Habit: Eating Whole Foods
If you have been my friend on social media for the last 8 years, then you know I have been very vocal about food choices and ingredients. It’s for a simple reason. When I cut out processed foods and just eat whole foods, I feel so much better. And newsflash, this happens to everyone.
After eight years of this lifestyle, I have discovered what does and doesn’t work for me. Here’s what has failed miserably for me: food shaming.
Oh, I’ve done LOTS of it over the years. Food shaming is where you place heavy judgement on a particular food and then feel guilt or shame if you consume it.
What I have found works best for me is to follow the joy. I feel so much better when I eat whole foods. I define that as things the earth grows: fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, oats, rice, meats (though I only buy certain quality), etc.
When it comes to processed foods, I ask myself “how will this make me feel?” Sometimes it’s empty calories I’m eating out of boredom or stress. It will offer me no nutritional value and increase my likelihood of feeling lethargic. Other times, it will bring me joy.
I work hard at saying no when the craving is out of boredom or emotional eating. And I work hard at not shaming myself when saying yes is out of pleasure.
Tiramisu at the end of a date night brings me joy. A martini and great conversation with a friend is such a pleasure for me in life. Enjoying ice cream with my daughter makes me smile.
I’ve tried living in a world of extremes where I cut out the foods that aren’t healthy and it ends up not going well for me. I end up treating food like a light switch where I turn on healthy habits to lose some weight, burn out my ability to deprive myself of pleasure, and then indulge a few weeks later and put it all back on in five days.
I had to find something more sustainable for me, and this habit works very well. I choose whole foods every chance I get. I intentionally seek out opportunities to add more vegetables to my plates and snacks. I pass on unhealthy choices when eating them is just because. And I gladly say yes when eating the treats will bring joy to an experience. This has become a sustainable lifestyle for me.