I recently shared my own take on what true nourishment looks like. Today, I’d like to follow up, and expand on each point, a bit.
TAKES SOME TIME
This is two-fold. First, you aren’t likely to completely change your habits overnight. If you’re used to eating processed foods and sweets, and rarely eat healthy, you aren’t going to be a consistent healthy eater from today, forward. However, you CAN start to practice eating better and making healthier choices.
Second, studies show that it takes 20 minutes for your stomach to signal to your brain that you’ve eaten just enough to be satisfied (not stuffed). So, it’s important to eat slowly, and watch for the “cues” your body will send you.
In addition to eating slowly, you need to pay attention to what your body is telling you. We have built-in sensors (the hormones, Ghrelin & Leptin) that tell us when we are physiologically hungry, and when we’ve eaten just enough to refuel ourselves.
Unfortunately, most of us have lost the art of paying attention, so we aren’t familiar with these feelings, or “cues”.
However, if you choose to pay attention, you will begin to recognize your body’s unique signals, and can then respond accordingly.
Fun Fact: Did you know that most people will “sigh”, or pause, during a meal, when they have reached their “satisfied” point? If you stop eating at this point, you will find that you’re no longer over-stuffing yourself!
REMEMBERS ITS SOURCE
It is important for us, especially as Christians, to remember that everything we have has been given to us by God — He is our Source.
At the same time, it’s helpful to also, occasionally, reflect on how our food got to our tables in the first place. We can choose to thank God for the people who worked to produce this food for us, from the farmers (or factory workers), all the way to the hands of the one(s) who helped to prepare the meal.
HONORS THE GIVER
Here, I am thinking not just about nourishing foods, but also our entertainment choices. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do”, it should all be for the glory of God. So, before you eat, or partake in an activity, think to yourself, “Does this please God? What might be a more God-honoring choice?”
DOES NO HARM
Yep. I borrowed this phrase from the medical profession. But, it fits. Think about the food you eat regularly: Is it helping, or harming, your body? Is that can of soda beneficial to your health (really)? While no foods are inherently “good” or “bad”, some are obviously more beneficial than others. Some foods give us energy (eg. water, fruits, vegetables, legumes), while others leave us feeling sluggish (eg. refined sugars).
“You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you.
You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial.”
// 1 Corinthians 10:23 //
KEEPS IT SIMPLE
Meals don’t have to be complicated, or include big productions in order to be considered healthy. You could have an Antipasto platter, and call it a meal. Or, you could steam some veggies and get a Rotisserie chicken, pre-cooked, from the grocer’s deli department … all in under 30 minutes!
The key is to do what feels right for you. Don’t make things more complicated than they need to be.
We are al human, which means none of us are going to do things “perfectly” all of the time. If you slip or stray from your good intentions, give yourself grace, forgive yourself, dust off the crumbs, and try again. You haven’t truly ‘failed’ unless you stop trying, and stop moving forward.
“For, though I fall, I will rise again.”
// Micah 7:8 //
This goes along with two of the points above. Again, certain foods will benefit you more than others. If you pay attention, you’ll start to notice which choices give you energy, and which ones drain you. Obviously, plant-based foods will be a better energy source than, say, a cookie (not that there’s anything wrong with the occasional cookie, of course!)
IS ENOUGH TO SATISFY
Ever notice how, some days, you can eat and eat and eat, and never feel satisfied? My guess is that, on those days, you aren’t really asking your body what it truly needs, and then listening for the answer!
Sometimes it’s not even food, at all, that our bodies are calling for! It could be that we need a hug… or, some time to ourselves… or, maybe you’re just dehydrated, and need a drink of water.
Also included, here, is the fact that our stomachs are, in fact, designed to hold very little food (approximately the size of your closed fist). It doesn’t take much to hit that “satisfied” point — at least, physically. So, check your emotions, and see if something else may be eating you!
NEEDS NO EXTRAS
For those who have trained their tastebuds to no longer crave refined sugars, many fruits & vegetables taste great on their own, without the need for anything “extra” (eg. butter, fruit dip, salt, etc.).
True Nourishment also feels satisfied with a single serving, and doesn’t need to go back for seconds (or more!).
The truly healthy choices will leave you feeling energized, satisfied, and vibrant (not sluggish, stuffed, or guilty).