Most people’s relationship with food is usually in sync with their weight loss and health goals. Therefore, the common terms we hear are protein, carbohydrates and fat. However, when we say, ‘we are what we eat’, it is more than just this – it involves our moods, too. Yes, we can change our mood to what we want it to be using different kinds of foods.
There is a lot spoken about intermittent fasting these days and in fact it is a trending subject. The truth is that it is one of the oldest fasting practices but because it gave benefits of weight loss and inches loss, it got really popular! Ancient hunter-gatherers didn’t have cafes or restaurants in abundance like we have today. They were used to long periods of fasting. When you see it like that, our body is already geared for fasting from our ancestors. It is only our environment and commercial marketing of fast food and packaged food that changed our habits.
We often focus on knowing all about food that impacts our weight, but we forget that our growth and fitness is also determined by how alert our mind is! Think about it, how will we do several things that we have planned for the day if we do not focus on the sharpness of our mind – even making sure we achieve our daily fitness goals.
There is a thin line between ‘foodie’ and ‘binge eating’ and we can often miss the signs when we have slipped into binge eating mode. If you listen to your body, it is constantly giving you signs about your health. Binge eating is your body indicating an unhealthy lifestyle.
We see social media posts and professionals saying this all the time – ‘eat organic’. However we do not always act on it and at times we don’t delve deeper into how it can really impact us. Toxins in our system include environmental toxins as well. They can affect our metabolism, mitochondrial health that can lead to long term damages. Here are some key reasons we must start looking into organic produce.
When potential clients call me, they usually start with – ‘I am pretty healthy, I eat all home food and don’t have much desserts, so I don’t know why I feel bloated and have water retention’. This is just one example of many such statements. There is a fundamental mindset issue here of what well-being means.
Sometimes, we take a whole circle to come back to simple home food to maintain weight, feel satiated and have a sustainable healthy lifestyle.
I am a huge fan of creating small but powerful habit changes that can impact overall health. Honestly, if we look back in any area where we have come a long way, we will see it was something small we changed. For instance, if I was more organized with my time, it was because of the checklist I made previous night. If I was concentrating better on writing my article, it is because I disconnected my social media for that time period.
‘I eat only whole wheat bread’, said one client as part of her health plan. ‘I eat healthy digestive biscuits as a snack’, said confidently another client. I am going to start this article with some facts that I share with my clients and in my workshops and corporate talks. A small packet of digestive biscuits of 250gms has 13 teaspoons of sugar. A slice of bread (whole-wheat or gluten free) has half teaspoon of sugar. A cup of flavoured yogurt of 100gms has 3 teaspoons of sugar. Mixed fruit juice of 200 ml has 4 teaspoons of sugar. One box of muesli of 400gms has 9 teaspoons of sugar. Isn’t this an eye opener? Some of this we eat regularly and do not even know that we are consuming so much added sugar right? It tricks the brain to want more food because of the blood sugar spiking and dropping and then we land up having many more cravings.
While I am sure my parents did the best they could to teach me to be healthy, I do feel I would have saved myself a lot of trouble as an adult had I engaged a lot more with mindful eating habits as a priority when I was a child. Of course, times were different, as we did not know of many options and ways that are accessible today.
If there is one universal religion that we all need to follow – it is good lifestyle. It will give us nourishment, presence and joy. I have many clients who tell me, “Oh I lost loads of weight and then I went back to original habits.” This usually happens when we can’t separate our well-being from ourselves. The fact that we have consistent weight problems or we see healthy habits as separate from our being is proof that we don’t see wellness as an integral part of ourselves.
Cholesterol has gotten a bad name and many people do not understand what is good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. My attempt with this piece is to give a little education on understanding cholesterol and reducing bad cholesterol.