Longtime readers and friends of mine will know that I’ve always been into healthy eating and living. I’ve had different periods of rigidity (that I’ve set for myself) as it pertains to diet, but now I’ve more or less settled on eating mostly plant-based while indulging when I need/want to. I’ve recently been rereading and listening to some health information that has reminded me of the importance of staying on this track. I thought it was a perfect time to remember this information around the holidays when we tend to indulge a little bit more.
The logical piece
I’ve always been a healthy eater, which is due in large part to the decisions my mom made when I was growing up. However in my adult life, I had a major breakthrough when I came across some information that made sense to me logically. Up until that point, I had been making decisions on what to eat and avoid with a little voice in my head saying “it’s good for you” or “it’s bad for you” with little explanation behind it.
When I was around 19, I discovered a book that truly changed my life and eventually led to me to a long term way of making choices with food. The book is The Beauty Detox Solution: Eat Your Way to Radiant Skin, Renewed Energy and the Body You’ve Always Wanted by Kimberly Snyder and I continue to recommend it to any and everyone in my life. What resonated with me was her explanations about why we should choose one food over another. She doesn’t explain things in terms of grams of protein or calories, but rather what these foods physically do to our digestive system and the basic science behind why something is easy or difficult to digest.
I’ve talked about digestion before on my blog, but just to reiterate, the digestive system is everything to our health. If we clog that up, we can have unhealthy insides and outsides (bad skin, thinning hair etc.). Understanding what certain foods would do to my body from the inside made it so easy for me to avoid them because I immediately became conscious of the state of my inner systems and organs. This understanding was so much more powerful for me in instituting a lifestyle change than any change I had tried to make prior with the motivation of just losing weight.
This understanding was so much more powerful for me in instituting a lifestyle change than any change I had tried to make prior with the motivation of just losing weight.
the emotional piece
One aspect that a lot of diet books and nutritionists tend to omit is the emotional side of eating. When we’re out of balance, be it from stress, depression or anything else, some of us tend to eat for emotional support, often times making less than optimal decisions with food. The good news is that being conscious of this fact, and making a conscious effort to do things that keep us in balance can also keep us on a healthy track. Also, once you start eating well, you begin feeling better physically and then want to continue that. So if you’re someone who indulges often out of emotions, there is definitely a way out!
That being said, I do think it’s important to indulge in whatever you need if you’re having a bad day (there’s a difference between a bad day and a longer period of time of course! ). The emotional component to food is extremely important for most people and it’s nearly impossible to keep up with making healthy choices if you are not in a positive place emotionally.
For me, these two components lead me to easily continue to make healthy choices. If I start to veer off course, I just reread parts of my book or listen to some of Kimberly Snyder’s podcasts to remind me why I’m making the decisions that I am.
What keeps you on track?