• Jasmine Blake Hollywood, MS, HHP

To Eat or Not To Eat Healthy?

Updated: Sep 18, 2020

Why is it important to eat healthy?

A common issue in the world is the neglect to eat healthy foods and eat mindfully. The importance of eating healthy should not be because we have to. Eating healthy should be because we realize we need to, to increase our energy, to increase our thought process, to support or development, to support our families, and to prolong our lifespans. Being mindful of our habits and aware of our choices, also helps condition our relationships and take away the illusion of what we think is a successful lifestyle.

Successful lifestyle are merely an illusion of what we think happiness is. This illusion seems real until the day we realize our health is in jeopardy. Was everything we worked so for all for nothing? Once we understand success isn't just about our happiness but also about keeping our body's functioning up to speed, then we can truly say we lived a successful life.

Work and Life Balance

Work and life balance are extremely difficult to scale evenly. The balance between them is also crucial to living a successful, healthy, happy life. You may ask yourself, "Are you the inner critic or the inner pusher?" Meaning, will you suffice to ignoring routine health check-ups and eating poorly then criticize your living situation later, or will you push and try to sustain balance through practicing healthy habits? Practicing healthier habits throughout our lives will lead to a balanced scale naturally. 

Food Choices

The choices we make about the foods we eat, the places we at, and the foods we purchase are what molds our personality of eating. Biases and careless choices only lead us to unfavorable outcomes. We have all had the opportunity when choosing a meal to make the choice of which side items to include and just making a simple change by choosing a green vegetable instead of deep fried french fries, can make all the difference. Positive food choices give us power over our lives and naturally lead us to a successful, healthy, happy life.

Mindful Eating

Being mindful of food selection, can help us in many ways. For example, in being mindful when eating out, we can choose to eat at a whole foods restaurant instead of a fast food restaurant. Or if eating at a fast food restaurant, we can choose a healthier option like a salad instead of a greasy burger with onion rings. If we decided to bring our own lunch, we inevitably are responsible for which foods come inside that box. If someone purchases out lunch, we are in control of accepting the food from them or explaining to that person that they should ask next time, because those are not the foods we eat.

Ask yourself:

  • Am I packing what I think I should pack based on other peoples personal opinions?

  • Am I packing leftovers?

  • Am I packing items that should be nourishing my body?

  • Am eating something just to be nice, because someone was thoughtful enough to purchase it for me?

  • Does the person purchasing my food really know anything about food?

  • Am I eating this because everyone is?

  • Am I eating this because I have no food, or not enough money to purchase my own food?

It’s only fair to ask ourselves why we’re making our choices.

Training and Developing our Youth

Eating healthy helps us train and develop our youth by being able to explain to them what it is they are eating. When it comes to caring for our loved ones, like our children in order to do a good job, we need to set an example. Meaning adults should lead by example. Developing and shaping our lives through healthy habits is the first step to this concept. For example, children see and reenact what we do as adults. Therefore, practicing healthy eating habits all the time is essential because being mindful that others notice our habits is a key step in conditioning the way others see ourselves.

Foods Affect Development

Macronutrients like carbohydrates, proteins, and fats fuel our bodies with energy. However, vitamins and minerals play a big part in how our bodies develop from infancy to adulthood. For example, our children cannot grow accurately or heal if they are deficient in micronutrients and neither can we. Children especially, need to know what they should be eating, however more importantly, why. Just a small change in diet while transitioning into a teenager can change the development of their bodies. Additionally, being able to help our children understand how to make appropriate choices can help our families make choices when we are not around.

Realizing There are Steps

Steps to being mindful of how we decide on our food choices can be difficult. Denial and acceptance is the key to realizing which steps we need to take first. For example, steps to eating at home could go like this.

First we have to take charge of how we see and view food and accept our mistakes.

  1. When opening the refrigerator door, we must really ask ourselves what we have inside.

  2. How much junk food versus real food are we letting our families consume?

  3. Are we not monitoring snack eating and late night eating?

Identifying foods in public grocers, at home, or at restaurants is another way to understand what we are faced with. Steps to identifying foods are to name foods by their real names.

Some examples of undercover junk foods and their real names are:

  • Flavored yogurt is dairy with sugar, fruit, and chemicals.

  • Healthy TV dinners and frozen meals are foods that have multiple food groups but are loaded with salt, sugars, chemicals, preservatives, and additives.

  • Canned goods are foods that have added salt.

  • Pasta is a wheat or other grain (usually).

  • Sauces and condiments are sugar and salt.

  • Juices are sugars.

  • Cereals are grains with sugar, meant to eat with dairy.

We think these options are healthy, and some may have minor benefits to optimize our health or are used to supplement deficits, but they have hidden ingredients in them doing more harm than good. We can teach the people we care about how and why to eat healthy by changing what we keep inside our refrigerators, what we purchase at markets and in restaurants, and put ourselves back in control in our lives.

Responsibility to be Educated in Nutrition

As people, parents, and friends we trust authority figures to be educated in areas that we lack and a practitioners job is to provide resources to help enable people to reach their health goals. Nonetheless, people have a responsibility to reach out to retrieve this information. Being in denial does more damage than good, and not having the courage to ask for information when needed can be the difference between life and a persons demise. People need to accept responsibility and should know when appropriate to ask for help.

The more education people have about their health and how to implement nutritional practices, the better choices they can make about their health in the long run. This will enable them to adopt healthier practices. When practitioners aim to incorporate healthy ideas, (eg: freshly squeezed oranges), it is easier for people to understand why. Overall, to be educated in our health will help us to be mindful and teach us to incorporate healthy games, make better choices at grocery stores, make us feel confident about ensuring safe food practices at home, and to help families ensure proper nourishment of their children.

No references needed. All this information can be found in the public domain.