A few weeks ago, I urged everyone to pay more attention to the food they were eating while they were eating it. I am not sure how everybody else did, but I know for me it was a bit of a struggle. I am a gal on the go and in between clients and on the way to school, I am constantly having urges to just cram in whatever snack food I can find. But I have also noticed that I am much more aware when I am eating. On several occasions I have even made it home from the supermarket before ripping open the string cheese. Of course I will still eat and run, but I am definitely a lot more conscious and I hope you are, too. I think that simply paying attention to our behaviors can really help us to be healthier. That is why I would like you all to join me this week in paying better attention to our bodies and how we feel when we are eating and after we eat.
I was out to dinner with a BFF of mine the other night and we were discussing our favorite feel good foods. Now I am not talking about the age-old feel good foods. The “I am so hung over and all I want is pizza and mac and cheese” feel good food. Nor am I referring to an “I am in such a bad mood, I know what I need, it’s some ice cream” feel good food. And I am also not suggesting that you go right out and order a salad because it’s “oh-so-healthy and I am being good to myself even though I hate lettuce” feel good food. What Anna and I discussed were the foods that actually physically make us feel good. The foods that when we eat them make us feel healthy, warm, and nourished. When we eat these foods we don’t feel bad afterwards (unless of course we are overeating them). While we are eating them, we truly enjoy them. On the whole before, during, and after these are the feel good foods.
For example when A eats a big plate of angel hair pasta with vegetables, she feels amazing. She feels healthy and grounded, full and warm. Alternately, when I eat a plate of pasta, I feel full and bloated. My tummy doesn’t feel amazing. And I am not talking about my head saying beware carbohydrates. Pasta may very well be the thing that nourishes you. You need to be the one to figure out what’s right for you.
When I eat roast chicken, mmm, I feel great. I feel energized and healthy and my body feels good. I feel nourished and warm. It’s the same for me with yams or apples and string cheese, chicken and vegetable soup or toasted peanut butter and berry jam sandwiches. The point is that you need to pay attention to your body. Just like how we were paying attention to the food we were eating, I now urge you to pay attention to how that food is making you feel. If you are focusing on the sandwich at lunchtime and really enjoying it, then you will be better prepared to notice how it makes your body feel.
Once again I am not talking about how it makes you think you feel. We are bombarded all the time with what is healthy, what is good, what will make you feel this and that, and what is she eating. If you were reading a health magazine from ten years ago, it would be telling you to eat bagels for breakfast and tuna for lunch. Now, I am almost surprised that the bagel companies are still in business with all the bad press the poor bagel gets. And tuna, I think it’s now advised that you should only eat once a week because of all the mercury. What I am saying is don’t listen to everything you read. (Except this.) The health experts have been known to change their minds. Listen to your body. It will tell you what feels good. Okay, now I know there is going to be someone saying, “But Sarah, when I eat Twizzlers, afterwards I feel amazing. I have the energy of a twenty-three-year-old. That is because sugar is a drug. If you are paying attention after you eat those Twizzlers you might notice that it won’t be long before you start to drop. This is the sugar come down and it generally doesn’t feel good. So if this is happening to you then you may now notice that sugar doesn’t actually make you feel good. You may also say, “Sarah, I do listen to my body and it tells me that a super-sized quarter pounder with cheese and fries is the feel good food for me.” And I will say to you, “If you eat anything that says super-sized, you will face the consequences.”
So now, my friends, let’s all take this week and beyond to find what our feel good foods really are.
Be good to your body; it’s where you live.