How You Eat – More Important than What You Eat

male with disturbed face eating cookie

The diet industry and media have always been focused almost solely on what you are eating and how much you are eating compared to how you are eating. Institutions have programmed you to examine how many calories you are consuming or how much fat or how much sugar. This data is important, but it may not be the most important aspects of our digestive health.

This is an “outer” focus, which is much easier psychologically than examining the “inner” how and why of our life. Just remember, we have to develop the ability to examine the “inner” if we desire real transformation because the inner consistently produces our external reality. It always starts inside. Be aware of institutions trying to get you focused on outer things and realize it is always controlled from the inside first, which is the last place people want to seek real answers. After changing this focus, we can as how are we eating?

How you eat can transform your life. The brain does not differentiate between real and imagined stress. Have you ever heard of the example where someone jumps over a rope thinking it is a snake? Their heart is pumping and fear grips their heart, but it was only a rope! It wasn’t a real snake. A similar scenario happens all throughout the day with perceived stress from our personal, inner vantage point.

One way to consider this reality is imagining that you are being chased through the woods by a bear. Now, you can understand the central nervous system has almost the same response when you run out the door late to work and you’re munching on a snack. The inner body doesn’t know the difference. You are turning off your digestion on your way to the car! We wonder why we have digestion problems in this country?

Your autonomic nervous system turns your digestion on and off. You need to feel relaxed when you eat so your digestion is turned on and you reap the nutritional rewards of the food you’re consuming. When you feel safe and relaxed, your inner body knows it can relax and work on digesting your food.

Eating healthy and taking healthy actions are only half the equation.

The Health Equation

Healthy Food + Lifestyle Choices + Ideal Digestion and Ideal Assimilation = Best Life Ever!

Is the How More Important than What You Eat?

So to get started with baby steps, you don’t even have to change what you are eating during the initial stages of your transformation. Focus on “how” you eat and change that first.

How much are you chewing? Are you in a rush when you eat? Have you always been in a rush when you eat? Are you normally on the go when you eat? At lunch, are your coworkers in a rush? Does this effect the way you eat? What are your thought processes usually when you are eating? Are they normally positive or negative? These are aspects to consider when examining your eating life.

Turn on your parasympathetic system by reducing biological and chemical stress. This gives you full digestive power. This can work miracles in your health even with a terrible diet.

How do the French stay slim while eating rich foods? Could it be related to the lower stress and consequently more active digestion? We know about the celebrated Mediterranean lifestyle and the benefits of a lower stress culture.

It is literally IMPOSSIBLE to heal or lose weight when you are under a constant stress response.

In the next post I will discuss specific ways to eat meals while turning on your parasympathetic system and increasing your assimilation efficiency allowing you to lose weight and feel better.

How to Enjoy Eating Healthy Foods

radishes with flowers on top.

We can learn to enjoy healthy foods with a few tweaks in the brain. It’s a matter of seeing things differently. It’s not a matter of forcing yourself to do something painful.

First try to do these few things listed below.

We want a combination of protein, fat, and fiber in each meal if possible. This is especially true if you are having sugar or caffeine. These three yummies slow down the absorption of sugar into your body.

Eat until you are 80% full. In addition, if you eat slow and chew more, you will be energized after the meal.

The Culprits: Always try to eliminate soda, caffeine, alcohol, and sugar. These spike your sugar level, mood, etc. and then you crash into the familiar vicious cycle.

You Can Eat More

The dirty little secret is that we can eat MORE if we focus on eating the right foods. Eating is a habit ingrained into your subconscious and body like all habits. Once you start re-wiring your brain to enjoy healthy foods, you will desire them and you will not desire the old, sugary treats of the past. You will not be starving when you are eating only healthy foods like fruits and vegetables.

Body Awareness

I can’t emphasize enough how important body awareness is to creating healthier eating patterns. If you do a simple breathing meditation, can you feel the inside of your body? Do you feel tension or tightness anywhere? How full is your stomach right now? Does your stomach feel relaxed? These are the types of questions you should start asking yourself to create a new bodily awareness. Why? Because when you are aware of your body, you are aware of what happens when you eat certain things. I want you to start noticing how your stomach feels after everything you eat.

