We often conjure up images of healthful eating with food resembling bird seed and strange coloured smoothies or juices. Being healthy can be seen to be boring and having a piece of cake or a pizza is more of a treat. The way we associate meaning to food and labelling them as good or bad can stunt our consistency to be healthy a large percentage of the time. The more we deny ourselves a particular food, the more we want it. It can also be difficult to be perfectly healthy all of the time, especially if you are invited to a birthday party, a dinner party or travel away to a new place. So it is not about being perfect all of the time but striving to be mindfully healthy 90% of the time. Some days it can be a real struggle to wriggle out of unhelpful eating patterns that we know will make us feel unwell but consider this every time you eat and drink:
“Every time you eat and drink, you are either feeding disease or fighting it” (Heather Morgan, MS, MLC)
Healthier people tend to be smarter, clearer and more in touch with themselves. They are more focused, able to concentrate and have a healthier perspective on life. As your food choices shift to a healthier option, you can gain a greater sense of balance and become more fully present. Avoiding junk food, reduces brain fog, energy slumps in the afternoon and allows you to consciously stop eating foods that increase mood swings and irrational thoughts. A healthy lifestyle allows for clearer thought and a more considered way of thinking, allowing us to step away from limiting behaviours, thoughts, actions and belief systems and towards a more open approach to living life.
Being healthy allows us to become clearer, calmer and more aware. Being healthy isn’t just about what we eat and the nutritional element of health; it is a about creating a larger vision for yourself and living more fully to achieve optimal health and happiness. Us humans are more healthy when we create a well-balanced lifestyle; finding the best solutions to our nutrition, exercise choices, amount of rest time, being involved in rewarding work, meaningful relationships and significant family time and supporting this way of life by avoiding incidents that cause negativity and upset. This can be achieved by steering clear of people who distress you and avoiding junk foods that are going to disagree with your body. Keeping away from harsher foods, people and environments allows us to develop a higher level of creativity, flexibility in thoughts, outlook and energy. Shifting our health to a better place, is the ultimate form of self care and the more we take care of our own health, the more we can be of help to others. Being healthy is slightly different for everyone… One food that agrees with one person can completely disagree with another or a particular way of living happily for one person may make another person completely miserable. Therefore it is about experimenting with what works for you and to listen to your body and how it reacts, whether that be to food, to people or environments around you.
A healthy life, allows you to be still – a stillness not just in the mind but in the body too as it encourages your blood sugar levels, temperature and heartbeat to become more regular and consistent. It reduces the risk of diabetes, cancer, heart disease, allergies, mental health problems, asthma, digestive issues, headaches, pains in the body… the list goes on…
As mentioned at the beginning, we often have particular associations to food: “ooh that piece of chocolate cake is bad for me and will be delicious”, “that fruit salad is good for me but I’d rather snack on a biscuit”. When you eat, consider this: How will that piece of delicious piece of chocolate cake make feel, once you have eaten it? You know it will be yummy but most likely after a while, you will be bit sleepy, sluggish, headachey and low in energy. Do you want to constantly feel like that from eating unhealthful foods? Being healthy doesn’t mean you will have a boring life. In fact it means quite the opposite as it will give you more energy, better quality physical capacity, the room to think more clearly and with more focus. It will give you more personal self esteem about your path in life, your ideas, your body and appearance, your creativity and your future development.
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