Monday, March 15, 2010
What do you eat, Sarah?
As a Holistic Health Counselor, I'm asked this question a lot. Answering it feels kind of silly sometimes, because my food intake consists of so many different things. And just like everyone else, I have days where I like to joke that I "didn't eat like a health counselor". This, ladies and gents, is because having an obsession with perfection in what you eat is not healthy. Our lives are meant to be lived, and we are meant to enjoy food. The healthiest decision I ever made was to find pleasure in eating, meaning I learned and explored hundreds of healthy new foods and recipes and found it to be an adventure in eating...and I found foods that I could eat all day, and it really wouldn't be a bad thing if I did. Those healthy foods not only gave me a greater variety of things to eat, but actually made me start to feel better. Moods are better, sleep is better, energy better...and I lost 25 lbs while winning the war against my chronic acne. My eyes brightened, nails grew stronger..etc, etc. My adventure in eating lead to a pot of gold (ie feeling and looking pretty awesome).
For clarification as to what I eat, I live by this smart and easy quote of Michael Pollan's "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." For further clarification on that, I stay away from animal foods most of the time, try to ensure I eat dark, leafy greens every day, and eat an abundance of vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, seeds, and sprouts. The thing is, there are so many types of plants that the world of recipes involving vegetarian food is limitless. Do I have steak now and then? Yes, I do. Normally it's if I'm at a friend or family function, and if I know that the cow had a happy life (you can know that mainly by looking for "grass-fed" on the label); meaning it was raised eating grass, in the sunshine, on the pasture with a farmer that sincerely cared for the animal's well being. I still am not a fan of eating meat, but every now and then I will eat it, if it is what is offered to me (graciousness is a virtue, for goodness sake). The main factor of importance is the quality of the meat. The body and chemical composition of an animal raised as nature and God intended it is completely different from that of an animal who was stuffed in a crowded, filthy, metal box of a warehouse that never saw sunshine. Think about it.
Abstaining from dairy products has brought an abundance of health to my life, but that's for next post ;)
For now, with Spring officially here, one of the greatest gifts we can give to our bodies is to start enjoying many, many leafy greens and fresh spring vegetables. Our bodies naturally desire lighter fare to get ready for the warmer weather, and to keep those spring allergies at bay. A great green to get on your next store run is kale. Kale is packed with calcium, folic acid, vitamins A & K, and potassium (to name a few perks). You can massage it with lemon juice and a pinch of sea salt for a healthy salad base, water sautee a little and throw on some pine nuts and olive oil, or throw it in a smoothie for easy, breezy assimilation of the vitamins.
Greater health begins with small steps and an open mind. When will your adventure start? Try something new today, your body will thank you. You've got what it takes, so take care.