Daily meals are a staple of a healthy life. Eating enough is how we keep our bodies running, but food can be so much more than mere fuel. Food can be an expression of love and creativity, but the food you choose matters. It is reasonably easy to make food tasty, but there is more to the food you eat than how it tastes. Self-care is a popular topic, but most people think of self-care as a bubble bath or quiet night with a book, but just like there is more to food, there is more to self-care too. You may not realize it, but self-care and food go hand in hand. It is entirely possible to incorporate self-care into your regular meals that will still taste good and be good for you. Take care of yourself and your body by improving your diet, so you don’t end up with avoidable health issues. However, if you find yourself facing some bodily oddities, go here to learn more about yeast overgrowth and other common issues, but otherwise, keep reading to learn more about how to practice self-care with your diet.
Avoid Fake Foods
Processed foods have been a large percentage of all foods sold in grocery stores for years now. We have become used to processed or synthetic foods to the point we hardly notice when something contains processed ingredients. Buying fake cheese products might be nostalgic and taste good, but real cheese would still taste good while being far healthier for you. Our bodies are not made to process and digest fake foods, so you will be doing your body a favor by ditching the fake foods. It is not always easy to spot precisely which foods are processed and which aren’t when you walk down an aisle, but there are some key things to look for.
Foods with additives, preservatives, and other less than desirable ingredients like trans fats are generally processed and not ideal for healthy meals. Frozen pizzas are a beloved tasty treat, but they are also processed and not the healthiest choice; freshly made pizza would be healthier than frozen pizza simply because of the ingredients. Extra sugar, salt, preservatives, and other non-natural ingredients hide in seemingly acceptable foods. Thankfully, there are usually alternative options for processed foods. If you want a frozen pizza, look for brands or boxes that are organic or use natural ingredients. However, you cannot take the marketing label on the front of the box at face value. There is no regulation dictating how words like organic are used, which leaves brands free to label things as organic or natural that are not. The only way to see past the marketing is to read the ingredients list because the ingredients list must accurately reflect the food.
As kids, hardly anyone wants to eat their fruits, vegetables, herbs, or anything else “healthy.” Kids tend not to like the taste of natural foods, but our palette changes as we age. Foods you may have written off when you were younger could be the perfect thing to reintroduce now so you can enjoy the natural flavors. Healthy food does not need to be boring or bland; you can easily care for your body by eating a healthy diet and still enjoy the taste of food with naturally occurring flavors.
Load your plate with colorful fruits and vegetables to bring natural flavor back to your diet and reintroduce foods we wrote off in our youth. Fruits are a perfect way to limit your added sugar intake. So many foods have added sugar these days, but grown fruits have natural sugars that will satisfy your sweet tooth in a healthy way. Add herbs and spices to your bland meals to bring natural and healthy flavors. Rosemary chicken is a cooking staple for a reason, and there is no limit to the flavors you can create with herd, spices, seasonings, dips, and dressings. Some spices and herbs even have their own health benefits, such as ginger and basil sporting anti-inflammatory properties. Play with natural flavors and see what you can make.
Sometimes we eat all healthy meals but still don’t feel good or quiet right. A common culprit in this situation is absent-minded eating. Many people don’t realize how much they snack or graze throughout the day. You can eat three perfectly healthy meals a day, but all that dietary good can be undone by copious snacking, especially snacking on junk food. The first step to fixing absent-minded eating is to practice awareness and mindfulness. Stop and think about if you are actually hungry or just thirsty or bored. We reach for food for many reasons other than hunger, so use personal reflection to determine how you can work towards mindful eating and healthier eating habits overall.
It can be easy to forget to take care of your body as part of self-care, but what you eat affects your body and, in turn, affects your entire well being. Adding self-care to your diet is easier than you might imagine, as the main issue is cutting out bad foods and replacing them with healthier but still tasty options. Avoid processed foods, fill your plate and pantry with natural foods and flavors, and practice mindful eating, so you don’t unconsciously graze between meals.