Those of you who follow my podcast and YouTube channel know I intentionally limit my discussions about food. Why? Because I want people to understand that food is just one of the things that affects our health and happiness—definitely not the only thing. Food is a hot topic all over the internet, and we’re inundated by crazy amounts of information and discussions about healthy eating: lists of the top ten superfoods, foods that help you gain weight, lose weight, fight diabetes, foods that contain the most B vitamins, and a billion other related topics. The problem is that there’s not nearly enough focus on the bigger picture of chronic stress (affected by many different factors) or how to implement long-term behavior change. In other words, we may learn what the top 10 antioxidant-rich foods are, but have no idea how to actually incorporate them into our lives long-term, and can become stressed and worried that we’re not eating enough of them every day. The irony is that most people I’ve taught and worked with actually have a pretty good idea of what eating healthy looks like, but don’t know enough about how to actually be a healthy eater. Here’s the plain truth: if eating healthy food causes you great stress, you might as well not bother….
My M.O.T.T. (Most Of The Time) diet is very healthy, fairly regular, and super easy to prepare. I eat this way because it simply helps me to do the things I want to do in my life—spend time with my family, do the work I love, and run long distances. I still love food and the special meals with friends and family, but day-to-day my diet is so dialed in that I don’t have to expend a bunch of time and energy thinking about it…
To that end I ask you all to always remember why as humans we’re so drawn to diets and exercise plans—here’s a hint: it’s not really about being thin or avoiding heart disease…It’s about the fact that we want to live happy lives. Keeping our eye on this fact means we become more aware of how we approach new behaviors and habits. We learn to take our time incorporating healthy changes in our lives in order to avoid getting too stressed out in the process.
I love food as much as the next person, but have made great strides to see it as merely one of the things that I enjoy in my life, and often see it as a tool that enables me to more fully enjoy all the other things in my life that bring me pleasure (family, work etc.).
In a few days (Monday, April 18), I’ll be sending another post announcing a super exciting project I’ve just completed with Matt Frazier, The No Meat Athlete. What we’ve created will empower people to easily transform themselves into healthy eaters while removing the fear, worry, and misconceptions about what it really takes to eat a healthy diet. I can’t wait to fill you in on the details, so stay tuned!
P.S. Matt Frazier invited me on his podcast this last week for an epic discussion of Stress-Free Healthy Eating (1.5 hours–broken up into a three-part series!) . It’s well worth a listen!