I have been addicted to various food. I've overeaten to the point of pain and bloating. I've eaten things way too fast, almost to the point of choking, just because it tasted so good. I've unconsciously thrown food products in my shopping cart, without questioning whether the item is really food or not. (How did those five bags of BBQ potato chips get in there?)
As a teenager, my friends and I would sometimes buy frozen cakes and have competitions to see who could eat the most. These cakes were large, cheap and full of nasty ingredients. I remember feeling disappointed with myself when one of my friends was able to eat a whole cake, but I could only eat 3/4 of mine. We would gorge on donuts, eating 6 to 12 in one session. We would slam thick, doughy slices of cheese-laden pizza down our throats, barely chewing them.
When I was in my early 20s, I remember eating a lot of processed, packaged food and extremely sugary items without really questioning it. They tasted awesome, filled me up, and were quick and easy to prepare. The only fish I ate was neatly pressed into a rectangular shape and came in a frozen box.
Although I didn't drink alcohol frequently, I would usually drink excessively when I did drink. This eventually contributed to my seriously poor physical and emotional health and an irregular heart rate both of which lasted several years. I went from being a fit, healthy athlete in high school to feeling like I was on my death bed.
The biggest cause of our unconscious and addictive behaviour around food is because we believe this:
If it tastes good, it's food. Therefore, it's ok, safe and even desirable for me to eat it.
This snap-reaction is the major cause of our poor health. All of our little choices throughout the day add up: The sugar-laden coffee with the chocolate-covered croissant. A few hours later, we have a smoke. At lunch, we're microwaving our frozen pizza which is laden with chemicals, preservatives and sugar.
How can we be unconscious and unaware about our food choices, but conscious and aware in all other aspects of our lives?
We can't. The issue is our unconsciousness. The automatic, un-thinking reflex of "This tastes awesome, so I'm going to eat it".
Did this food product exist 100 years ago? No? Then it's probably not real food. Marshmallows, anyone? Cans of spam? Chips that practically glow in the dark? Jello?
Don't you want to be free from mood swings? To experience consistently high energy? If you do, then you need to start looking at what you're eating and drinking.
What is the new definition of food?
The new definition is: Food that's in its natural form and promotes health and healing in the body, giving us energy.
In other words, a potato - not a bag of oily, salted, chemically spiced potatoes chips. Fresh, homemade soup - not canned, processed soup, full of additives and questionable seasoning.
Fresh, natural food contains everything we need to nourish our body and mind. And when prepared properly, it tastes great. You won't even miss the sugar-laden, heavily-processed way of eating.
1. Start educating yourself
Why should you eat more healthy? What diseases and other health problems do your eating habits cause? What kind of food can you eat in a natural, healthy diet?
Check out the Food Babe for a good start on learning how you can eat healthier and live healthier.
2. Identify your unhealthy foods. Reduce or eliminate them.
While you're learning about what foods are unhealthy, begin to eliminate them from your diet. The nastier these foods are, the quicker you should get rid of them.
3. Replace unhealthy foods with healthy ones.
Buy fresh, whole foods (food in its natural form). Learn how to make quick, easy, great-tasting meals with them.
Your Mini-MissionWrite down the most common unhealthy foods that you eat. Minimize or eliminate them.
Buy more fresh, whole food. Reduce or eliminate packaged, processed foods.