Recognizing Our Own Level of Health
Recognizing that there are many opinions on this matter, I do not mean to undermine any of them by sharing mine. I feel that consuming an excess of processed food and sugar over time is not ideal. This can be detrimental, depending on those with unique situations. What I perceive to be ideal is following a diet that is healthy and nutrient-rich, while generally being mindful with food. Conversely, I feel there is something to be said for shamelessly enjoying a delicious piece of pizza, cake or a big bowl of processed cereal occasionally if you can. We all are at our own level of health, and it is important to know what your body is able to handle with your unique situation! No matter your goals or restrictions, stressing about junk food is unnecessary and may even cause problems in itself.
On a scale of homemade organic smoothie to Twinkies, we all have our own idea of what a sweet treat, cheat meal or “junk food” is. There is no shame in recognizing that our idea of “junk food” can change over time. My overall diet, as well as junk food preferences, have certainly changed over the course of my healing journey! There was a time in my life that drive-thru take out and ice cream were the main sources of sustenance for me. I was very active and fit, but nutritionally unhealthy in my younger years.
Once I became more knowledgeable and interested in the different ways to eat healthfully and improve my wellbeing, the obsession set in. During that time, I had developed some health problems, including food sensitivities. Ultimately, I was able to aid in the healing of my body through diet and lifestyle changes. I am now a firm believer in the power of nutritional therapy! Feel free to visit our blog and read more about my health journey here.
The Impact of Stress On General Health
During the entire healing process, I was scared of potentially reacting to foods. As a result, I focused on eating my restricted diet of healthiest foods ALL THE TIME! You may imagine that it became very stressful on the day to day. Having stress in your life is inevitable and does not have to be a bad thing. This is the case, even when relating to your diet. It is important to adhere to protocols to heal yourself. A healthy amount of concern for a person with reactions to food is often necessary. In addition to diet changes, a mindset shift for me was another huge aspect of changing how my body handled food.
Removing the anxiety, guilt and fear around food was monumental but difficult. This was especially clear when I was about to test unknown territories, in reintroducing things that previously caused problems. I believe the anxiety I had around eating with restrictions caused problems in itself. This is why I don’t stress about it anymore! Adopting the basic concept of discouraging stress or fear around food with my situation was more help than I knew it could be!
Excessive Worry is Not Healthy
Interestingly enough, some theories suggest a “placebo effect,” regarding anxiety and excessive worry about the reactions of what you eat 100% of the time. Essentially, stressing about junk food or worrying about your diet can actually make symptoms appear. This can also work to worsen symptoms that already exist. Personally, I don’t doubt this, and have noticed such an improvement in myself with this mental change. Maybe I’ve just healed enough to handle the food better.
Maybe the absence of stress has created a better environment and ability for my body to handle it without ill effect. The mind is powerful and stress can be very detrimental, so personally I’d think it’s a combination of the two things! After finishing my healing protocol, I have found a nice balance. This consists of eating generally healthy and enjoying a treat semi-regularly with my family. This can range in healthiness, depending on what we feel like. Striving to be healthy is efficient, stressing about junk food is not. Practicing to keep a healthy mind and spirit help my body to feel and function optimally!
Balance is Key
I strive to be honest about making real food a priority. I don’t want to give off the impression that we eat “perfectly” all the time. I’ve had people tell me that they think we do! We definitely indulge in less healthy foods too, but all in moderation. A consistent diet of real nourishing food balances the occasional splurges. If one thing is for certain, stressing about junk food is really no healthier than eating it.
Regardless of where you are on your health journey, we want to be a resource for you! Please check us out at Real Food To Heal on our blog and social media. While you are at it, please enjoy a free 7 Day Health Challenge on us! We also have a Facebook Challenge Support Group which is a private group where members can share stories and ideas, give/receive advice and generally feel supported regardless of their diet preferences or stage of health. Feel free to contact us and subscribe to our blog for the latest! We share original healthy recipes to suit many different diet styles with a focus on easy recipes!
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