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Diet and Stress or Stressful Diets?

by Dr. Terri Hawkins

Without question, our enjoyment if not our whole world as one would say revolves around what we eat or our decision and anticipation of what we will eat. 

Yes – we have all been recipients in both the contentment and frustration that our decisions have created. One often wonders how to balance overwhelming desires with good health. For truly, haven’t we all at one time or another considered the refrain from Big Macs, pizza, french fries, pies and desserts a stress in itself? 

We have all been told to avoid certain foods although considered delightful and acclaimed sinful by many. Actually, the thought of never having the foods we love is usually the dark cloud of gloom and doom that is placed before us, but let’s be realistic. The word never carries with it such force that we are in a state of 

constant fear. Ease your mind and understand this: That it is not what we eat once in awhile with moderation that will destroy, or even the opposite – nourish us, but what we eat on a regular basis. We all need to find the balance within ourselves. Does this mean that pizza and desserts are extinct for us? Not at all, but the level of intake will need to be shifted somewhat. An easier way to measure where our boundaries might be is to follow this rule: Eat mostly a diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and whole grains, then add no more than three bites of the foods that carry saturated fats, sugars, dairy, animal products, and altered substances. If you want a dessert – have it, but after three bites save the rest for the end of the next meal. You are never deprived when you cut down; you are just savoring the moment. You are learning balance and creating not a diet but a lifestyle change that is permanent and progressive for your health. We are either a slave to our foods or a master. A master does not walk down a perfect road, but learns to balance all that is in front him. Change your perception and point of view of what diet means and you change your life. This is about your journey with yourself, not about the comparison to that one which walks the road next to you. The joy is in the trip, in the moment, in the decisions of each day. When we reach our destination – it’s over. Recognize all that isn’t so that you can appreciate all that is. Enjoy your health for it will enable you to enjoy your life to the fullest.

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