1. You will stop obsessing about calories. When you are well-nourished, and your body has the balance of macronutrients, vitamins, minerals and trace elements that’s right for you – just you – then you’ll instinctively eat the right amount of energy each day. Be assured that when you tune into the messages your body sends you, you’ll eat exactly what’s right for you, when you need it, not what a diet tells you. There’s a beautiful sense of freedom and peace that comes from that knowledge.
2. You’re in control of what goes into your body. Did you know that some additives have been definitively proven to cause tumours? Or that canola oil comes from a poisonous plant that has been genetically modified to make mass-production for food use possible? Or that commercial chocolate bars can contain cocoa produced through child labour? When you’re choosing less pre-packaged food, and making your own delicious meals and snacks, you take ownership of what you consume. You’re in charge. You’re the boss. You take back that power. You get to decide what you do and don’t want swimming around inside you. And it’s as easy as buying whole ingredients instead of the final product.
3. Your weight and health will find an easy-to-maintain balance relative to how well you eat. While conventional medicine teaches us to take a different tablet for each different trouble, nutritional medicine teaches that when we eat in a truly healthy and nourishing way, everything inside our bodies will heal in due time. That includes weight loss (if you’re overweight) or weight gain (if you’re underweight) until it finds a natural and beautiful balance. Some health nuts go to extremes like juice fasting or 100% raw food diets, never having a social meal, and stay slim forever. But even if you still have the occasional ‘junk food’ meal with friends, by and large your body will tell you what is right for it, and as long as you listen and honour it, you will be healthier than if you concentrate on only using weight as your measure of success.
4. You’ll discover heaps of new and exciting tastes. Much of society concentrates on quantity over quality. But true nutrition lets you tap into your natural instinct towards variety and curiosity. When you get to eat a breakfast that contains thirty different ingredients, each nourishing your body in amazing ways, would you need to eat half a kilo of it? When you can have tastes from all over the world on your dinner table, is there room for KFC? When you can eat AS MANY raw greens and colourful vegetables as you want, do you really want the same calories from one prepackaged ‘health bar’ that looks and tastes like chocolate-scented cardboard and is filled with excitotoxins? Reacclimatising from poor-quality chocolate to raw cacao, from fried chips to potatoes, from cola to clean pure water and from lollies to seasonal fruit takes time, and sometimes many exposures. But there’s millions of amazing, nutrition-filled tastes out there your body is crying out to try, and they’ll satisfy you in a way that a pound of hamburger never will.
5. You will look incredible. Skin, hair and nails all improve in people who eat well. Body odours improve, weight balances, eyes look clear and bright, and there’s a beautiful glow that exudes from those who are truly healthy.
6. You’ll have heaps of energy, better concentration and a better mood. In the same way that anti-depressants or ADD drugs control neural pathways, so does food, by affecting your hormones and neurotransmitters. Science proves it, both ways – junk food makes us feel like junk (surprise! Scientists all over the world got funding for that revelation), and wholefoods have components that work in all sorts of cool ways to make us feel awesome. Feeling emotionally better and cognitively improved is just as great a reward of eating well as looking great. After you’ve eaten nourishing foods for a while, all those tissues and nerves can concern themselves less with constantly healing the damage that’s been done, and get on with doing amazing stuff, like giving you super memory and an unshakeable good mood.
7. Eating well is cheaper in the short and long term. For one meal, it might seem cheaper to buy a takeaway value meal. But over a week or fortnight, buying groceries like fruit & vegetables and bulk wholefoods is far more economical. Over the long term, investing in your health prevents acute and chronic illnesses which could cost thousands or tens of thousands of dollars over a lifetime in medication and treatment. Imagine never having to buy a course of antibiotics again, or avoiding a hospital stay for a heart attack or stroke. It’s in your power!
8. You won’t crave junk food. People on diets fantasise about ‘junk’ food like chips and lollies. Which is completely understandable, because diets are restrictive. But the fact is, when you’re eating healthily (instead of dieting) and getting all the right nutrients, the cravings for those sorts of nutritionally devoid foods naturally dissipate, and those foods won’t seem like a temptation at all – you simply won’t want them, and you won’t miss them.
9. Other parts of your life will fall into place. Your new-found energy might encourage you to find a passion that you’d never discovered before. Your better mood and concentration might earn you a more rewarding job. Your amazing-looking lunch might start a conversation in the park that leads to a lifetime friendship. Sleep will come easier and you’ll wake up refreshed. Your improved body image might give you a beautiful confidence that a special someone takes a shine to. Above all this, you might realise how good feeling good is, and extend into other healthy activities like outdoor sports or yoga or meditation. Just believe, that as soon as you start to truly take care of yourself, you will be rewarded infinitely in ways you never imagined.
10. You’ll inspire those around you. Friends and family might notice your healthy glow. They might notice if you’ve lost weight, or if your mood has changed, or if you have a new energy or passion. And they might notice a delicious meal or snack that you’ve made for yourself, and want to try some. Imagine being the catalyst for positive change in the life of someone close to you. Eating well can help you do that.
Humans aren’t designed to be ‘vertically ill’ - burdened with chronic illnesses, unable to function to their best, but still walking around. Our bodies have the innate capacity to heal themselves, but by eating crap, we deny it this ability. A lion will die if all you feed it is grass clippings. A rabbit will eventually die if you feed it dog food. And we will die if we continue to eat ‘packaged food-like substances’ – things that have calories, but no nutrients.
Wholefoods are the start of true health. True health is the birth right of each human, and we who are lucky enough to be reading this on the internet have the financial and societal means to achieve true health.
The answer is simple – eat simple. Feel amazing. Change the world.
*the term “vertically ill” is from the book Food is Better Medicine than Drugs by Holford & Burne. “Packaged foodlike substances” was coined by Michael Pollan from In Defence of Food. Both amazing books that everyone should read :)
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