A simple yet profound piece of advice is that “we must create relationships that nurture and support us and reduce or remove those relationships that diminish us”. If we do this consciously and consistently, we can heal ourselves and live to our full potential. This applies equally to food, we need to “Eat foods that love and nurture us”.
As an example, if you visited an on-line grocery store during these Covid-19 times, you may have noticed that cake mixes, and frostings are regularly being sold out! (in addition to many other food items that can make us unwell). And, people are even creating and joining Facebook baking groups to support each other.
So, why are we working against ourselves? Many of us know that excess sugar can have a negative effect on our health (we try to convince ourselves that we are eating it in moderation, but it is hidden in so many different foods that it quickly adds up!). Historically, when we were cave people, sugar was rare, and we learned to gorge on it as it was a scarcity. The taste for sugar is a trait that we are born with and sweetness helps us recognize foods rich in vitamin C (in cave times it was mostly coming from fruits) but now it is everywhere, and we still act on this feeling.
Sugar can also make us feel very good in the short term as it has an impact on brain chemicals. However, the long-term negative implications of high intake of refined sugars are quite significant from weight gain to creating inflammation in the body and even the brain. It also reduces the absorption of key nutrients in our body, which can lead to reduced immunity.
Eight simple takeaways that can help us to overcome reaching out for unhealthy foods:
1. Create a strong awareness of foods. Know those that suit your body type (you may explore Ayurveda for more insights) and eat foods that create joy, peace and healing in your body and avoid those that create havoc and only short-term pleasure.
2. Have compassion for yourself, there are reasons why we act the way we do so forgive yourself and carry on the better path. Forgiveness makes it easier to create good habits rather than forcing yourself.
3. Very important – Love yourself enough to make the positive changes, all your efforts matter!
4. Don’t bring “negative energy/foods in your home – know that our will power is a limited resource, so avoid over taxing it.
5. If you have negative foods in the house keep them in difficult to reach places and quickly substitute the craving with a more loving and positive food item or at least distract yourself for a while, you may even forget the urge.
6. Many times, feeling hungry means you are “feeling thirsty”! A significant number, up to 40% of us are at times dehydrated, which has many health consequences (after all our bodies are mostly water!)
7. Name it. When you reach out for food say: Am I eating this for nutrition? Am I eating this because I feel unhappy, powerless or stuck (emotional eating)?
8. If it is emotional eating, take steps towards resolving the root cause (personal or professional). All steps you take in the direction of making positive life changes matter. Just start!
Take care of yourself, you are precious and here on this planet at the present time for a reason. Share your gifts with the world and feel the joy! You deserve it. Take care of your health and respect your body. As the author Louise Hay said, “your body is the house you live in for this lifetime”. Look after it.
Have you seen the e book of Tasneem?