One thing I’ve tried to do in this series of 2018 essays on nutrition is give you very simple things you can focus on. The “eating healthy / getting lean / healthy food industry” is a multi-billion-dollar affair, which if you think about it, is outrageous. And this is outside of the food industry itself. It shouldn’t be that hard and complicated to eat well. And it’s not. It’s more about internalizing a few rules of thumb and internalizing some good core habits and ways of eating. Just like religious and ethical training repeated often enough can lead to virtuous and happy living, simple philosophies like the make-up meal or day, eating a little protein with every meal, drinking water, and other simple things can also add up quickly to a way of eating and way of life that make sense and help us be healthier.
There’s an old religious saying that says:
Thoughts lead to actions, actions to habits, habits to character, and character to destiny.
You can also apply this to the way we think about food, though I would not want to suggest that eating takes on as much of a moral weight as ethical and religious decisions do.
Thoughts lead to actions, actions to habits, habits to health, and health to a destiny.
Think the right things about food, and though it is not on near the same level as “thou shall not kill, steal, etc.”, it does have a significant impact on the quality of your life and relationships with others. One donut won’t kill you. One pizza won’t clog your arteries. One coke won’t hurt you, neither will one cigarette. But, there is an accumulative effect to these things. A lifetime of bad decisions adds up. Everyone has that uncle or great grandparent who smoked, ate chocolate cake, never exercised, and lived to be 97, but the exception proves the rule. Most of the time, our decisions add up and catch up with us eventually.
Think small, and win big, with the way you eat. Think about little things, little habits, and make them second nature. That way these little healthy things happen automatically. You wake up., you drink water. Every Friday, or one day a week, you fast. Every meal, you eat some vegetables. You eat fruit for desert, instead of empty calories. You don’t even have to think twice about it. And you say no enough to things which accumulated enough would be bad for you (simple carbs, cake, fried food, fatty meats) and that too is no longer a craving for you.
Make it second nature in many small decisions because they add up quickly.
Thoughts build a lifetime, so start thinking about food the right way.
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