Before I started watching Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution , I assumed that everybody knew the importance of eating healthy foods. Even if you choose not to, at least you know that increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables in your diet will do nothing but help you be well, and ultimately, enjoy life more. What surprised me most in this show was the lack of interest and even defensiveness displayed by some of the folks about changing their diet. Perhaps too much processed food impacted their ability to be open and kind? It has been known to happen. That's another post though.
Why eating healthy is incredibly important:
Food affects your body.
I know, wild concept here. It provides energy, gas for the car to go. What's really happening is this - when you assimilate the nutrients of food you eat, the cells and systems of your body are nourished. This helps the different parts of your body to do their job effectively and aids your body, overall, to function properly. When this happens, you then have increased energy, which allows you to be the best you in the world (or at least sets the stage so you have the option to choose that route).
If you eat crap that is devoid of nutrients, nutrients your body truly needs, a few things happen -
1) You mess with your body's chemistry. Hormones go wacky. Your health becomes unstable mentally, emotionally, and physically. I often wonder how many people on prescription medications for anxiety, depression, and a whole host of other imbalances really just need a diet change.
2) You mess with your ability to hear your intuition clearly. We are all equipped with this sixth sense. Our inner knowing is the only compass we need to make the best choice for us in any moment, in any circumstance. If you gunk up the channel with crap food, you might as well invite fear, mental chaos, and emotional roller coasters to run your life. Knock it off, the world needs you.
3) You become the opposite kind of role model you really want to be. Whether you realize it or not. You are a role model to all those around you. They are picking up on your behavior, reacting to it, and even embodying the same vibe you're putting out there. You may think that your choice of food isn't affecting how you act, but think again. Try one week of eating healthy, whole, organic, seasonal food. Cut out the simple carbs and sugar. Add in some good fat and fermentation. You'll be amazed at the difference.
4) You set the stage and create the highly likely outcome of illness. Most of the prevalent diseases in our culture are and diet related. Obesity. Cancer. Heart disease. Consistent practice of eating crap can cut your life short and make the journey a heck of a lot less enjoyable. I don't know about you, but I want to go out on a high, healthy note after having had a fulfilling life.
There are lots and lots more reasons why eating healthy is incredibly important. It allows you to vote with your fork, becoming a conscious consumer and active participant in shaping many industries (health system, health insurance, food industry, local economy, and more). It has a positive impact on the environment when you eat locally, with less packaging. It supports farmers, the people that grow the real food.
And this point is so important, I have to make it twice. When you eat healthy, there is less need for prescription meds because you are no longer creating illness that "requires" meds to mediate. Not only will that make your quality of life better, it also gets the toxicity of those meds out of our waterways and landfills. Toxic = bad. Bad for you. Bad for the planet.
It's a profit based industry. Less need/demand for these 5 pages of side effects meds ("Are you depressed? If so, take this med. Be warned, it may make you more depressed and want to kill yourself.") means that you are literally running this industry out of business. Let me be clear, mainstream medicine including prescription drugs may be the right route for you, only you can make that decision. What I'm knocking is the excessive use of toxic drugs when a simple change in diet will work wonders.
Education is absolutely essential in changing habits of any nature. Inspiration has its place too. I hope this post has done both. The question that I sit with, for those that are struggling with or don't care about making a shift to a healthier way of eating is - What's up with that? Really, why is it that you choose food that harms you instead of supports you? And how can we, as individuals, as a community, as a culture get our personal and collective self-worth higher up on the love scale so we make choices that reflect how much we value life and ourselves?
I'm ready to treat myself and you with the love and respect we all deserve, and I'm starting via my food choices. How about you?