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Can You Eat Healthy and Be Happy?

There is growing evidence that the best nutrient absorption and natural appetite happens when we eat slow and without stress—referred to as being in a state of parasympathetic dominance. This goes back to our ancient selves. When under stress, our bodies did not waste energy on digestion but instead put energy toward fight, flight, or freeze. You may have noticed your digestion does not work well when you are under heavy or chronic stress.


A few ‘foods’ for thought:

· Are we eating healthy if we are forcing ourselves to eat “healthy” food we do not enjoy?

· Are we eating healthy if we are eating “unhealthy” foods that make us happy?

· Do those two things make eating healthy impossible?

· Do some people really like healthy foods or are they just saying that?


Evidence shows you cannot go from fast food, pre-packaged food, or any other form of unnatural foods to a very new menu without having some taste resistance.


A couple suggestions that might help us enjoy new healthier foods:

· Try just a few new foods at a time.

· Try new foods more than once even if you do not care for them the first time.


Change is difficult. Your taste buds need to get used to new foods. This is especially the case for foods with a bitter component. Our ancient selves realized that sweet tasting foods were calories for your body and bitter tasting foods might be poisonous. You had to “learn” which bitter things were poisonous. Think coffee or beer. Most people do not care for either of those the first few times they try them.


Mental attitude can affect our food choices. If you are convinced you will not like a food before you try it, you are probably right. A positive attitude about eating healthy foods to nourish your body can go a long way toward feeling good about the foods you eat. Having an awareness that you are doing something kind for your body may help you enjoy healthy foods while you develop a taste for them.


3 Comments


Guest
Oct 25, 2023

When I have struggled to like foods that are 'good for me', if I see them on a menu in a restaurant, I will order them. A chef knows how to prepare the food better than I do. It gives me a chance to see if I do indeed like the food or if it is just in my preparation.

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Great article! I agree taste buds have to have time to change and I appreciate the example of coffee and beer. I didn't think I really liked brussel sprouts but after learning different ways to prepare them, they are my go-to veggie!

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Brussel sprouts definately have little bit of bitterness to them that I like. It is the one food we have served to company where we have recieved a comment more than a couple of times something along the lines they have never had them or haven't had them in a long time and didn't know they would like them.

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