Eating Healthy Food Does Not Have to Mean Denial
How often do we hear ‘choose a healthy balanced diet’? And what do you think when you hear that? So many of us think (or have thought) it means tasteless, bland, boring food. Not fun!
I often start, when talking to clients or giving presentations, by asking ‘what do you usually eat?” So many people tell me they eat specific foods because ‘someone said it was healthy’ or ‘it will help me lose weight’. More often than not, they don’t even like those foods!
One of my #1 rules, is do not eat food you don’t like, even if it’s considered healthy! (ok, you may have to give it a chance sometimes, though). This is particularly important if dealing with a chronic health condition or autoimmune ‘dis-ease’.
My philosophy around food focuses on abundance. There are so many options and so many different approaches to preparing food, we do not have to deny ourselves those special treats or the foods we love in order to enjoy the delicious healthy nourishing foods that Mother Nature provides.
So how do we do this on a regular basis, when we’re surrounded by ‘convenience’ food, have a very full schedule and some of our favorite foods are just not that healthy? A few things to keep in mind:
1) Start with REAL food…food with NO ingredient list. The more we opt for real food, the more we can actually start to taste the actual flavors of our food. Our taste buds become numb to the real taste of food, after many years of eating food with preservatives and chemicals.
2) PLAY with your food! I know. Many of us were told as young people ‘don’t play with your food’. Perhaps there was a different context for it then. I mean really play…experiment with ingredients, make a food that you’ve always wanted to try, replicate someone else’s recipe and make it your own. And if you’re worried about having to throw it out because , well, its just TERRIBLE (yes, been there), then make a very small amount to start!
3) Try new foods. Each time you go to the grocery store, buy one fruit or vegetable you’ve never had but looks interesting or strange or you’re just curious. Read about the origin of that produce. Read some recipes. Sometimes just knowing how to cut it, or how to use the stalks or whether to discard the skins, can make all the difference.
4) Pay attention to the reaction of your body (our body does tell us what’s working for us and what isn’t). Pay attention to not only digestive reactions but to any kind of response. If a food does not agree with us, we can experience all kinds of reactions (ie itchiness, sneezing, headaches, sleepiness, etc).; we may have a particular sensitivity to that food. Of course these kinds of reactions can interfere with our enjoyment of our food as well.
5) Most importantly: ENJOY! Since eating is a requirement in life (heh), we might as well enjoy it! Eating in a way that provides us with great health, energy and the vital, vibrant existence will often lead to greater longevity, enjoyment and satisfaction.
So…love, play and enjoy your food!