It’s all About Perspective
I think it’s time we took a sensible approach to eating and get back to thinking of food for the purposes of enjoyment and nourishment, not only for our bodies but for our minds and souls too. Rather than looking at food and nutrition as something that’s stressful and confusing, make your food choices based on love for yourself and knowing it’s replenishing, energising and revitalising you! Instead of concentrating on the things you might be missing out on if you’re "trying to eat healthy", think about the amazing nutrients you’re filling your body with, so you’ll be glowing from the inside out and have the energy to live a vibrant and active life!
We’re so used to being told what to eat and what to think by others, that many of us have forgotten to trust in our own ability to decide for ourselves. Our bodies and our minds truly know what’s best for us, so instead of looking for answers outside of you, listen to what your body is trying to tell you. Trust your intuition, because ultimately, only you are responsible for what you put into your body. When you come across new foods or ways of eating, approach them with a view of healthy skepticism by asking yourself “does this feel right for me?”
These days, whenever we hear the word ‘nutrition’ we automatically relate it to weight loss, when in fact it incorporates so much more than this. Let’s change our perspective on this to the holistic idea that food affects our whole lives and our wellbeing, including our feelings and emotions, not just the size clothes we fit into or how much we weigh. If weight loss is something that you do really want, please, PLEASE, do not focus on it, as this will actually attract more weight, and the never-ending vicious cycle begins. The best thing to do is to just let it go and focus on other things that make you happy, because when you stop worrying about it your body and mind will get the chance to rest and relax and eventually the weight will naturally drop off. On a deeper level, think about what it is that you truly want. Do you really want to lose weight so you can fit into those smaller pair of jeans, or is it that you're longing to feel accepted and loved by someone?
Choose to eat foods for how they make you feel, not how they make you look.
Whatever you do eat, please don’t be hard on yourself! It’s time to be kinder and accept ourselves as the beautiful people we are, instead of comparing ourselves to everyone else and thinking we need to look a certain way. Living with this positive outlook will lead us to all live happier, healthier lives, where we don’t punish ourselves for eating something “unhealthy” or deprive ourselves from having a good time. Our food choices certainly do have an incredible and extremely important effect on our health and wellbeing, so I’m not giving everyone permission to eat anything and everything they want, but to instead stop demonising certain foods, labelling them as “good” or “bad”, and to not criticise yourself if you do splurge and eat something that you wouldn’t necessarily eat on an everyday basis.
Choose to feel good and be happy!
So What Do I Eat?
Simple! Just eat real foods!
Mother Nature has provided us with an amazing abundance of foods, that many of us often forget about as we tend to reach for the "easy" processed foods. Eating a wide variety of real, natural, unrefined and unprocessed whole foods, preferably grown locally and organic if possible, is the key to ultimate health and wellbeing. Foods from the plant kingdom are packed full of every nutrient, vitamin and mineral that we as humans need to fuel our bodies and lead active, fulfilling lives.
It’s also important to know where your food comes from. Did the piece of meat you’re about to eat live a happy life, where it was treated fairly and free to roam around outside? Or was it confined to a cage with many other animals, stressed out, fed foods it shouldn’t be eating, or given antibiotics and hormones to make it grow faster and bigger? Were the ‘fresh’ plant foods you’re about to eat grown locally, in good-quality soil and a clean environment, harvested when ripe and ready, or were they sprayed with pesticides, picked early and placed in cold storage to be transported around the country, or even overseas? Was the processed food you’re about to eat produced by machines in a factory or laboratory with ingredients that barely resemble food, or was it hand-made with love by someone who cares and is passionate about sharing their creation with others? All of these factors have an impact on the quality of food you eat and how it is processed in your body, so it’s great to be aware of these before you make your next purchase.
When you next pick up a packet of processed food, instead of looking at the nutritional information table, take a look at the ingredients list. Ingredients are listed in order of the highest quantities to the lowest quantities. Is the list a mile long? Have you never heard of some of the ingredients before? Are there long, confusing words, abbreviations or numbers? Is sugar or another word for sugar (such as cane juice, maltodextrin, corn syrup, fruit juice, or words ending in 'ose') listed near the top of the list? If 'yes' is the answer to any of these questions, then it would be best to not eat it. The product sounds like it's highly processed and contains chemicals, preservatives, sugar or salt, which are not beneficial to your body or your health and wellbeing.
Next time you’re out food shopping, rather than grabbing a processed item that you normally would, why not buy a new fruit or vegetable to experiment with. There are loads of amazing, delicious recipes available these days, so there’s no excuse to not have fun and get creative in the kitchen! Challenge yourself and enjoy the experience- you never know, you might just find a new favourite!
If you do want to make changes to your lifestyle and the way you eat, it’s important to take it one step at a time. Make small, gentle shifts to move forward, because trying to do everything at once just leads to feeling overwhelmed and giving up. Don’t put stress and pressure on yourself- set yourself up for success by making it easy!
After eating, take the time to notice how you feel shortly afterwards, and even up to a few hours later. Are you feeling bright, energised and satisfied, or possibly lethargic, bloated, moody and still craving something more? Being aware of how different foods affect your emotions and energy levels is a great way to help you decide which foods to choose. Remember to choose foods that make you feel amazing!
While it would be the best thing for our bodies and minds to only be provided with a variety of natural, nourishing whole foods, the truth is we’re all human, and we’re not perfect! Sometimes life gets in the way, and we eat something that we usually wouldn’t. Please remember, that’s OK! Denying yourself, feeling guilty about it or beating yourself up over it only makes things worse, so think of it as a special treat, and just enjoy the experience- because in the end, life is all about fun!
Stay tuned at KOJA for more plant-based, nourishing whole food recipes on the blog, coming your way!
This post was researched and written with love by our Marketing Communications Hero, Heidi Brockmann.
Heidi is a Sydney babe who's recently moved to Melbs, to join the KOJA team! She is very passionate about holistic health and inspiring others to live natural lifestyles. Her interest in the connection between our physical body and our emotional health lead her to study BodyMind Nutrition. She is currently training to become a Life Coach, Holistic Counsellor and Complementary Therapist.
Good article, I enjoyed reading it. I also agree with a lot of what you said about the list of ingredients on packets etc., it is an absolute mine field when trying to decide what to eat or not eat as the case maybe. Just wish I could buy KOJA in the UK.On July 30, 2015
Steph Shadbolt says...
Great article Heidi, really enjoyed it. It’s amazing the difference a bit of awareness around labels and ingredient lists can do to deter you from eating certain foods you hadn’t thought about before! Good tips, Thanks.On July 25, 2015