Art of healthy eating….> Here comes a bit of my personal story again.
As it often happens, this list started out two items and turned into a whole philosophy of living. Maybe thats what it takes to have a healthy relationship with food. At least that is my experience.
Right now Im somewhere along my journey. Concepts described below apply to me personally right now. That means please dont take these personally or think these will always apply. We are all different. I do believe though that you will find many of these invaluable in getting you where you want to be diet and health wise.
Since I come from a lengthy background of eating disorders, my main suggestions actually dont involve food. In my experience an unhealthy relationship with food is first of all mental.
The number one thing I ask myself is what are my thoughts?
Positive or negative?
If Im thinking bad thoughts, I am basically setting myself up, making myself vulnerable to an overwhelming urge to indulge in something “bad”, whatever that may be, or to eat when Im not hungry, just to numb those negatives, to drown them out.
But if I turn negative into positive thoughts, I get rid of that urge. An eating disorder is just a symptom. Thoughts are the root, so why not target the root cause? That makes making positive changes of all kinds a lot easier. Some situations are just tough and its important to also learn to deal with all kinds of thoughts, good and bad, without involving food. However, if you acquire that habit of seeking positive thoughts, you will have undone the very fabric that kept you bound to food in the first place.
bottom line>positive outlook>positive thoughts>positive actions
Thinking positives doesnt come easy if youre accustomed to self doubt, if youre expecting perfection of yourself and others. It will take practice. Once you figure out what works, you will have to work the system for it to become a part of your life. Ive heard 30 days is how long it takes to break a habit… Well in my experience, bad habits like to sneak back into your life long after. It may take one small trigger. but thats Ok. Just think of it as a bad habit testing you a couple more times before it bids you farewell.
Bad habits, bad impulses and urges dont mean youre back to being your old self again. They are not part of who you are, and they dont mean youre bad. You are not stuck feeling this way either. These are temporary feelings, albeit seemingly unbearable at first. All you have to do is remind yourself of how you feel indulging these and compare that to how youve felt dealing with them in a positive way.
Not only do you feel physically and mentally better doing the right thing for yourself, but it actually rebuilds your character. I did not even realize who I really was or what my interests and potentials were until I started facing my bad habits and urges consistently. Perseverance has been my lesson here. That and patience. With practice these become more sparse, less significant, and then disappear altogether.
patience, compassion and understanding for myself> there is always room for improvement, but thats a good thing. Imagine how boring life would be if that wasnt true. Challenge is part of life, its what keeps me from becoming stagnant, left twiddling my thumbs. Appreciate and be proud of what I have accomplished at this moment. Exercise selective thinking, stay focused on positives and that results in willpower to do more positive things.
What is hunger anyway? I had no idea for a very long time.
Am I hungry or are these munchies?
Or am I interpreting these physical signs as hunger out of habit?
eat slowly> portions
Find something else to do unless Im really hungry. I have come to realize there is nothing but benefit in letting myself get really hungry. Im not advocating starving yourself past that point. Just wait until youre really hungry. Once you learn what that feels like you will have realized that all those other pangs and symptoms have been misinterpreted as real hunger. What a relief it is to know that Im not bound to a plate as I had once thought. I have discovered that time of subtle hunger coming on is the time I feel energized and cable of doing things. I would much rather harness that potential than to sit myself down prematurely.
Once you learn to feel comfortable with feeling hungry, fasting is just the next step. A fast is a good idea. However, I try to never force a fast. It just happens. If I ever feel mentally rebellious its not the right frame of mind for a fast. Its a great way to rest the body. I still get myself in a pickle sometimes, either eating too much or wrong combinations, or simply giving in to very convincing but false hunger pangs. Nothing comes close to the efficiency of a simple 24 hr fast in setting me straight. I have yet to go full 48 hrs, although at times I know I should.
Optimally I eat no more than 2-3 times a day. Working on chewing slowly while feeling the urge to gobble from feeling hungry. Just realize this food isnt running away from me and the more time I take with it the more enjoyable it is. Relaxing and slowing down is the best way to avoid overeating. Its almost like my body is wired wrong, but really its old thought patterns that have to be patiently relearned and also being careful to establish healthy thought patterns in relation to new habits.
include raw animal products: 3 oz servings 2-3 times week, organic pastured(meaning grass fed, not to be confused with Pasteurized!) eggs, organ meats, lox or raw previously frozen unsalted fish. Here is how to kill parasites to make raw fish safe to eat. Follow closely, or cook if in doubt 😉
plenty of sunshine> health, mood uplifter
dont starve myself mentality> its not about forcing anything, but about relearning dysfunctional patterns.
Wow, there is a lot more to it then I ever realized prior to writing it down. Its incredible to realize that something so basic as eating for sustenance can become so much more and be so misinterpreted and abused, but at least now I have some ropes within reach to lead me out of a tricky situation and a much improved understanding of what healthy eating really is. I hope you do too.
I encourage you to monitor your health with comprehensive bloodwork 6 months and one year into a new diet. What I discovered after one year of being almost 100% raw vegan: my vegan bloodwork!