When I eat ice cream it tastes great, but I pay attention to the brick sitting in my stomach twenty minutes later and I remember that ugly feeling, which means I don’t crave ice cream anymore.

Likewise, I pay attention to my stomach after I eat a banana and my stomach feels cozy and relaxed. In addition, I get a rush of energy that is noticeable when I eat a banana. I like this feeling and I want it more therefore I eat more bananas now.

Most people have no idea what is going on inside their bodies at any moment. They are distracted by their phone, other people, or some other electronic goodie.

Become aware of your body and start enjoying healthier foods.

Changing the Focus

Focus on the wonderful things that you “can eat”.

This is very different than thinking “don’t eat that because it’s bad”. This is shaming ourselves. In addition, we usually “want” what we’re told we “can’t have”.

It’s a different way of focusing. What healthy foods do you love? Focus on those and be grateful that you can eat them. Revel in this feeling.

In conclusion, eating healthy foods is a mostly a mental game in the beginning where you start to re-focus on great foods instead of focusing on what you “cannot eat”.

In the beginning, focus on the few healthy foods you ‘ve always liked. Eat a lot of those before you start experimenting into other areas. Your taste buds will adapt to the new healthy foods relatively quickly.

How to Count Chemicals and Not Calories

rubber gloves injecting tomato with chemical

Counting chemicals trumps counting calories for a number of reasons. Counting calories takes a lot more effort than glancing at chemicals on a food package. Calories are also mysterious and don’t make sense to the non-scientific individual who wants to become more healthy. Conversely, everyone understands that chemicals should mostly be avoided and eliminated from the body if possible. We also know that chemical toxicity is a contributor to cancer and other diseases.

Focus on reducing the chemical count in your body, which will increase the food quality you are consuming. This has long-term benefits including a slower aging process, less digestive stress, and less disease.

Read the Food Labels

Remember, when you pick up a package of food and look at the label, it will list the number of chemicals according to quantity. When you see the ingredient list has a lot of long chemical names this is a bad sign. It doesn’t matter what companies tell you about some chemicals being necessary and harmless. Are you going to trust they have your best interest at hand?

3 Simple Tips to Start Eating Foods With Fewer Chemicals

1. Start buying organic foods as much as possible. Yes, there is some debate on how much benefit some organic food has compared to non-organic, but I know organic has fewer chemicals so it is worth the effort for me.

2. Buy Non-GMO foods.

3. Find Labels with Fewest Ingredients

The Real Goal is to Eat Less Processed Foods

For decades, food companies have been feeding us poisons with the cover up from our own government. I say cover-up because there has never been sufficient warning about harmful chemicals in our foods because of one simple reason: money. Food corporations have always been massive contributors to the political money machines controlling American politics and the people have been the victims of this back-channel wink-wink, nod-nod, nefarious relationship.

Thank God for technology such as the Internet because the truth is not so easy to hide anymore.

Go Slowly When Starting to Count Chemicals

Just like any habit, go slowly when changing your eating and shopping habits. Your old survival brain will kick in and say, “I don’t like this sudden change in habit! I’ve survived just fine so far!”.

We all have this old survival brain, which doesn’t often have our best interests at hand. Take it slowly. Just start glancing at labels and if you see one package has less ingredients listed, buy that one. As time goes by, you can start educating yourself about the specific chemicals to avoid and which ones are mostly benign even though we know most chemicals should be avoided if possible.

The Fun of Eating High Quality Foods

When you start counting chemicals and realize that you are feeling better by eating higher quality foods, you will naturally start avoiding low quality foods. It’s like any habit taking shape in your life. The low quality, junk foods start falling away naturally.

I can tell you, I don’t even consider eating McDonalds or some other fast food anymore because it has no appeal whatsoever. I know I can find some kind of healthy, cheap snack that tastes better and feels better in the long run. The taste of a fast food burger becomes disgusting after you are used to eating high quality foods.

This is the pleasing result. You are now enjoying healthy food and it tastes great! This has occurred because you slowly changed a habit and your taste buds followed. It becomes easy.

One of the main benefits of eating higher quality foods with fewer chemicals is the fact that you are now more effectively. We know that balancing your blood sugar levels is one of the utmost goals for ourselves if we want to feel better, live longer, and become healthy.