When was the last time someone said “No thanks I am on a nutrition?” Just the mention of the word diet can create anxiety and frustration. This is because diet has become about the food you give up or deny or reject rather than what you use to fuel and rejuvenate your body. If the health of our diets is defined by rejecting unhealthy food, then the healthiest people would be found in coffins.
It seems that every day we encounter another article or news report regarding the latest diet trend. What I appreciate about this fascination with diets is the desire to learn more about how our bodies work and figure out ways of making them healthier. What I dislike is that much of the health trends appear to be geared toward generating profit rather than bringing health and healing.
Nutrition means nourishing and being nourished. Is this how you would characterize what you are doing when you eat? Do you take time to consider that you are nurturing and sustaining your body and that how you feel, and what you think and do are intertwined with what you eat?
I could tell you about pseudostressors, food substances that produce a stresslike response in our bodies and how they are not so good for you. I could tell you about how chronic stress can deplete the vitamins in our bodies that are so essential to our wellbeing. I could tell you about the ills of excess sugar consumption. Many of those topics are fascinating and I am sure you could find someone far more capable than me to enlighten you on the dangers of an unhealthy diet. My hunch is that much of what they would say would be things you already know.
What does all of this have to do with mental health and making freethrows? It is difficult to think about making free throws if you are consumed with a fear of missing. Similarly, if you stress over all the bad stuff you eat you probably won’t be thinking about all the nourishing and delicious food you could be eating to make yourself a bit healthier.
The connection between diet and mental health is fascinating. Do your own research on how eating more nutritious food can impact your life. Read books and articles, watch videos, talk to friends. Find out what the healthy people are doing. Become an expert on your body. Notice how you feel when you eat certain foods. Pay attention to how your diet impacts your sleep. Be gracious with yourself when you have one too many slices of pizza or an extra scoop of ice cream. Thanks for reading. Now get back to enjoying your ice cream/fruits and veggies.