I have known many people who get so serious and anxious about eating for their health, that they become sick with something called Orthorexia – the eating disorder of eating for health. Sounds strange, but it is true. If you get too stressed out about eating for your health – it can actually make you sicker.
Honestly, this is one of the biggest challenges for people with chronic illness. You have to eat right – or else, right?
The question is, can you eat well without feeling obsessed with the results or the afraid of making a bad decision. It is all about feeling confident and patient about why you are making the changes you are making.
Why does getting healthier matter to you?
If there was ever a situation where the Tortoise and Hare metaphor makes the most sense, this is it. Be a patient turtle. You are making choices that are proven to be healthy over many thousands of years. Keep calm and enjoy the journey.
Keep It Simple
Wouldn’t it be great if you could go to the grocery store, shop without a lot of thinking or stress, free of confusion or a calculator in your hand?
Imagine getting home knowing you have everything you need to avoid most of the chronic diseases in the modern world, lose any extra weight you may be carrying around, as well as do your part to ensure a greener planet for all of our children.
It is simple. When you are in a grocery store just stick to the wall!
If you focus on eating mostly plants (veggies, roots, and fruits from the produce department), healthy and hopefully organic proteins (seafood, eggs, chicken, turkey, grass-fed beef or bison, and occasionally some pork), and some organic and ideally unpasteurized dairy products (butter, cheese, yogurt, and sour cream), or other healthy fats like coconut oil, you will be eating a nutrient dense and very healthy diet. Every once in a while, you will need to venture into those scary aisles of mostly over-processed and packaged foods (and I am being generous in calling them foods), to find some healthy cooking oils, spices, and other specialty items.
Eating this way most of the time ensures that you are keeping your metabolism stable, nourishing your internal organs, cleansing all of your cells and, most importantly, avoiding foods and treats that are over stimulating and often a bit addictive. This is so important. If you want to improve your health and potentially also lose some weight, you have to stop eating things that mess with your metabolism and cause cravings that can be compared to the experience of some serious addictions.
This may be asking a lot at first. You will have to give up some of your comfort foods and little treats or learn to replace them with healthier choices. It is that simple. It may not be easy for the first few weeks but you can rest assured that this way of eating is going to help. Very few people really enjoy counting calories or being nervous about eating the wrong things.
You can free yourself from this vicious cycle of calorie counting and feeling bad about little binges by getting back to the basics. Just eat real food, eat it often and enjoy every bite. I am sure that deep down inside you have always known that this day was coming.
The Freedom Of Yes And No
It has been my experience that most people who grow up in the Western World have the feeling that their freedom depends on how many things they can say ‘yes’ to. As children, we gradually grow up and get to say yes to staying out later, buying our own candy and junk food, having sleepovers and eventually to driving a car. Soon after that, we can legally buy cigarettes and alcohol. Maybe we even decide to say yes to recreational drugs and take it so far that we wreck our lives for a while.
It is usually in mid-life when this relationship turns around. We come full circle and realize that we are only as free as what we can say ‘no’ to. Just say no thanks to junk food and begin the journey of changing your relationship to commercial tobacco. When it comes to alcohol, l recommend a clear mind and abundant vitality. Alcohol is alright in moderation, just avoid using it as a snooze button for your life. Usually, in mid-life, recreational drugs are not so much about having fun, as they are about avoiding life.
Sometimes in this life, your freedom depends entirely on what you can say no to.