Thinking about food is important, experiencing food is crucial.
Hayley and I both write (and think) a lot about the health benefits of foods, we follow contemporary research and are endlessly experimenting with diet and exercise. But thinking about food is only one side of the equation. It means absolutely nothing if you don’t pay attention to how the food you are eating makes you feel. Experiencing the effects of foods and feeding that information back through a reflective loop is how you figure out a diet that allows optimum performance across all domains the majority of the time.
The aim is not to find a perfect diet, write it down and stick to it. That would be pointless. Everything is in a consistent state of change and trying to stick to a rigid diet plan will only yield temporary results (because it feels restrictive). It becomes too stressful to maintain, and in turn is bad for your health (stress wreaks havoc on your hormones).
The aim is to practice body awareness, where the process is the product. The process is experimenting with different foods and considering the effects they have on your body. The product is choosing foods that don’t make you feel like shit. Over time these choices will become instinctual, and most probably be the foods you need to maintain good health.
The interesting aspect of improving health is the exponential growth of self learning. By cleaning up your diet you’ll most likely improve your clarity of thought and your ability to focus. And when it comes down to it, that’s what learning is; focus and commitment to what you are doing as you are doing it. As side effect, you might experience improved and longer sustained energy, you might save time, become more efficient in your work, improve your memory, learn faster, grow stronger, live longer, be happier. No guarantees, but maybe?
Heightened awareness of your eating habits has beneficial side effects too. Initially you may become aware of how your body feels, then through practice you may quieten your mind enough to experience everything as it is happening. It takes a little courage to let yourself be so vulnerable, but the rewards outweigh the effort. Engagement in life is the true goal.
To get started, consider this; Where does what you know come from? What was the last thing you read?
One final note; The internet is full of shady characters, don’t believe everything you read, formulate your own opinions.
If you’d like some recommended reading on any of these topics leave a comment.