Updated: Oct 28, 2020
In today’s U.S. economy, where a two-household income is often imperative, raising a family, going back to school, and life events often make it to the top of the priority list pushing nutrition to what falls in budget. With busy lives, people often leave the infamous question, “what’s for dinner’ up to the food manufacturing companies or the abundance of corporate fast food chain available on their way home from work. With the right food knowledge and a healthy support system, it is possible to move away from refined and processed foods and move towards a more nutrient rich diet filled with whole foods. For you to make the necessary changes towards a healthy lifestyle and healthy food choices, it is important to first understand where you currently are and to acknowledge your current lifestyle habits. It is also important to find out the driving factors behind those choices and habits. For instance, do you catch yourself in the justification that eating healthy is just too expensive? If you have ever had that thought, I would encourage you to look at your other habits. Is it that eating healthy is too expensive, or that you choose to value other forms of depleting behaviors such as the over consumption of alcohol, smoking, gambling, or any other use of monies that do not nurture the body, mind, and spirit. Working with a holistic nutrition practitioner is a fantastic way to implement these behavioral changes as they can provide real time feedback and a wide variety of knowledge and skills. Another great method to begin understanding why you do what you do and eat what you eat, is by using a detailed food and activity journal. The use of this detailed food journal will help you to acknowledge and accept where you are. From the point of acceptance, one can begin the process of change. The traditional journal works wonders, but if you’re more of the digital preference, there are a few great options with online food trackers that can offer a broad range of guidance. The government, to help individuals apply nutrition guidelines, have created MyPlate.gov. MyPlate is a user-friendly online program that offers ways to balance calorie intake and output and lets the user know which foods to increase or decrease. MyPlate can also be used to track your physical activities. There are many different online options, so I encourage you to explore them and see which one will work best for you. Food and activity trackers like MyPlate are fantastic for people looking to move towards a healthier direction, find basic guidance. Food trackers like MyPlate do not consider biochemical individuality and often foster the Standard American Diet (SAD) which research has shown to be upside down. Along with the food and activity journal, I always encourage my clients to have their health provider call on an array of testing for both biochemistry and food and chemical allergens, and then together, we can begin to implement these results in your lifestyle modifications. By understanding your body, this can help you make leaps and bounds in your quest towards more vitality. As you become more aware and knowledgeable, it is important to begin to listen to your intuition and start listening to your own body. We also need to be reminded to move towards a more peaceful and healthy relationship with food. Food is not the enemy; it is here to serve us. Making the choice to eat whole foods can be more expensive than foods in a box or a bag, but your life depends on it, and besides, you’re worth it. It’s up to you to decide how you want to nourish yourself and your family. When we begin to cultivate a mindset for a healthier way of eating, remember to start with small, manageable goals. Find one or two things that you want to change, and work to make those a habit. Those habits will cultivate even more healthier decision. Remember that people often justify not eating better because that means giving up the foods and substances that fill an emotional void, giving up the unhealthy friends, or they just don’t know how. Often, I find in with my clients that it’s a complex web of many justifications and a lack of true understanding of nutrition. Also remember, that where one chooses to put their money, time, and attention, determines their real values. What’s in your basket? References available.