An old saying states, “you are what you eat.” As a child I remember scoffing at this phrase because I ate carrots all the time and, up till then, I hadn’t morphed into a carrot. However, in all seriousness, the saying contains a ton of truth. Sometimes we don’t think about all the consequences of the food we eat. We think in terms of gaining or losing weight and when we are feeling weak we think, “Oh it’s ok, that dessert will only cost me a couple hundred calories. I can afford it.” Too easily we forget that eating goes beyond weight gain and counting calories. The decision to eat or not to eat should take into consideration that this food is fueling our bodies and our lives.
If we fuel our bodies with sugar, carbohydrates and calories we can expect sugar crashes, short spurts of energy, and weight gain. If we eat processed food filled with MSG and preservatives, we can expect an increase in cravings for those types of food. If we choose food based purely on the pleasure we get from eating it, and the fact that it fills up our stomach, we are missing out on opportunities to give our bodies sorely needed nutrients. Eating this way forms the wrong habits and we are one day going to wake up and find that our eating has negatively affected the way that we live.
The good news is that it works both ways! When we eat organic food like fresh fruit and vegetables from the local farmer’s market, and when we eat a well-balanced diet filled with protein, vitamins, and nutrients, these will positively affect our bodies and therefore our lives. When we eat this way we find ourselves with more energy and a sunnier disposition while building good habits. Intentionally choosing good food forms the healthy personal habit of planning ahead to prioritize your health and more broadly, your overall self-care. When we eat well, we take the first step towards taking care of ourselves physically. Often it prompts us to take other steps towards taking care of ourselves. For example, if we eat well at meals we are more likely to exercise. There are so many ways we all want to improve ourselves, but eating right is a great first step! If you want to be the best version of yourself, fuel your body with the best food possible!
By Colleen McCrum