Using Food as Fuel Instead of Entertainment

I recently read a blog post that suggested many people use food as a source of entertainment. And as I thought about it, I realized that was exactly what I had spent a large part of my life doing. When I got old enough to make decisions about what I ate, I would largely eat things that were pleasing to my brain. This included a lot of sugar, salt, fat, and occasionally fruits and vegetables. I would look forward to meals because I couldn't wait to enjoy some tasty food. The function of food, in my mind, was to bring joy (and sustenance). Food was there to provide entertainment for my brain and I could not wait to eat things that I knew I would really enjoy. Foods that were once used for special occasions became more of a norm in my diet. Instead of dessert being served only after Sunday dinner, it became a nightly event for me. And then without even realizing became an after lunch thing too. And yes, I guess now is the time to admit to eating doughnuts for breakfast more than I should have.... My mantra was "live to eat" instead of "eat to live" and I happily said it as I indulged in my favorite foods day after day.

That all changed about 9 months ago when I began to eat a Whole Foods, Plant-Based diet and started viewing food as fuel to help my body function properly. Health problems that I did not even think were related to my diet disappeared and suddenly I was faced with the fact that I had been causing those problems via the food going into my mouth. Viewing food as entertainment for my brain instead of fuel for my body was in fact making a difference in how my body functioned.

It's interesting to me that many people in our culture take better care of the cars than they do to their bodies. Can you imagine if somebody put petroleum fuel into their diesel-only truck because it's cheaper or more convenient? That would be crazy and surely they would have car problems down the road. But what is more crazy is the fact that we often do the same thing to our bodies. We fill our bellies with things that are cheap, convenient, and taste good instead of filling them with fruits, vegetables and foods that actually help them "run" properly.

Now, don't get me wrong... I am not saying that it is bad to enjoy food or to use food as part of a celebration. I am saying that most of the time it should be used to provide fuel for your body. Hence the reason food is here in the first place.

Do I love all vegetables? No. Do I occasionally eat a cookie or two? Yes. But I am realizing more and more that how I feel depends on what I eat. As I choose to eat food that nourishes me over food that makes my tongue dance I know I am investing in my health. And there is nothing that I would rather invest in. 

Today I still get pleasure out of eating. It's not the same pleasure that my brain receives when I eat salt, sugar, or fat. It's the pleasure that comes from knowing that what I am eating will help me look and feel my very best. Use food as fuel for your body instead of entertainment for your brain. It will change your life and your health.

Oh, and did I mention that no one in my house has been sick since we started eating our WFPB diet? And that right there is worth it's weight in gold if you ask me!

1 comment:

  1. YES. Food is fuel. It can also be fun, but in small portions. When I realized that I became so much healthier.