A Guide for Conscious Living since 2009
FEATURE - August 2016 - Santa Fe
Upgrade Your Way to Delicious Health
By Nicole White
Does your mind ping-pong between eating healthy and eating junk or comfort food? You are not alone! What if you could stop looking for the next diet and begin to honor and understand your food habits and cravings – by simply Upgrading the foods you love!
When dieting, how many times have you fallen off the wagon? Do you feel even worse because you give into your craving and reach for your old comfort foods? By Upgrading the foods you crave with healthier versions you can create a ‘win-win’ with your cravings and the foods you eat.
Why Upgrade to Organic, Non-GMO and locally grown foods? Processed foods desensitize you from being able to enjoy the taste of real foods. As a result, you may have to re-train your taste buds to recognize and enjoy the taste of real food again. It’s extremely important that you enjoy your food in order to want to keep eating it. This is why you can’t stick to that diet: you miss your old comfort foods.
Think about the last time you ate a high-quality meal made with fresh ingredients. Maybe you remember being greeted with the sumptuous smell of wholesome comfort food. Did you rave to your family and friends about how delicious the food tasted? Did you remember the fresh ingredients and rich, beautiful colors and textures of the food? Nothing tastes better than a made-from-scratch meal prepared with nourishing ingredients.
Before processed foods became popular, people ate clean and healing food. There was a time when produce was not sprayed with pesticides or herbicides. Master gardeners knew how to plant various crops in order to naturally ward off pests. Livestock were not constrained to an indoor factory or in a cage they could not move in, nor pumped full of hormones or antibiotics. Because food has been so altered from its original state, your taste buds are confused from the toxic overload of chemicals and flavor enhancers. As a result, most people don’t remember how amazing real foods taste anymore. We expect food to be cheap, quick and to taste exactly the same every time we purchase it.
The toxicity of chemically processed foods may create undesirable symptoms in your body. Unnatural food-like substances (a.k.a. frankenfoods) can aggravate and contribute to a range of common illnesses and diseases, such as: Fatigue, Anxiety, Depression, Acid Reflux, Hormonal Issues, Brain-Fog, Headaches, Gut Issues, Inflammation, Joint Pain, Insomnia, Diabetes, Cancer, etc…
How to remedy this? There is not just one way to eat for everybody, as we each have a deeply personal and emotional connection with the foods we love and crave. I don’t endorse diets, counting calories or avoiding fats or carbs. By restricting certain foods, you may think you are being “good” but that only lasts until you have an insatiable craving and desperately want that ‘forbidden food’ again. Instead of eating just one special treat, you may find yourself gorging on it like you have been starved for days. Why did this happen again? It often happens because you felt deprived, or your blood sugar dropped too low.
Upgrading to nourishing food leads you to make healing changes that become a way of life and not just another fad diet. Truly nourishing foods are absolutely delicious and contribute to great health!
You can have a nourishing relationship with food, and create a ‘win-win’ with it. Most of all, it’s important to understand the ingredients in your food. Begin by reading all of the ingredients on the label. The ingredients will tell you if that food is healthy or harmful! Reading ingredients will also teach you to understand the difference between “real” food (fresh, natural and nourishing) versus “fake” (chemically-processed, mood-altering, inflammation and disease promoting) food-like substances. Read each and every ingredient on packaged food and drinks. If you don’t understand an ingredient, look it up! You may be surprised at what you find.
The wonderful part about your journey to healthier eating is that you are not alone. There are so many food makers out there who want to bring you clean foods. Yes, it may cost a little more now, but in the future it will save you a ton of money as well as your health!
You have a choice; you can either pay the farmer today or the hospital bills later.
It’s much more expensive to be sick, go to the doctor and not have the quality of life you deserve, than it is to become a smart shopper at the market. Look for your favorite organics that are on sale and stock up. More chain markets are expanding their organic sections, and this is a good thing!
Although it may seem like an unusual thing to say, I feel grateful for my past illnesses. If I had not gone through a variety of health problems, I would not have made significant changes to a healthier and more nurturing way of life. I’m glad that I found ways to heal myself naturally, and you can too! Chronic illness and food addiction may be in your life for a reason, listen to what your symptoms are trying to tell you instead of masking them with medications.
Every little change, shift and new ritual around food is a success! The best way to dive in is to begin with breakfast. If you are a cereal person, then get an organic cereal and organic grass-fed milk. If you drink non-dairy milks, make sure to Upgrade to organic with minimal ingredients. If you love bacon and eggs, buy organic bacon and pasture raised eggs. Whatever your breakfast of choice is, simply upgrade the items to Organic and Non-GMO. If you drink coffee, Upgrade to Organic.
You can do this!
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Nicole White, CHHC, AADP, E-RYT
Author: Upgradeology – Upgrade Your Food, Upgrade Your Life
Certified Holistic Health & Lifestyle Counselor
American Association of Drugless Practitioners
Educator and Registered Yoga & Meditation Instructor