Food as we know it, has gone from being a source of nutrition, energy, minerals and elements our bodies need to run efficiently and effectively.
To a glorified beautification of food for aesthetics, taste profiles, presentation, experiences while eating said food, and picture worthy displays for Insta.
Instead of feeding us for purpose, it is a race to find and eat the most satisfying tastes that kick in our dopamine, but not necessarily our energy. We are enamored with serving other purposes like socializing, emotional gaps, sugar cravings, comfort, flavor profiles that are mind blowing and all the things except fuel and energy.
Our bodies are getting tapped, and continually lose energy, making us more sedentary, creating gaps in our gut-biome, creating mental fog, discomfort, obesity, pain, inflammation and finally DISEASE. When we are not constantly feeding our body "whole foods", or minimally processed foods, our systems are thrown out of whack. Our systems begin to sputter, create inflammation, miscommunications, overloads, toxic buildup and more.
Our quality of Life is now depreciating.
The U.S. now ranks 19th out of the top 87 countries around the world for quality of life. in 1970, 15% of the US population was obese vs. today 70% of Americans are either overweight or obese. This has spiraled out of control and is not slowing down. The average caloric intake was 2,614 in the 1970s and is now 3,600 average per day, per person. The sugar beverages have exploded 61% from 1977-1997, today that has gone up even higher. Sugar is sneaky and quite addictive. It is hidden in so many foods we eat today.
Don't get me wrong, experiences are critical in life, but food experiences are misinterpreting foods true purpose. We are intricately run machines. Our systems run smooth in a fine balance (homeostasis) when all vitamins, minerals and nutrients are fed, processed and digested properly. In addition, all the other pillars are upright and Physical, Mental, Emotional, Spiritual, Nutritional, Environmental, Employment and Financial are all firing correctly.
When we are tied to food emotionally vs. serving the purposes listed above, we see removing foods that do not serve our body, mind and soul as deprivation. It strikes a chord emotionally and that over rides the functional purpose of eating food for energy, nutrients digesting, thinking, etc. We then go into defensive mechanisms that over run what we need with what we want, it can hinder food for function.
How we think about food, is just one part of the food journey. We also need to dig deeper into our food intake today, now more than ever. Food is not regulated to the strengths of other parts of the world. The preservatives, hormones, chemicals, GMO's, synthetics, dyes, natural flavors, sugars and more are masked bandits hijacking the balanced process our bodies need to perform at top functionality. The food we eat today is far different than the food we ate pre-1990. There are many processed ingredients that are developed to create flavor effects and flavor profiles that peak taste buds and draw you back for more. These profiles strike that emotional and dopamine chord causing you to once again over ride your true need for food for function.
We are all authentic human bodies, we all have distinct genetic make ups and what some can eat, may not work for others. It is so critical in today's food landscape to take a food sensitivities test and truly understand what your bodies allergies and sensitivities are. They truly make a difference on your digesting, functionality, and over all health. Understanding what your own unique bodies needs are is the difference between feeling well and unwell.
In addition, it is also critical to run your blood panels periodically and understand your unique dashboard. If there are any bells/alarms sounding off that are effecting your overall health & wellness, it is crucial to know so you can also make adjustments on your food intakes, as it may tell you to adjust your macro's, minerals, or vitamins to fill deficiencies or that you're getting too much of something.
Hormones are also triggered by the foods we eat and can cause imbalance when you're eating something that triggers and or depletes that balance of the reproductive system. It goes far beyond your reproductive system which also affects mood, energy levels, libido, detoxification, elimination, bone strength, skin and more. The environmental effects are also critical to note in finding that balance as well. More on that in another blog.
Hormones are like the childhood game operator. Gonadtropin-releasing hormones in your hypothalamus (center of your brain in charge of the nervous system, endocrine system and your pituitary gland and part of the Lymbic system). Remember, the pituitary controls growth, energy, blood pressure, energy management, all functions of the sex organs, thyroid and metabolism just to name a few). It is the main communication for many of our bodily functions when hormones are released into the bloodstream telling specific parts and systems of the body to do the things it needs to do.
Hormones affect both brain and gut health. It is critical to ensure you have plenty of fiber, protein, healthy fats and complex carbs daily, at every meal and snack to maintain good hormone balance. When they are intercepted by toxins, inflammation, non- nutritional barriers it blocks that telephone messaging telling the bodies systems what to do.
When our bodies are feeling anxious, depressed, overwhelmed, over-stimulated, hormones unbalanced, bloating, lethargic, brain fog, never satiated, inflammation, achy, pain, hypertension, headaches and so much more, much of this is attributed to your food and drink intake. Throwing your hormones and system functions out of whack.
The majority of your hydration per day should be straight H2O. The average adult should be taking in a minimum of 100 oz per day. 70% of our bodies are water. The body needs to constantly replenish this hydration for fluid in joints, muscle tissues, cells, our digestive process, excretion process, blood flow and oxygen transport, brain function and everything else.
Yes, I know this is a lot to understand, comprehend and implement, but living a more holistic lifestyle helps you feel and live life to the fullest. The easiest option is to default to old habits and just deal with it. This is where the value of a holistic health & wellness coach comes in handy to get you started in becoming aware and make these changes. It is a process, not an overnight shift. Give your self grace and start the shift. It make a world of difference. The routine is constantly shifting and you're constantly learning, evolving and growing.. The goal is to make you self-sustaining and feeling great. There's still plenty of experiences and socializing to be had, just be mindful of the food and drink when doing it.
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