We should eat to live, rather than live to eat. In our society, we have come to a point where we often care more about how our food tastes than what exactly it is doing to our bodies. We do, however, want to enjoy what we eat. Mealtimes can be a time of relaxation and preparing ourselves to continue our fast-paced lifestyle with the greatest amount of energy possible. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself before eating or drinking anything in order to get the most from what you consume.
Is This Bringing Life to My Body?
This is a great question to ask yourself anytime you are about to eat or drink something. Carefully consider the food and ask yourself honestly if eating it is going to help towards the goal of good health. Does the food appear to be life-giving?
Is This Food That I Need at This Moment?
The food you are eating may be healthful and nutritious, but is it what you need at this very moment? It is easy to justify overeating simply because the food we are overeating is “good for us.” We need a variety of nutrients, but sometimes there can be too much of a good thing. Be sure that you actually need this food at this moment, instead of eating out of boredom or to stuff emotions.
Do I Know What Is in This Food?
If you are eating whole foods, you are going in the right direction. If your food is packaged, read the label. Do you know what the ingredients in the food are and where they came from? If you cannot pronounce or understand the name of the ingredients, it may be time to find something else to eat.
Can I Find a Better Substitute?
Perhaps you are craving something sweet and feeling tempted to pour yourself a glass of soda. Why not try a freshly blended fruit smoothie instead? If you are about to rip open a bag of chips because you want something crunchy, try some pita chips and hummus instead. There is almost always a workable substitute for any less healthy food.
Do I Truly Enjoy This?
If you must eat, you might as well enjoy what you are eating. There are many life-giving foods to choose from that are delicious and pleasing to the senses. Even if you choose something that doesn’t have much nutrition in it, it ought to be something that you can at least say you enjoyed the taste of. Don’t waste your empty calories on something you don’t love.
How Will I Feel Later about Having Consumed This?
If you are eating something you enjoy, you may feel satisfied at the moment. How will you feel later? Will you be happy about your decision because it gave you energy and a moment of pleasure? Or will you feel disgusted with yourself and wish you had refrained from consuming it? Eat food that you will still feel thankful for after it is gone and you are left staring at nothing but an empty plate.
Eating is a necessity that also has great potential for enjoyment. We should eat in a way that honors our bodies and gives us a sense of thankfulness. Ask yourself these questions before eating or drinking anything, and you will never have regrets in regards to your food choices.