We know that our food choices have a significant impact on our health outcomes, yet many of us avoid even thinking about them. I used to be a MASTER avoider. I had excuse upon excuse ready to use if ever confronted about my food choices… some of them included:

“I would love to eat better, I just don’t have the time.”
“The nutrition advice is complicated and all over the place. No one really knows whether some foods are good or bad for you- so… I eat what I want.”
“Sure this is not the best, but I am stressed and stress is bad, too. If I eat this thing, I will feel less stressed. In terms of my health- it all evens out.”

Excuses and Lies

The truth of the matter is, excuses are lies we tell ourselves to feel better about our choices, and that can become a dangerous habit.

Excuse: I am a busy person.
Fact: There is nothing that I busy myself with that is more important than my health.

Excuse: Nutrition advice that is out there can be contradictory and it’s hard to know what is right.
Fact: While there are no universal solutions when it comes to nutrition, there are several basic principles/rules that will get us eating in the right direction.

Excuse: Excess stress can be harmful on the body.
Fact: Stress is only harmful when the body is not able to function properly. We were made to experience AND recover from stress. Our bodies do not require outside agents to modulate or control stress. When the body is in a state of true health (functioning at its full potential), it is able to produce adrenaline and cortisol when needed and to recover (cease that production), returning to a calm, parasympathetic state.

The Three Simple Steps

There can be “stuff” that gets in the way of us making healthy choices when it comes to proper nutrition if you let it, but I believe everyone can begin making strides toward a healthier life by following these three simple steps.

1. Get Curious

Just because someone told you it is healthy doesn’t mean it is right for your body.

It took me a really long time to figure out that my body is intolerant to eggs. Eggs are advertised as so good for you! They have a bunch of essential nutrients, they are a good source of protein and pretty easy to find responsibly sourced. When I first started trying to “eat better” I began eating eggs every morning. I could not understand why I felt so crummy. I got frustrated and eventually I gave up. I was back to eating processed, chemical and sugar filled foods within a few weeks. Had I tested for foods that I was intolerant to, I might not have given up on healthy eating. Here are some ways you can get curious about what works best for you and avoid giving up.

  • Before you eat, ask: Is this food creating health or is it creating disease in my body?
  • While you eat, ask: Am I becoming satiated or do I always want more when I eat this food?
  • After you eat, pay attention: Do you have more energy or does your body feel bloated or sluggish? Do you experience hot or cold flashes as your body is digesting the food? If so, it might be worth it to ask an expert and test, not guess, on why your body isn’t functioning at optimal levels to break this food down into energy for your body.

2. Mindset Shift

Nutrition is not about going on “a diet”. It’s a lifestyle change.
I hate to break it to you, but there is no shortcut to True Health. Don’t fall for trending or too good to be true diet plans that are constantly being marketed. There are a few major assumptions that make us easy targets for “wellness gimmicks”. We need to intentionally shift our mindset in order to make real, lasting changes in your life. If any of these assumptions resonate with you, I invite you to consider the mindset shift suggested below:

Underlying Assumption: Making healthy choices for my body means I need to deprive myself and sacrifice things I love.
Mindset Shift: Foods that fuel my body and build health are a treat. Foods that rot my insides are the true deprivation/sacrifice.

Underlying Assumption: If I can just get through this 30 day challenge [and lose some weight], I can go back to my old habits!
Mindset Shift: This challenge is just the beginning. I will focus on making big changes in these 30 days with the goal of learning how to live a healthier life from now by implementing these lessons I’ve learned.

Underlying Assumption: If I am going to eat healthy, I have to meticulously track what I eat and follow a very restrictive or complicated meal plan.
Mindset Shift: Keep it simple. Begin by making small changes by substituting a few ingredients at a time. For example: instead of using processed condiments (ketchup, mayo, bbq sauce) try using a slice of tomato you spiced yourself or some Greek yogurt. You can also start buying condiments that don’t have all the chemicals in them such as Avocado Mayo or Yo Mama’s Ketchup

3. Commit to Taking Simple Action

Always read the full list of ingredients on the nutrition label. If you just thought “that sounds like a lot of time I don’t have…” great! Here is how it works:

  • The more seriously you commit to this action, the more you will find products with less to read. Less ingredients means less processing. Your higher quality cheeses, dairy products and snacks will have shorter lists. Opt for more foods without a label i.e. fresh produce.
  • If you can’t pronounce it or don’t know what the ingredient is, put it back and get something else! If you can’t recognize it, neither can your body.

The Next Steps

At Imperium Health Center, we believe it is important to walk with our clients wherever they are on their health journey. One of the ways we do this is by offering events such as Recipe Potlucks or Shop with the Doc days where we invite our community to a potluck and swap healthy recipes or meet at the grocery store and learn the tips and tricks to navigate the food buying process. Check out our Events Page to see when the next Shop with the Doc is!

Affiliate Disclaimer
This blog post contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission if you make a purchase through these links. This comes at no additional cost to you and helps support the maintenance of this blog. Thank you for your support.