This time of year, people always seem to be talking about ways to be healthier, whether they are trying to eat less or exercise more or make other changes to try to improve their lifestyle. Sometimes, though, it seems like the more we learn about food/nutrition/health etc., the more complicated being healthy becomes.
On Thanksgiving day, people do something they rarely do at any other time of the year – they sit down for dinner together as families and thoroughly enjoy their food, savoring every bite, completely relaxed, hearts light with gratitude for the many blessings they received throughout the year.
The typical Thanksgiving feast is a sharp contrast to the eat-and-run meals that most people devour today – grabbing the fastest and most convenient food and mindlessly bolting it down, barely even chewing it, thinking about nothing other than the next event to hurry off to.
I’ve eaten that way many, many more times than I would like. Even though I’ve posted before about how I’m trying to follow the old-fashioned principle of chewing ten times slowly, there are still many times when I end up rushing through my meal. We all have to rush through a meal once in a while, but the problem is that rushing can easily become a habit, even if there’s no real reason for hurrying.
There’s been quite a craze the past few decades of calorie-counting. Calorie counts are listed on just about everything now – cereal boxes, restaurant menus, even online databases devoted entirely to listing the number of calories in common foods.
I should know, because I used to be a calorie-counter myself. At one point, when I was seriously trying to lose “those last few pounds,” I even made up an Excel spreadsheet so I could keep track of how many calories I was consuming each day (and how many calories I was burning with exercise, and my current weight, and all other sorts of craziness!)
It was really motivating at first to keep track of everything, but then it got to be way, way too much work. I’d get behind on my recording of calories and had to spend too much time trying to catch up, driving myself crazy trying to remember what on earth I ate for lunch three days ago anyways…
And then I came to my senses and realized that calorie counting doesn’t work for me, and I stopped counting calories altogether. Instead, I tried to just eat as healthy of a diet as possible. This was before I started my real-food journey, so my definition of “healthy” wasn’t quite the same as it would be now, but I started to get rid of some of the worst foods. Without even trying, I lost a pound or two.
I’ve been finding recently that learning new things about health and nutrition can be kind of addictive – addictive to the point of borderline obsession sometimes. Once you start learning about the differences between modern, processed foods and a traditional real food diet, it can be easy to go a little bit crazy with reading and researching and making changes to the way you eat.
Sometimes the transition to a real food diet and a healthier lifestyle can seem a bit overwhelming. I’ve made quite a few changes to my diet and lifestyle over the past few months, but it still feels like there are so many changes I want to make. There are so many things that I still haven’t tried yet and many aspects of natural health that I’d like to learn more about.
Trying to Do it All
I’m trying to remind myself, though, that I don’t have to do them all this week, or this month, and maybe not even all this year. The transition to healthy, traditional foods doesn’t have to happen all at once. It can happen step by step by focusing on making just one small change at a time.
I used to think that any time I was out in the sunshine, my body was making Vitamin D. Unfortunately, though, I was wrong about that.
It turns out that, depending on where you live, there are only certain times of the day when you are able to get Vitamin D from the sun, and there are some days of the year when you actually can’t make any Vitamin D at all.
In my last post, I talked about how I simplified the beauty products that I use after I realized how many chemical ingredients were in the ones that I used to use. Part of that simplifying involved trying to find something new to wash my face with that was more natural than what I had originally been using.
There are so many different face washes out there that claim to be natural, but as I was searching online to find a good one, I came across the idea of using honey.
It seemed kind of strange to me at first to think about smearing sticky honey all over my face, but once I actually tried it, I realized that it actually does make a really good face wash, and it’s about as natural as you can get. Just one ingredient instead of the twenty or more that are usually in store bought face washes. I also love the fact that it’s something that’s edible. It certainly fits the advice of “don’t put anything on your skin that you wouldn’t want feel safe putting in your mouth.”
The more I learn about natural health, traditional foods, and old-fashioned living, the more I realize that people in our modern society keep getting further and further away from the idea of home health care. By home health care I mean treating minor health complaints with natural, homemade remedies rather than relying on over-the-counter drugstore medicines.
(Before I continue, I need to clarify that I am not a doctor or a medical professionsl, and I don’t claim to be any kind of expert when it comes to medicine. I’m not advocating the idea of ignoring serious medical problems by any means. With many health issues, the wisest choice would be to seek medical help, and as always, make sure you do your research before making any decisions about your health.)
Traditional Home Remedies
What I’m talking about when I say home health care is the idea of using simple and natural homemade remedies to treat the little things, like a cold or a stomach ache. I’m talking about the importance of becoming more aware of our bodies and learning how to use the natural remedies in our own kitchens to help us to achieve the best health possible rather than immediately running out to the drugstore to buy something for every little complaint.