The change of seasons is a good reminder that we are not meant to be stagnant, and that change is a good thing. One of the areas of our lives that may need an overhaul the food we eat especially given the stress of the past eighteen months.
Healthy habits are important for physical and mental health. If something is not serving you in a positive way, it is time to reevaluate. One of the healthiest habits a person can develop is eating nutritious meals.
Food is the fuel for our bodies and minds, what you eat matters. Some questions you might ask yourself: do I feel weighed down after eating? Do I “crash” hours after eating? Do I have digestive issues after eating certain foods? If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, it would be good to review what changes you can make in your eating habits.
A registered nutritionist or dietician can help with more significant changes and may be necessary if there are numerous concerns or allergies. However, most people can make subtle changes easily in order to promote greater physical and mental health.
One of the biggest culprits of the “crash” referenced above is sugar. Sugar is a comfort item in times of stress and one that can easily become an unhealthy habit.
Sugar in small doses is not bad but sugar is found in many food items listed under different names (e.g., sucralose). As a consumer, it is good to read labels and understand what is in the food you are purchasing. Additionally, refined sugar has been linked to higher sugar “rushes” which lead to bigger energy crashes.
Cutting back on sugars in food, especially processed foods like boxed items, can be a subtle change with a big impact.
Some have found that cutting back on sugar makes them feel sluggish and they get discouraged easily. It takes 21 days to create and maintain a new habit.
This is especially true with eating habits as your body is adjusting to the shift in energy from food sources. Sugar seems to be one of the hardest foods for the body to adjust to and it takes time for the process to happen.
Sugar is just one example. Maybe you would like to incorporate more veggies in your diet or be consistent with eating breakfast each morning.
Now is a good time to start the eating habit you have been contemplating. After all, a change can do you good! What change are you going to make this fall?
Michelle A. Culver, LMFT