Many of us were raised on convenient processed supper, sugar cereals, pizza pops with a regular dose of cookies. Convenience foods were created for a reason, we were the generation of both parents working out of the home and food companies saw a need for quick and easy dinners, so they filled the need. We are very much a society of habitual convenience. What went down the tubes with convenience? Our health.
Some of us do realize how our lifestyles impact our health, but hide behind denial, because acknowledgement might mean change. Some of us truly don’t know about the damage being done to our bodies and we need some tidbit of information to strike a chord with us on some personal level. Something that says what we were raised with, or habits we’ve developed over the course of our lives up to now, have led us down the wrong road for our health and well-being.
A strike-a-chord moment for me was watching Oprah, about two decades ago, when her guests introduced the world to the low-carb diet and the idea of carbohydrate addiction. Right or wrong it launched an understanding that I had to learn about what I was putting in my body. Now, let me be clear — that moment didn’t create an overnight change in what I was eating or my lifestyle, but it was the first “bing” where I realized I needed make some changes.
When I say “we choose our health,” what I mean is we need to actively choose it. We need to pay attention, become aware, read some books or blog posts, listen to some podcasts, take some courses. (I recommend some resources below.) We need to make educated decisions about the foods we eat and the lifestyle we live.
Keep in mind I’m a long way ahead in my health journey now than I was 20 years ago watching that Oprah show. Here are a few things I’ve committed to over just the last year:
- I buy organic foods wherever possible. Recently, our grocery store has offered more organic produceioptions making this transition much easier. Does it cost a bit more? Yes, for good reason, organic foods require more people-power to produce. But knowing the food I’m bringing home is chemical-free, gives me peace of mind.
- Cooking from scratch. A good 80% of our cooking now is from scratch. Very little processed food comes into our home, and yes, we still eat-in/take-out from restaurants now and then. I’m not trying to be perfect, it’s not about perfection. It’s about making educated choices.
- Exercise. An important health choice and my greatest nemesis. I wrote a whole other blog post on my yo-yo journey with exercise. It’s something I still struggle with maintaining regularly, but it’s a life goal.
I didn’t start here, I worked and studied and created-new-habits my way here. So maybe this post is your “bing” moment. Maybe you need to pay more attention to the foods you eat, your lifestyle habits, the chemicals around you. So where do you start when you don’t know where to start?
I suggest four things as a starting point, and it’s fine to pick just one:
- Drink a glass of water every morning when you wake up.
- Add some leafy greens to your lunch or supper two or three times per week.
- Go for a walk, it doesn’t matter how long. In nature preferred, but around the block will do! Do this three times per week.
- Seek out a source of information that interests you.
Resources I recommend:
Today is the Day with Meghan Telpner and Josh Gitalis found on your favourite streaming medium. Reliable nutrition information.
Meghan Telpner’s blog is very thoroughly researched.
Minimalist Baker has great healthy recipes!
If you’ve read this far, I must have said something that is speaking to you! That makes me smile. Sign up here, so you don’t miss a post! I really appreciate it!
Atomic Habits by James Clear – A MUST READ for strategies to help new life changes stick.
The End of Food by Michael Pollan
Slow Death by Rubber Duck by Smith/Lourie, when I finished this book I said to my husband, “Well that’s the scariest book I’ve ever read.” It was real eye-opener to the chemical environment we live in. I consider it an important book. Be ready to make some changes in your life.
Culinary Nutrition Expert – Homework never tasted so good! Learn about cooking from scratch, using whole foods and how food impacts our health. This program is a life-changer.