You Are What You Eat
March is National Nutrition Month, and because lots of people have become more health-conscious over the years, maybe you can relate to the statement, “You are what you eat.” It’s very easy to find yourself spouting health-conscious statements like that one without any real consideration of how it actually relates to your life. If more people began to take action around the concept “You Are What You Eat”, perhaps obesity would not be so prevalent in the United States. According to Wikipedia, “Obesity in the United States is common and is a major health
issue associated with numerous diseases, specifically increased risk of certain types of cancer, coronary artery disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, cardiovascular disease, as well as significant increases in early mortality and economic costs.” That is a long list of possible health risks you take with every bite you put into your mouth without consideration about whether what you’re eating is healthy nutrition that will fuel your body for a healthy outcome. Perhaps you have heard someone say, or maybe it was you who said it, “You only live once, and I’m going to eat what I want!” Consequences still remain the results of your actions. Informed decisions are always the best decisions to hold you accountable for your own actions.
Creating a culture of healthy eating:
Have you ever stopped to think about what triggers your eating habits? Do you eat when you’re hungry, or when you’re feeling down, lonely, sad, or bored? Emotional eating is real, but creating a culture of healthy eating could benefit your eating habits and a healthy lifestyle.
Grow Your Own Food:With spring fast approaching, you could consider planting a backyard or container garden with starter plants or seeds. Growing your own food provides you with a form of exercise and a direct connection to nature. Playing in the dirt can be beneficial to one’s health. According to Forbes.com, “Digging in the dirt does lift your spirits.
The digging stirs up microbes in the soil. Inhaling these microbes can stimulate serotonin production, which can make you feel relaxed and happier.” The feeling of satisfaction that comes from eating food you’ve grown is tremendous. When was the last time you bite into a tomato that was so flavorful and juicy that the juice ran down your chin? Remember those days? There is something rewarding about growing your own fruits and vegetables.
Plan Ahead: Planning snacks and meals ahead reduces stress and eliminates worrying about whether you have everything on hand for whatever tasty dish you wish to prepare. And being able to grab a healthy snack on the run is a benefit to any busy schedule.
An Attitude of Gratitude:Giving your body the fuel it needs by making healthy food choices is an act of gratitude and appreciation for your body with short and long-term benefits.
Relationships:Setting aside time each week to prepare and enjoy a meal with your family or other loved ones creates happy memories. We are basically social beings, and time spent trying new recipes, learning new cooking skills, and socializing together nurtures relationships and impacts a healthy lifestyle.
According to livehealthy.chron.com, “The benefits of balanced, nutritious eating are tremendous and profound, and even small changes can add up to a big difference in your health.” Some of the short-term effects of a healthy diet include better digestion, better quality sleep, and more energy. Some long-term effects of a healthy diet include disease prevention and better mental health. Food is the fuel your body needs to thrive. Eating healthy can seem more expensive initially, but when you consider the long-term cost of unhealthy eating, is that really a valid reason to not make a change today for a healthier outcome? Remember–“You Are What You Eat.” Ask yourself, “Am I eating to live, or living to eat?” As always, it is your choice.