The Food:Body Connection

The Food:Body Connection

We love our food. We love everything about it. It can change moods, flash smiles and create memories. It comforts us after a long day at work, it fills your belly and it feels wonderful! We are so highly addicted to food, it’s scary. We eat mindlessly, not thinking about what we are putting into our body and how it affects our mental and physical states as well as our emotional states. Food can be a painfully personal topic for some and a socially enjoyable feast for others.

We have a love/hate relationship with food. We know it’s unhealthy but we can’t help ourselves. The Western diet contains too many variables and makes it almost impossible to maintain a healthy, balanced diet. Work, soccer practice, ballet, birthday parties, family functions, there is just not enough time in a day! Or so we think….

The problem too is that food is so readily available. There is always some fast food chain on every block, a corner store with chips and sugary drinks, a gas station selling chocolate bars and energy drinks.

How do we eat healthy when everywhere we turn, we are bombarded with unhealthy snacks and drinks? Well, much like happiness – it’s a choice we make. To just say “I won’t eat that anymore” is not enough. Education is extremely important. Understanding WHY something is not good for you is more likely to facilitate the change. Take sugar for example – did you know sugar, although yummy and delicious, is actually a toxin?  Do you know how white flour is processed to remove the germ which is the healthy part, leaving you with an empty carb? There is nothing healthy about white flour and it can actually cause some serious health problems. Do you know how eating REAL food, mostly a plant based diet has been clinically proven to reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer?

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Mother nature has provided for us all we need to be healthy. There are so many “fad diets” out there that don’t actually work. The idea is not to take on a “diet” for 4 weeks, hope to lose 20 lbs then go back to the way you used to eat. You have to completely change the way you think about food.

Educate yourself about the dangers of the modern day food system. Understand how a mostly plant based diet is the healthiest option for you. Does that mean you have to stop eating your beloved bacon? Absolutely not! But you should definitely be cutting back on things like dairy, red meat and processed grains.

My daily food intake looks something like this:

  • Morning – I usually make a healthy smoothie (my favorite is my sinfully delicious Chocolate, Banana, Nut smoothie made with coconut milk. It tastes like heaven but is super healthy for you). But sometimes I’ll make some apple baked quinoa or steel-cut oatmeal.
  • Mid morning I usually eat a salad
  • Lunch I’ll eat a salad or sandwich made from flat bread that I make at home that only has 5 ingredients: oat flour, flax feeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds and water. The sandwich contains avocado, kale, and some mustard.
  • Afternoon snack is usually fresh cut veggies and some fruit
  • Dinner is juggled between salads, vegan meals, raw food, whole wheat pasta, legumes, and quinoa.

I drink only water (a side from my morning smoothies). I don’t drink any coffee or tea, no milk or alcohol. My goal each day is to drink 100oz of water. I use a 20oz water bottle, so I just refill it 5 times in a day. It’s amazing how easy it is to drink 100oz – and I’m someone who used to HATE drinking water. It was boring and I didn’t like it. Now I crave it all the time.

When making your next food choice, think to yourself… Is it healthy? Does it come in a box?  Does it boast any health claims on the box? (The biggest indicator that is not healthy is any boasting). Does it have sugar in it?

The next time you do groceries, look at the layout of your grocery store. Generally (not always – but generally) a grocery store is set up like this: The outside edges of your grocery store usually contains the good stuff. Your fruits and veggies. The aisles contain all the processed junk that you’re body does not want nor need. Your brain wants it, sure – but your body does not.

So if you’re looking to lose weight, reduce the risk of disease or even aid with mental health issues – the first place you need to look is in your fridge and pantry. Changing your diet, changing the way you look at and consume food. This will change your life. You CAN eliminate disease, you can eliminate obesity, you can eliminate mental health problems – all with the foods you put into your body. Nature really is the best medicine.

Until Next Time.
~Mel~

 



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