Wikipedia defines Fuel as an American post-grunge band and a quick google search provides a few other meanings but the description I’m most interested in is:
food, drink, or drugs as a source of energy.“any protein intake can also be used as fuel”
Let’s talk about transportation. Do you love your car? Do you appreciate the fact that it gets you from point A to point B with ease and convenience? And if not, do you wish it were in better condition? Do you take it for granted or practice gratitude? Do you put fuel in it, top off the fluids, make sure everything is in working order for top performance? We know our vehicles wouldn’t function properly if we put sugar in the gas tanks; cars must be fueled appropriately in order for them to work. What about the one vehicle that has gotten you around your whole life, and will continue to be with you forever: your body? This is the one mode of transportation that we can’t trade in yet we treat it worse than our cars!
Now let’s talk about the power of plants. More specifically, the significant role they play in our well-being. The single most important thing we can do to increase our health and vitality is to eat fresh, raw fruits and vegetables. You’ve heard it before so I’m sure you’re not surprised by this post. We are supposed to have 9-13 servings PER DAY. That’s insane, but here’s why we need them. Plants possess these wonderful entities that can literally help heal us. How cool is it that our bodies are self-healing when we fuel them properly with whole, fresh foods?! I believe food was put on this planet, in its natural state, for us to consume in order to maintain, energize and restore health to our bodies. I could get all scientific on you and throw out words like vitamins, phytonutrients (More than 25,000 phytonutrients are found in plant foods.), phytochemicals, antioxidants and such but I don’t think that will resonate as well as this: Junk in, junk out. Fuel in, energy out. (‘Fuel out’ just sounds silly but it’s the same idea.) We really are what we eat so why not choose pure, whole, natural, organic, and healing instead of synthetic, fake, artificial, cheap, carcinogenic or misleading?
I’m not an extremist, I have cravings and I eat what I want in moderation. For those of you who don’t believe this, I like chips. A lot. Mexican restaurants are my weakness because I could make a meal out of salsa, guacamole and chips (and have on many occasions.) Junk food tastes good, and it’s meant to so it sells and sells and sells. It’s cheap to mass produce so it’s made to be more appealing and addicting. I won’t doubt the marketing is genius, even if it is deceptive and prompts us to be unhealthy and more disease prone than ever before. It is imperative to understand the importance of a healthy diet and the impact that eating clean and exercising regularly has on your body, moods, and overall health.
I know it is easier to reach for those processed snacks; it’s quicker to eat fast food or make something out of a box, but don’t you want to fuel your body? God gave us this body, our temple, to take care of and we demolish it with junk just because we WANT to and CAN! Just a few healthy choices can leave you feeling more invigorated and happy. I have my cheat days, too. I call this the 80/20 rule. Eighty percent of the time, I eat really well. I am conscious about what I put into my body and note the way I feel when I fuel it properly and exercise regularly. It helps me realize that although that 20% seems great, it’s meant to be occasional. The difference is remarkable. I get what you would call a “food hangover” when I eat poorly. Sometimes I think it’s worth it but most of the time it’s not pleasant in the least!
It can be scary to try to change your lifestyle and eating habits all at once, so don’t. Instead of focusing on the things you think you’ll be “losing”, try focusing on the things you will be gaining. The same applies to the shift in routines. Instead of taking something away that you don’t “think” you can live without; add something healthy on a daily basis instead. (Commit to eating an extra piece of fruit with breakfast or an extra vegetable with dinner.) You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. This is where the CHAT acronym comes into play. Be consistent. Not just with your food choices but with your thoughts and actions as well. Remember, balance is important. If you think you’re going to be miserable, guess what, you ARE! Be honest with yourself and make small changes. Don’t tell yourself you are going to do something knowing that you won’t. If you’re true to yourself, you won’t fail. Accountability can aid in this process. It helps to find a buddy to do this with. (More on this in a sec.) Then there’s tenacity. What can I say about tenacity that isn’t already evident? Never ever, ever give up! Believe you can, be persistent and don’t compromise who you want to be for who you’ve settled to be in the past. If you want to change, you can!
For some, it’s hard to be disciplined unless you have accountability or a place to turn to for that example and positive influence. What helps me is having a buddy system. Get a buddy, make some goals and hold each other accountable! Set short objectives in the beginning and once the satisfaction of completing it sinks in you’ll want to create more, longer-lasting goals (hopefully). If you don’t feel like punching your buddy in the face by the end of your challenge, you will be grateful for the help.
Here are a few ideas of mine. Is this what you’ve been waiting for?
- It is important to take the time to care for ourselves every day. Don’t feel guilty for taking time to make sure you are healthy. You cannot be there for other people (not entirely, anyway) if you aren’t the best version of yourself.
- Everyone is different. There is no perfect way to eat. We will all vary in our regimen.
- Eating is a biological process. We should not feel remorseful for doing something that is natural.
- Deprivation and restriction are enemies of wellness. You certainly can’t be healthy while neglecting your body’s needs or obsessing over calories, carbs, etc. (Diets are cray cray!)
- Nourishment is about giving your body the quality and balance of food it needs to feel good physically and mentally. Proper nutrition helps you perform optimally in your daily life.
- Take small steps toward your goals. The “all or nothing” method can be hazardous to your mind, body and soul.
- Step away from the scale! Do not obsess over a number. What matters most is the overall health and care for your being. Scales are jerks. Be happy, be whole, be you!
- EAT FRESH, RAW FRUITS AND VEGETABLES. EVERY SINGLE DAY. I cannot stress this enough. I’m positive I will repeat this from time to time because I believe in the power of fruits and veggies. If you don’t think you can possibly do this, look into whole food supplements to help bridge the gap. No, I am NOT referring to vitamins (expensive urine). I’m talking about real, whole food nutrition in supplement form. I personally take Juice Plus+ because of the proof in the research. It has many published studies and reviews. (Remember that nothing takes the place of actually eating fruits and veggies.)
- Anyone and everyone can change if they want to. Believe in yourself. Practice daily mantras and affirmations if you have to (preferably alone or people will think you’re crazy).
Stay healthy my friends! <3