Have you ever thought about your relationship with food? Most probably this is something you have never thought of. So here are some questions that you can ask yourself to help you identify your relationship with food.
Why do you eat? Do you eat because you feel hungry? Or just because you are bored or may be because you have a compulsion to eat anything right now. How do you feel when you eat? Are you grateful, taking the time to enjoy the taste and smell of food as well as its texture? Or are you eating on the run or in a hurry or while working on your computer or watching T.V.? Then the most important question is how do you feel after you eat? This can be immediately or within a few hours of eating.
Write down the answers of these questions right now and be honest with yourself about any issue that you have to change in your relationship to food.
For me, I have thought of food for a long time as a source of energy and nutrients as vitamins, minerals and proteins to help me work and build our muscle as well as avoid nutrient deficiencies.
Having a doctor’s mindset, I thought that if my diet was not good enough, I can just supplement with the missing nutrients and all shall be well. I must confess that I leaned on natural supplements and herbs, and I didn’t realize the power of food and how it affected my energy level and mood.
Most importantly, I guess I wasn’t treating my body with enough respect by responding to its needs and giving it the best quality food to function at its best. Many days I would miss breakfast and just have a cup of coffee or tea with a cracker and I would call this my breakfast. I didn’t also have the time to enjoy my food. And for sure I have never thought about how I felt after eating my food. No wonder why I had so low energy levels, was always feeling low and was having all sorts of symptoms. Today, as a holistic nutritionist, I have a totally different mindset about food. And I found that this has made the profound shift for my health.
You see, the food you eat is more than just something to keep you going, it has its own energy and also the quality of the food is much more important than the quantity. So you can eat a lot of food and still feel unsatisfied and unhappy and you can eat nutrient rich food which makes you satisfied and happy. Here is an experiment I want you to try. For the next 3 days try three different breakfasts, and for each one note how you feel throughout the day.
There is nothing more important than starting the day right. So in the first day eat a bagel with butter and a cup of coffee, for the second day eat a cheese sandwich and for the third eat eggs and salad. I bet you will feel a difference in your energy with each of these breakfasts. Note any energy highs and lulls and also any cravings.
Also when you felt hungry and your concentration level. These are all signs your body is giving you of how it responded to the food you ate. Your body is amazing. We just have to be sensitive and listen to any signs it sent you and then act accordingly. It is really that simple.
Listening to your body is a great tool that can help you know which foods are good for you and which foods are not. However very few people will even notice the relation between their food and their mood. Food is a very powerful tool that you can use to change your mood. For example some foods like walnuts, bananas and chicken will make you feel happy. These foods have the amino acid tryptophan which is converted into the happy hormone serotonin in the body.
Sugary foods and white foods will give you a false surge of energy and then leave you with an energy lull within a few hours and then you are asking for more sugar or coffee to get your energy back. These foods also tend to be addictive and they create a dependency that needs some time away from the food to get it out of your system. You might be surprised to hear this but it’s a scientifically proven fact that sugar is more addictive than cocaine.
In my holistic nutrition practice, I find that many of my clients think that without the morning coffee or the sweet treat they won’t be able to function. This is absolutely far from the truth. All my holistic nutrition clients who have stopped the caffeine, reported increased energy levels and better concentration as well as a more positive mood. For some it’s a true addiction or dependence and for others it’s just a habit. In both cases I suggest you give it a try and cut out caffeine for a week. If for no other reason than to break the dependency, this is enough in my opinion. Then you will definitely find more reasons to cut it out.
I don’t object to having a nice organic cup of coffee every now and then if you want to enjoy the aroma and taste though. There are also natural coffee substitutes that are 100% caffeine free and they will give you the same flavor. Besides being a stressor for your body and whipping your adrenals to release stress hormones to keep you moving and active, caffeine can also be hard on your stomach, liver and your kidneys so watch out if you have any digestive, liver or renal problems or suffer from sleep problems or chronic stress.
Your body is your best doctor and the only way to keep it healthy is by treating it as royalty, respecting it and listening to its needs. Give it the best fuel you can and protect it from harmful toxins in processed foods such as additives, artificial flavors, colors and preservatives. Also make sure to take the time to provide your body with high energy, alive and good quality foods. Remember most cooked and canned food is dead so you need some fresh and raw foods in your diet to keep you in the best condition.
Always remember that if you take care of your body it will take care of you.Start by making a good relationship with good foods and abandon bad foods and non-foods. Only then will you feel at your best and have all the energy and clarity of mind you need to function at your best and make an impact in your life and others’.
Try the 3 day experiment I suggested and feel free to share your experience with me. Looking forward to hearing from you!
If you need help with your health and nutrition, CALL us at 416 876 4634 to book an appointment OR Sign up for a FREE Clarity Session with holistic Oakville nutritionist, Dr Maha Nasr to discuss your health concerns and learn more about how we can help