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The secret to good health might be a simple as changing how you think about food

The secret to good health might be a simple as changing how you think about food 510 390 Geoff

Unlimited energy. Clear skin. Ideal weight. Mental clarity. High levels of motivation to get things done. Few illnesses and aches and pains.

These are the outcomes of eating a nourishing diet and getting enough exercise, adequate sleep and managing stress as best we can. This is when we enjoy a health that allows us to live life to the full – not just exist in a fog of fatigue and lethargy where everything seems like a hassle. Food, or what we eat, is something that we all have control over. Every single time we eat.

You know when you have got it right. You feel like you are on rocket fuel – you are bouncing around all morning, there is no 3pm slump in energy, you get home and look forward to exercise and cooking a meal with your family. The annoyances that used to irritate and depress you now seem trivial and the anxieties that made you want to run and hide become just another challenge to derive satisfaction from overcoming. Life is interesting, fun and invigorating. You are really living!

Good health and the vivacity that comes with it can absolutely be obtained by everyone. But you will need to make changes. You need to provide your body and brain with natural nourishment so that it can work the way it was designed to work. You need to move your body the way it was designed to move. You will need to accept that we have become part of a society and an economy that is not interested in the wellbeing of the majority (you) but is focussed on the greed and self-interest of a minority (inept Government Departments and food corporations). You will need to question everything that you have been told relating to your health and be prepared to experiment on what works for you personally.

“You know when you have got it right. You feel like you are on rocket fuel – you are bouncing around all morning, there is no 3pm slump in energy, you get home and look forward to exercise and cooking a meal with your family”.

You will need to recognise that conventional wisdom relating to nutrition is not wise at all- it has resulted in spiralling rates of chronic disease despite the billions pumped into dietary guidelines, food labelling, disease research and health care. You need to ask yourself why, and you will need to recognise that the healthcare system will not look after you and you will need to learn the skills to look after yourself. You will need to become unconventionally wise!

Back to food. What we put in our mouth has a most profound impact on how we feel. No amount of exercise will make up for a poor diet. No amount of cholesterol, blood pressure or thyroid drugs will make up for ingesting toxins from unnatural, processed and refined foods or becoming malnourished from fad diets, meal replacement products and eating “on the run”.

We eat because we are hungry or we think we need fuel to get through the day. We succumb to the convenience of packaged food because we are in a hurry. We avoid fat because conventional wisdom says it will make us fat or give us heart disease. We become horribly confused by all the conflicting advice regarding carbohydrate sources and protein ratios. We eat breakfast, lunch and dinner because that is what we have always done and that is what everyone else does.

We go to an expensive restaurant and gorge on a celebrated chef’s creations and proudly state that we love food. But do we? If we loved food, wouldn’t we understand what food does to us? Wouldn’t we want to learn what foods work for our own bodies and what foods don’t? Would we not want to eat foods that energise and nourish us all the time and add quality to our way of life all day every day? Surely we would take the trouble to understand even the most basic nutritional concepts.

If you really love food, cooking every day and preparing food for the next day’s lunches and snacks is not a chore. Meal planning and shopping with intent will become part of your way of life. You will know intuitively if food is nourishing or harming you. You will make wise food choices at least 90% of the time. This is the reality of loving food. Preparing a meal for yourself or your family is a celebration of the most basic human abilities – to think, create, produce and enjoy – the very abilities that underpin human progress and meaning.

Every time you eat you have a choice. Eat just for the sake of eating and possibly cause yourself irreversible harm or eat to improve your quality of life. The choice is yours.

Eating well and significantly improving your health is not as hard as you think. The keys to achieving this are knowledge and preparation.

Even a basic knowledge of food and nutrition will empower you to make informed choices. Fats do not make you fat and are necessary for good health. Most people are gluten intolerant without knowing it. Refined sugar is toxic to humans and processed foods containing preservatives, colours and vegetable oils are completely foreign to our digestive system and cannot be properly processed. Despite the rhetoric, the glycemic index is not an accurate measure of food suitability.

Not having time to cook but having time to watch TV does not make a whole lot of sense. Saying that you don’t how to cook is defeatist – anyone can learn to cook. The beauty of eating real food is that is it very simple to prepare if you want to make even a little bit of effort.

If you think of food as a source of nourishment, a life force, your own opportunity to create the health you have always wanted – you will make that effort.

The pursuit of good health and vitality is actually self-propagating. It takes a while to see the results but eventually they come and you never look back. The better you start to feel – highly energised and motivated – the more energy you have to put into your health. It all becomes a positive, upward spiral that is very hard to stop!

Food planning, preparation and consumption become a pleasure not a chore. Exercise becomes an enjoyable and necessary part of your day, not an uncomfortable imposition.  You vaguely remember how it felt to drag yourself through the day and how preparing a healthy meal seemed like such an effort and you feel immensely grateful that you don’t feel like that anymore.

Your relationship with food has changed forever and it will have a profound and positive impact on your wellbeing. It will not happen overnight, but it will happen.

Educate yourself about nutrition and understand what real food is. Those two actions are the ones that will start the momentum that will improve your health forever.