We have largely lost touch with where our food comes from and how to healthily eat. There is so much confusion about what is good for us and what is bad, what we should eat and what we should avoid that is becomes difficult to keep track. One diet tells us to eat low fat, the next low sugar and the next gluten free. In this world of changing advice it can be a challenge to know what is best for our bodies. Nature knows how to provide, and it is up to us to listen.
The Golden Rule is the same with food as with everything: keep it simple.
Food is medicine for our bodies, but the wrong food eaten the wrong way can be poison.
The Summary –
- Eat local organic food
- Eat foods in season
- Limit the processed food in your diet
- Focus awareness on your food while eating
- Take time to enjoy your food
- Treat food as your medicine
Allow us to dig a little deeper
Our bodies benefit from eating in the rhythms with nature by enjoying good local, organic food in season. Spring is the time for new life, when everything starts to sprout. Life is young and fresh, a time to enjoy low calorie, low fat lighter foods such as (salads, spinach, sprouts). Summer is high carbohydrate time and brings an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables to cool and energize us through the hot season, so eat things like (water melon, fresh berries, cucumber). During Fall and Winter, food growth is limited, and we need to eat heavier foods that our body can store which gives us sustenance, this is high protein, higher fat eating time.
Supermarkets have become so large with a vast selection of foods from around the world becoming available to us year round, but there is nothing better for your body than buying local and fresh.
Processed foods contain ingredients that are harmful for our bodies. Learn how to cook as your grandparents cooked, but with a touch of modern flair. We are becoming more and more reliant on processed foods in our daily lives, and many people now believe they live a healthy lifestyle. But when they can open a packet of ready prepared food, put it in the microwave, and scoff it down after they have had a workout at the gym, then that workout is wasted and your body still suffers. This practice is not life promoting, though it may feel great in the moment. It can take years before the impacts of this lifestyle are realized.
Try to follow the 80/20 rule, where you avoid all processed food at least 80% of the time. This may take time before it becomes a habit, but your body will thank you. Often when we look at the labels on food, we think we are doing good. “Natural and Healthy” is written all over the front of our purchases, and the ingredients show nothing but foods we recognize. Then there at the end of the list of ingredients it says “Natural Flavorings”. The food industry today is allowed to classify more and more products under the catch-all label of natural flavorings and natural ingredients. Learning how to read food labels is a vital step on the path to a good diet.
Getting to know your body and your digestion ultimately leads to good health. Take a moment to think about how much food you eat in your life time. Doesn’t that seem like enough to warrant giving it some more consideration? We eat more than one meal a day, we should learn how to do this well. Improving your cooking skills to fit a healthy diet keeps getting easier the more often you do it. It is actually faster to prepare a good soup than order in a pizza, once you know what you are doing.
Your stomach is your internal cooking pot, and everything you ingest needs to be processed in that pot. The amount of activity you do determines how much you should eat. If you are active from sun up to sun down, you will need to eat more than a person sitting at a desk for 6 – 10 hours a day. Have a fairly light breakfast, a large lunch when our digestion is working at peak performance, and a light evening meal, with supper as a supplemental meal to carry us through to morning when we break our fast. We should eat enough food for each of these three meals that we do not need to eat between meals. If you were to boil some rice, you would not continually add rice to the pot all day. You would not get the best quality from this rice. The same applies to your digestion. You need to allow the food to be properly processed in your stomach and intestines before consuming more food. It takes approximately 2 hours for food to move from the stomach into your intestines. This is why we often feel hunger 2 hours after eating, but if you wait half an hour this feeling of hunger will pass.
While what we eat is very important it is equally important to eat in the correct style and this is unfortunately becoming less common. The food you are about to eat fuels your body and keeps you alive and healthy. We need to show our food some appreciation, sit to eat, remove distractions like television, smartphones, toys. Our food is meant to be enjoyed and savored. If you eat while driving, working at your desk, watching tv, etc you are not digesting that food properly and getting maximum benefit from the nutrients. Improper digestion leads to toxins in your body, toxins lead to disease.
Your weekly challenge:
- take time to enjoy every meal you eat
- sit to eat
- switch off all devices that act as a distraction
- chew your food, become aware of how the tastes change in your mouth. Your stomach does not have teeth.
Can you describe your meal 15 minutes after you have eaten?
Our health is dependent on good food and good digestion. Small changes lead to a new you and lead to better habits. Start small by bringing more awareness to what you eat, not only as you are eating that food, but also once this food has been digested. How do you feel when you wake up in the morning? What did you eat in the evening, what did you drink? Do certain foods make you feel heavy and lethargic while other foods provide long lasting energy and others provide a quick high followed by a crash.
Bring body awareness into your life.