Think About Food Differently

Hi Friends, the next chapter in our Live It Daily blog series is a Deep Dive on Tip #3 challenging you to Think About Food Differently.

Let’s start by talking about how we think about food today.  When you hear the word, “food” what comes to mind?   What kind of emotion does it trigger?  Does it make you hungry?  Stressed?  Anxious?  Excited?

It’s complicated – the way that we think and feel about food and about eating.  Sometimes we consider food a reward (for putting in a solid workout or getting that promotion), sometimes it’s the focus of an indulgent social experience (like a dinner date or dinner party), sometimes it can be the enemy (that Chicago-style Deep Dish pizza that gives us indigestion – or worse – for days) and other times we don’t think about it at all as we mindlessly chomp on Cheetos while binge watching our favorite show.   In truth, I’ve been guilty on all accounts – except the Cheetos part – I’m more of a popcorn kind of gal…

In contrast, our caveman ancestors spent most of their time hunting and preparing food simply so they could survive.  The ate to live.  End of story.  Those days of scarcity are gone and, for most people in the U.S., we no longer have to wonder when our next meal will be or spend all day hunting for it. 

Consider how differently we think about food today vs. what people thought all those years ago.  Cavemen ate to survive, we eat to celebrate, to entertain, to comfort or simply nibble out of habit.  Because of the multitude of ways in which food has been incorporated into our lives and our activities it’s no wonder we have complicated emotional and habitual connections to food.

But What If…

What if we thought about food, first and foremost, as the fuel source necessary to power our bodies’ basic functions?  You know, those complex systems of respiration, digestion and circulation we discussed in the last blog (Think About Your Body Differently?)

What if we thought about food as the primary input that nourishes our skin, our hair, our teeth, our fingernails?

What if we thought about food as the main supply of growth, maintenance and repair for our bones, our muscles, our tendons and our organs?

What if we realized that the type, quantity and quality of that food would dictate the degree of efficiency to which our complex bodily systems functioned?  What if we could see that the food we chose determined the health of our skin, hair, teeth and fingernails?  And that it controlled the power and performance of our bones, muscles, tendons and organs?

What if we could see that the over-processed, chemically modified, nutrient-deficient “foods” that we’re putting into our bodies were responsible for the cramps, bloating, constipation, acne, rashes, slow healing and inflammatory reactions we experience day after day?

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I bet if we thought about food this way all the time we might make healthier choices.

We know that the only way our body can grow, repair and thrive is based upon the goodness we put into it.  It does not receive sustenance any other way.  So why don’t we feed ourselves better?  I suspect it’s because eating is such a common activity performed multiple times each day that we’ve allowed ourselves to put food choices on auto-pilot and/or we allow our emotions to dictate our choices.  In our defense – it takes effort and energy to make any type of choice and we are overloaded with decisions on a daily basis.  So when we’re faced with what to eat 3 or more times per day it can be exhausting.  We pick whatever is easiest, closest, fastest, cheapest.  Notice that we rarely stop to think about what is BEST for our body.  How often do we pause and consider what our body needs at that moment, on that day? 

Here’s your challenge:  Over the next few days, make a conscious effort when it comes to what you are feeding your body.  Pause for a moment before each meal and think about what your body might need that day.  If you’re not sure what you need simply create a balanced meal of a lean protein, veggies and high fiber carbohydrates. 

Abandon the pre-packaged or over- processed options when you can and seek the best fuel to fire up that inner-engine.  Think about food differently, not just as something you do morning, noon and night but look at each meal as an opportunity to feed yourself right, an opportunity to give yourself quality nutrients and satisfying sustenance for your best health! 

Stay tuned for the next deep dive on Tip #4: Think about Movement Differently!

Until then, thanks for reading the blog and following posts on the Live It Daily Facebook page.  Feel free to leave comments or questions so I can get to know you and understand any topics or questions that I might include in upcoming segments.  

As always, you can reach out to me via email or my website where you can learn more about Live It Daily and schedule a free wellness consultation to create individual, practical strategies towards your best health!

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