Girl vs. Food: Be aware of what and why you are eatingWritten by Monica Mikolajczyk | | firstname.lastname@example.org
It was as if I were slapped across the face as I innocently browsed the alternative medicine and health section at my local book store. This proverbial slap left a hand print in the form of a sad message. People don’t know how how or what to eat and they search for the answer with hope that it will change their lives. A natural instinct, one that was instilled in us since the moment we set foot on this earth, has been lost. Our ability to simply eat has fallen victim to a society that has linked eating to losing weight, and losing weight to happiness. Every human being wants to be happy, so the linkage between the two was a genius marketing strategy, if you ask me.
The books that lined the shelves, and screamed for my attention, seemed to advertise one idea: You are not okay. If you follow the diet in this book, however, you can look a certain way and ultimately have the life you have always wanted (as easy as pie, just don’t eat it). What the books fail to mention is that several of us have limited resources and funds, and having the perfect body won’t magically solve all of your personal problems. Don’t get me wrong, setting a goal – like achieving and maintaining a healthy weight – will bring a renewed sense of self-confidence, which might give you the drive to attain other personal goals. Nonetheless, it is crucial to remember that physical health is only one slice of the pie (there is that pie again, rearing its ugly head in my diet-laden mind). In order to have real contentment you must be healthy physically, mentally and spiritually (whatever that may be for you).
Be careful when perusing health and/or food section in any book store. Ask yourself, what exactly are the authors selling? Whose best interest do they have in mind? Several of them are probably endorsed by different health food/product companies (insert “Money, Money, Money” song by Abba), so they get more dollars if you spend yours. Oh, and those people that grace the cover of Us Weekly achieve their air-brushed beach bods through countless hours in the gym and their very own (highly paid) chef. They are paid to look a certain way for a job (uh, acting), and usually, when this job is finished they stop the two hour gym sessions and carb free diets.
Returning to the issue at hand: What do we eat? The underlying message in all of my articles is always the same. Be aware of what and why you are eating. I have come up with a few pointers to aid you in your quest for knowledge and good health.
Choose local. Do this not only for the obvious reason (to support the local economy), but because local farmers don’t use the same pesticides used by commercial farmers. Another important fact, crops that are mass produced are often harvested too soon resulting in a significant loss in their nutritional value (for instance, broccoli has less iron). Cattle from local farms are often grain fed, so you aren’t ingesting any strange hormones or other questionable substances if you eat meat.
When grocery shopping, try to purchase foods that contain ingredients you are able to pronounce. Most of the crazy sounding items on the label are crazy enough that they don’t belong inside of your body. Also, the fewer ingredients in the food, the better because the food is closer to its natural, unprocessed state
Take up a physical activity that keeps you mindful. Yoga, of course, is great. You learn to be aware in the present moment, which is a discipline you will find useful in all you do, even eating. Your internal radar will become more active: Why do I really want so many comfort foods today?
So, keep the eyes of your mind wide open when you are faced with the latest body-sculpting products, the new diet food promising weight loss, and the best-seller advertising diet as a means to happiness. If you are about to make one of these purchases, ask yourself what it is (honestly) that you want to change? Will this product really do that for you? Confidence and security come from so much more than our exercise routines and the food we put into our mouths. As long as you maintain awareness as you make health a priority, you are doing quite well.
Was that so hard to swallow?