When I think ahead to the distant future me, one of the things I know for sure is that I don’t want my day to day to include massive medication management. This really has been the path presented to us and accepted by us as a society for as long as I have been around to witness it. We eat whatever and work forever neglecting even our most basic needs until we are so run down and depleted that a major physical or mental health problem presents itself. That health problem is your body screaming at you to wake up, and take care of you, because that is your job, and your job alone. So now, that your body’s motor is sputtering instead of purring, you are bestowed this medicine to help the problem, but that presents another problem with a new medication, and the cycle begins.
I grew up on a standard American diet. I believe most people of my generation did. Our parents had access to more convenient ways to deliver meals than their parents, and no one realized that eating prepared foods could present any sort of problem.
It sort of reminds me of how once upon a time, you were the bees knees when you lit up a cig. Every glamorous movie star for sure had a cigarette, but then the news came – uh oh, this is terrible for you. Did everyone throw those things down immediately, and begin a cleansing protocol? NOOOOOOO!!! Why not, well, first of all cigarettes are terribly addictive; there was a social aspect involved in smoking; and it was a habit for people.
I see the same reasons for the resistance in giving up foods that we now know are terrible for us. Firstly, they’re terribly addictive. Processed sugar and it’s aliases such as high fructose corn syrup are 80% more addictive than cocaine. You didn’t even know you were riding the white horse. Next there’s the social aspect. You may not notice this until you start shifting your lifestyle and eating habits, but it is far more difficult to be a healthy eater at a social event than it is to be on a standard American diet. Lastly, it’s a habit. When you’re hungry you automatically reach for the bag of chips, or when you’re feeling down you want some comfort food.
However, I’m not the only one out there that doesn’t want a future of tracking pills to ward off death. There is a wave of people that are discovering that they can not only prevent or heal their bodies from some of the damage of neglect, but they can also feel vibrant and amazing.
So if you’re into the whole vibrant and amazing thing (and who isn’t?), how do you stare down those big 3 obstacles?
- Break the addiction.
Replace processed white sugar with natural sweeteners such as fruit, honey, syrup, and molasses. It will take some time for your taste buds to adjust to the subtler sweetness of natural sweeteners, but once it does, you won’t know how you were able to tolerate the white stuff at all.
You may also want to cut back on your overall sugar intake as well. This can be difficult even with natural sweeteners, but not as daunting as cutting back from processed sugar. This is definitely one of those easier said than done chores, but worth the work once it’s done. In supporting this goal, add in more sweetness in other forms to your daily meals, such as carmelized onions, carrots, parsnips, and sweet potatoes. Sweet vegetables will help create balance so you won’t crave more sweets. You can also try herbs to balance the blood sugar, which also reduces cravings. Sugar Buster Tea is an herbal blend that does just that magnificently.
- Appeal to your social sense
Back to the cigarette thing for a moment – have you ever known a former smoker that can’t even stand to be around smoke anymore, and then drives every smoker they know absolutely crazy? The good news with food changes is you don’t have to be submersed in someone else’s food, so it’s a lot easier to not be “that guy”. You will find yourself running out of event invitations if you’re constantly “educating” others on how horrible their food is. Trust the health coach when she tells you, people don’t want to be educated unless they directly ask you about it.
If you’re going to be at an event where you don’t think you’ll be able to order better food options, then plan to bring your own food. If it’s a once in awhile event, then go for the best option you can. Striving for 100% perfection in your health choices can be unrealistic and stressful. If you are good 80% of the time, you are doing fantastic, and less likely to feel deprived and give up all together.
- Changing habits
Habits can be tough to break, but perhaps they can be tweaked. Instead of reaching for a bag of hygrogenated oil fried potato chips, try making some kale chips. I’m telling you they really are delicious. If you’re craving comfort food, make some, but try tweaking some of the ingredients such as replacing white potatoes with sweet potatoes or replace processed white bread with sprouted grain bread. Remember your taste buds will tweak over time too. Most people around the world actually think the taste of white bread is blah rather than the other way around.
As you adopt healthier choices, use the motto some is better than none vs. all or nothing. Small shift will keep you moving towards your goal. You don’t go to the gym, and try to lift 300 lbs on your first day (I hope).
I am cheering you on, and look forward to seeing you on the dance floor when we’re in our 80’s.