed professionals before making any changes.
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