Eating a healthy diet is often looked upon as something that takes a lot of effort. It can be hard to motivate yourself into changing your diet when you are surrounded by ‘convenience’ foods which have been manufactured and promoted in such a way so as to make them easily available and highly addictive.
It’s so easy to grab some fast food in a box from a supermarket or takeaway, whereas eating healthy wholefoods can require a little more forward planning.
We are often told by authority figures to eat healthily. From our mum telling us to eat our greens, to the latest nutrition experts in the media, to the government’s campaign to get us to eat our ‘5 a day’ – everyone seems to be telling us what to eat.
Consequently we can be left feeling somewhat rebellious (‘I don’t care about your stupid healthy foods, I’m just gonna eat this big fat pizza instead’).
So any motivation can be helpful. Forget about the boring ‘eat your greens’ and ‘get your 5 a day’ orders – they don’t hold any weight when it comes to your subconscious mind; they are just meaningless instructions. That’s why it’s so important to remind yourself WHY it’s worth the effort to eat healthy. There are so many benefits, so I thought I’d list a few here.
1. Feel GOOD
I thought I’d start with the blindingly obvious. A natural diet, full of fresh whole foods and free of processed and junk foods is one of the primary ways you can feel great, both physically and mentally. More energy, slimmer body, stronger immune system, prevention of numerous diseases… the list goes on – so what’s stopping you?
2. Get ANGRY
Once you fully realise how you are being duped by food companies into spending your hard-earned money on ‘convenience’ foods that are filled with cheap ingredients which are so bland and flavourless that they are then made ‘tasty’ with salt (not even sea salt – just plain old sodium chloride), sugar (again, the cheap and nasty kind: high fructose corn syrup etc), and an array of chemicals designed to brainwash your tastebuds (do tastebuds even have brains? Well… if they did, their brains would indeed be washed) into eating more, and more, of these products at the cost of your own good health (not to mention your wallet), you may find you become a little angry.
Good for you! USE that anger to motivate yourself into rejecting these foods, and propel you towards a natural whole foods based diet.
Still not angry enough? Have a watch of this video to find out more dirty secrets of the processed food industry.
3. Save MONEY
Have you ever wondered why supermarkets sell little bags of sliced apple, when it would seem more logical to simply sell the apple? The answer is: PROFIT. The minute a food is ‘messed about’ with, its price can be greatly inflated, all for your own ‘convenience’.
Check out the price of convenience foods compared to whole foods next time you’re at the supermarket. Ready-made stir-fry rice, pasta sauces, salad dressings, tinned soups… the list goes on. Have a look at the ingredients list on the back of any of these foods. They probably include plenty of unnecessary and unhealthy ingredients. With a bit of thought you could make these same meals for a fraction of the price – and YOU get to decide what ingredients you want to use.
4. Have FUN!
Once you realise how easy it is to make simple nutritious meals, it can be a lot of fun experimenting and inventing your own recipes. Messing about in the kitchen can be a real outlet for your creative energy, whether you are making a delicious breakfast smoothie, a colourful vibrant salad, or a hearty soup. Take up the challenge to invent some tasty recipes that use only healthy whole foods – you might find a new hobby!
5. Get CONNECTED
Eating and growing fresh produce gives you a real sense of connection to the Earth. I believe it is becoming more and more important in this day and age for us all to develop this connection, and find ways to live more harmoniously with our planet.
If the thought of a vegetable patch or allotment seems too daunting, that’s ok – there are plenty of ways you can start to connect with nature, within any situation. Even with very limited space, you can sprout your own seeds, grow herbs on your windowsill, or even pick wild foods while out on a walk. You can spend as little or as much time on it as you wish; it doesn’t have to be a huge commitment.
6. It’s TASTY!
It’s amazing how much tastier fresh natural food is when compared to some of the processed slop that we buy in tins and boxes. Compare a freshly made thick and wholesome veggie soup to a packet soup filled with E numbers that, let’s face it, tastes a bit like rehydrated dust. How about sinking your teeth into a ripe succulent peach, instead of those weirdly-uniform pasteurised peach slices that you will likely find at the back of your gran’s cupboard?
Once you get wise to food manufacturers’ various devious methods of making you think their inferior food is the best choice, you can revive your taste buds and start enjoying REAL food, as nature intended.
For more info on how the food industry tricks your tastebuds, have a read of ‘Salt Sugar Fat’ by Michael Moss.
7. Build your CONFIDENCE
It takes a certain amount of confidence to make your own food from scratch, without having to rely on outside sources – whether they be Heinz, the local sandwich shop, McDonalds, or your mum 😉
When you begin to realise that you can make your own bread, concoct a fantastic homemade curry, or grow your own edible plants, it can give you a tremendous sense of self-reliance. Added to that, your new-found healthy body will increase your self-esteem as you feel more comfortable within yourself – and look fantastic on the outside, too!
What are YOUR favourite methods of healthy motivation?
If you find yourself needing personal support and motivation on how to adopt a healthy natural diet, please contact me about my hypnotherapy and coaching sessions.
Lisa Murphy is a hypnotherapist & counsellor based in Glasgow, who specialises in anxiety, stress, and weight management.