As the year wraps up, we find ourselves reflecting on the past year and pondering our next goals pertaining to health, career, relationships and personal development. We ensure to establish specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-based (SMART) goals in order to increase our chances of success. But there's one major component missing.
Let's take healthy eating as an example for our 2017 resolution, intention, goal or whatever you might call it. With December being a month filled with home cooked comfort food, cookie exchange at work and bottomless egg nog, most of us are extra motivated at the beginning of the year to start fresh, lose weight and regain our energy. However, simply putting out an intention to eat healthier is not enough.
Over the years, "eating healthy" has been associated with food deprivation, vegetarian meals, strict diets, and flavourless meals. It's far from the truth. When you eat well, you can satisfy your cravings with delicious (and nutritious) choices. It's all about developing your food palate and transforming your thinking.
"We need to transform our thinking and the conditioning of an entire century of misguided advertising that has strongly influenced and moulded the diets of many generations."
- Elson M. Haas, MD
Growing up I ate fairly well, however, there were the times my house was stocked with sodas, sugary freezies and poptarts. I remember road trips to the beach multiple times a week where we would stop at McDonalds for nuggets and fries. Fast forward a couple of years when I realized this junk was no longer serving me. I made a conscious effort to make a positive change.
The last time I had McDonald's, I remember clearly the effect it had on my body. Within minutes of my first bite I began to feel sluggish, fatigued and experienced brain fog. Those three combined led me to be unproductive, unmotivated and lazy. Not what I aspire to be.
"We need to return to our own instincts of proper nutrition."
- Elson M. Haas, MD
Eating well is much easier said than done. Before we purge our pantry and hit the grocery store to stock up with fresh fruits and vegetables, we need to establish the true meaning behind eating well. What does healthy eating mean to you and why are you making this conscious change?
Are you simply wanting to lose weight?
Is your goal to eat well because you think it's the right thing to do?
Do you believe it's a quick fix to your health and body issues?
Healthy eating is not a diet, it's a lifestyle. Fuelling with food that is right for you and your body allows you to feel your best. Your body and mind begins to shift to a more vibrant and thriving state. You feel consistent and energized throughout the day, you do not experience indigestion or bloating, you are able to manage stress and you feel balanced.
"Often we do not know our own needs unless we experiment. If we get fatigued in the afternoon after lunch, we may need to shift things around."
- Elson M. Haas, MD
We've been conditioned to feel and accept the fact that being tired mid-day is normal or simply feeling okay is okay. It's not. You have the power to make a conscious mind shift to believing that you deserve to feel your best (because you do). That healthy eating is simply a way of life that will enable you to be your very best in every area of your life. When you nourish your body and mind with the right fuel and tools you become more desirable at work and in your personal life. When you feel energized, you are able to dedicate more time to important things in your life and you become a better partner, colleague, brother/sister, etc.
When you set the intention to eat healthier, do it:
- because you want to;
- because you want to feel your best;
- because you want to be in control of your health;
- because eating always involves a little celebration;
- because you want to embrace the goal of nourishing your whole self;
- and because there's no other way you want to eat and live.
Feeling your very best is possible. If you are looking to ease into eating more nourishing and flavourful foods, I suggest you tune into nature and your personal needs. Discover what the season has to offer, experiment with different recipes and let your body guide you to a thriving life.