Do you know what healthy eating actually means?
Healthy eating is when you eat a variety of nutrient dense foods that fuel your body with everything it needs to run optimally. When you feed your body the right amount of nutrients you feel alert, energised, motivated and productive. You are able to function all day long and fight off any infections or the start of diseases that may come your way.
Foods that are nutrient dense assist with carrying out every day bodily processes such as digestion, temperature regulation, hormone regulation, delivery of oxygen around your body and creation of white blood cells to fight infection.
When your healthy eating habits become unhealthy and your body starts lacking in nutrients you will find your energy levels drop, you may feel depressed, be susceptible to infection and sickness, lack in motivation and productivity. Living your life in this space can be quite debilitating.
Foods that are nutrient rich and give you energy are foods which are alive (or contain dormant enzymes that when soaked come alive), such as:
- Fresh Vegetables
- Fresh Fruit
- Whole grains
Healthy food actually has more substance and is more satisfying as they contain the desired nutrients your body needs to keep you at your peak in health. Healthy eating is best achieved by eating a balanced diet with predominately 80% nutrient dense foods which will provide you with the right amount of nutrients to ensure your body is running optimally.
Foods that lack in nutrition and make you feel lethargic are classified as dead foods, such as:
- Packet foods
- Tinned, boxed and canned meat/fruit/veg
- White bread/pasta
- Drive through take-away meals
- Cow’s milk, cheese, yoghurt and cream
- Large portions of meat every day
- Coffee and black tea
- Soft drinks
When your diet compromises mostly dead foods you may find your not satisfied after meals, this is because your body hasn’t received the desired nutrient intake it requires to make sure your body processes stay running.
Intense cravings is quite common on a high dead food diet, this is your body telling you its experiencing deprivation as its being deprived of key nutrients (not the cake or pizza shapes that your craving) and without those nutrients it will only be able to maintain the minimal body processes which doesn’t include keeping you energised, motivated or alert.
High dead food diets generally include a lot of sugar and carbohydrates which are converted to glucose in the body. As your body only needs a certain amount of glucose the excess is stored in adipose tissue (fat cells). The body sees this as great way to store for a later day, but this day generally gets delayed until the body has too much fat stored and the burden of this can lead to diabetes, heart problems, muscle & bone problems plus all the other symptoms of a high dead food diet.
Did you know that your taste buds adapt themselves to unhealthy foods? And that they can readapt to healthy foods? If you gave a healthy person a high salt & high fat bucket of chips they would find it overbearing, as much as an unhealthy food consumer may find vegetables bland and tasteless. The more you eat nutrient dense foods the more your taste buds change and the sweetness of a piece of fruit will become more appealing to you than a piece of milk chocolate.
It takes time to break bad eating habits, this doesn’t happen overnight but the effects are felt in the short term and these motivate you to keep going (ie. from feeling lethargic to energised). Many fall off the wagon several times before being able to maintain long term healthy eating habits – its normal so don’t worry if this happens to you. The thing to focus on is when you fall off – get back on (focus on the reason why you want to eat healthy) and keep getting back on until your happy with the results your experiencing.