Fuel August

How much do you really know about what you eat?  Sure, it’s a simple act of placing food in your mouth, chewing & swallowing...but is that all it is?

Eating is much more than just an act of survival.  We like to eat certain foods when we’re happy.  We find we need certain foods when we’re feeling sad (pint of Haggen Daas, anyone?)  When we’re celebrating we center it around a feast, close business deals over a dinner, “do” lunch with friends, or maybe even unwind at the end of the week over take out pizza (at least I do, anyway).  

But have you ever stopped to think about why you eat the way you do?  What are your food preferences?  Do they change day to day, or stay pretty much the same year to year?  Do you still eat what you did as a child?  Do you find yourself reaching for fast or convenient food to fill you up more often than not?

Some of us might be in the midst of the mom/dad-taxi phase of life, where getting a nice sit-down meal at home is next to impossible (I experienced this for the first time this past spring - and it wasn’t easy).  Others might be mired in old-die hard habits that we don’t even bother thinking of anything different.  Or we might even be so used to all the additives most packaged and fast foods have now, that anything considered even a bit more healthy automatically tastes bland and boring.

Food, what we eat and when, is not just a simple act.  If it were, we’d not have nearly as much heart disease, diabetes, heart attacks, strokes or even cancer!  Research suggests the way we eat (the “typical American diet”) directly correlates to these chronic conditions and even more, yet for most, changing our diet is unthinkable.  For example, when my oldest was diagnosed with a dairy allergy, almost everyone had the same reaction - how is she ever going to live without ice cream or pizza?  Well...why is that?  Is ice cream and pizza so incredibly important that she’ll live a sub-par life without?  Seems pretty ridiculous.

Stop for a minute.  Really think about what you are eating and why.  Is it really that difficult to make a small change here or there?  Add in just one more serving of a fruit or vegetable?  Cut back just a bit on the butter or cream?  Your life may just depend on it.  Even the smallest changes over time can make a big difference.  Who knows...you
might even find you like how you feel a lot more when you eat better.