Now that I have your attention… sorry, there is no quick fix to achieving optimal health. Attaining health is a deliberate journey, and consuming healthy food is a tool in moving forward in this journey. Where are you in your food journey? Do you provide McDonald’s with a consistent stream of income? Have you been experimenting with diets and ways of eating? Do you eat only organic, locally produced food? It does not matter where you are in your journey, the important concept to apply here is to continue moving forward. Do you feel you have discovered the best diet or way of eating for your body? Great! Now change! We need to continually make changes in our food. Our bodies change over time. They change with the seasons. They change as our stress levels change. They change as our fitness levels change. How much sense does it make to eat the same foods all the time in the midst of so much change? Our food habits must adapt in order to provide balance while we experience change.
There are three ways of eating: using a maintenance diet, a therapeutic diet, or an experimental diet. For some, macrobiotics is a maintenance diet, while for others it may be experimental or therapeutic. If a way of eating is sustainable over time with reasonable variations, it may considered maintenance. Therapeutic diets are those that are used for specific reasons for a limited amount of time. The raw foods diet is therapeutic for many. Experimental diets are used in your journey when you want to try something new and investigate the impact on your body. Juicing may be experimental. Any way of eating can be experimental, therapeutic or maintenance depending upon your rationale. I discuss these concepts as a gauge to measure where you are on your food journey.
There are no particular ways of eating that serve as a quick-fix for your health. Although you may experience substantial and dramatic results by juicing or implementing a particular diet, there is always a deeper level to health. That deeper level involves your lifestyle- your physical wellness, your mental/emotional well-being, and your spirit/soul body. Looking at these aspects of your being and digging deeper within yourself for true healing require patience. Being gentle with yourself is key as you experiment with changing your food and your health. Your relationship with food is the longest relationship you will ever have with anything. It is so important to learn how to make it a relationship that is nourishing for you. If your journey with food is relaxed and fun, you will be much healthier as a result. Impatience with yourself breeds stress. Stress breeds imbalance. Imbalance breeds disease.
How does one learn patience for the food journey?
1) Practice. Practice making one change at a time. Practice loving your body in ways other than with food. Have fun. Try exotic foods. Be adventurous and prepare a meal without a recipe! If a food does not work well in your body, make a note of it and try something else.
2) Get support. Gather support from people who will be patient with you and with the changes you are making. Who is in your life that can give you the support you need to stay committed to your journey? If this support is lacking, who will you ask to support you? You are not alone. Other people are working to improve their health with food and most likely want to be connected with you.
3) Know that you are in it for the long haul. Sustainable change does not usually happen overnight. You may have spurts of growth and times of being out of focus. This is totally normal. The important thing is to be committed to moving forward in your food journey so that when those growth spurts slow down you know that you are still moving forward if only in a small way. You only need to move one step at a time.
Is there such a thing as a quick fix for your health? I believe true healing requires patience with yourself and the process. Healthy food will help you to be more nourished on your journey to health.