This is a follow-up post of sorts. If you want to catch up, read my previous post on "eating what makes you feel good" here.
SO, now that you are on board with the idea of eating what makes you FEEL good, what does that really mean?
How the heck to you do it??? Couple points to ponder:
-Eating what makes your body feel good DOESN'T always mean it's what you like the most, or what tastes the best... But it doesn't not mean that either. If that sounds like double talk, it is. There is no black and white. It is chock full of shades of grey. Get used to it.
-You WILL go through a period of time where you are not sure what feels good and what is simply habit or indulgence. You will get frustrated that you don't get clear signals confirming or denying a particular food. This is normal. Just enjoy eating. Once you open your mind to this idea it is hard NOT to think about it after a while.
Keeping a simple food journal can really help.
Click here for a free printable version.
- Most importantly, there is a world of food scientists, marketing agencies, and BILLIONS of dollars trying to override the
very quiet voice inside of your body and mind. It's the processed food industry. They want your money, your loyalty, and your taste buds. They will literally do anything it takes to get it. Really.
THE DECK IS STACKED AGAINST YOU.
|You aren't crazy, it's really hard.|
There is a reason we like junk food, processed foods, baked goods, chips, french fries, fast food, candy, and bottled sodas and juices. They are made to crave. That's why we buy them. Most intelligent, well-meaning adults and parents would NOT buy these items if they used their rational and unbiased brains. Of COURSE they aren't nourishing and wholesome. Of COURSE they are full of chemicals and added sugars and weird psuedo-fats. So why do we do it (and I include myself here!).
Because processed foods taste so damn good.
And let's get clear on the types of foods I am referring to here. This is not just about Cheetos* and M&M's**, although they are arguably two of the most notorious and popular junk items on the market, it's actually more about the seemingly innocent and "healthy" options you have in your cabinets right now.
The biggest "offenders" in my opinion are as follows: breakfast cereals, yogurts, crackers, fruit snacks, sports drinks, and granola bars. These are the items masquerading as healthy, and lulling consumers into blissful ignorance of the amount of sugar (and not much else) that they contain.
(A quick word on sugar. I am planning on doing more posts dedicated entirely to this topic, but as a quick reminder: A bit of sugar is not bad. We are biologically designed to love it and seek it out. It's the added, hidden, sugars that us health folks are referring to as "the problem".)
ADDED sugars are the problem in addition to the amount of money that goes
into distracting you from it. You are smarter than they are!!
What does this mean for you, right now? It just means be aware. Yes, whole, real foods that are prepared at home will always win the "health contest". But that is not reality. I get it. Just be aware of what is being sold to you. Read labels. Trust your gut. Try new things! I teach elementary school kids nutrition lessons and we talk a lot about being "food detectives". Adults, catch up. Just become aware of the game that is being played by the food industry and grocery stores.
As you are trying to "eat what makes you feel good" tune into the ways that packaged foods affect your mood, energy, and cravings. Talk about it with your family and friends. Think twice before buying what you always do. Become your own science and marketing experiment.
* For an in-depth article detailing the incredible work that has gone into designing the
PERFECT Cheetos, read here.
**M&M's sales: 406 million in 2015. That's just M&M's..
I just watched a documentary on Netflix, Sugar Coated, and it aligned so well with this post, I had to share. Check it out and please leave your thoughts in the comments below.
(Note: I watch a lot of documentaries about food, health, and wellness. Yes, some have agendas, but doesn't mean they aren't still eye-opening and full of good insights. Take everything you read and watch with a grain of salt... even this!)