14th September 2014: London, United Kingdom
The choice this morning to order breakfast without bread lead a conversation with my old housemate down an avenue focused on changes made in my life. The first question, clearly a reaction to the noticed shift in my dietary choices made me consider how the seemingly now normal patterns within my life symbolise a difference in the choices made in regards to numerous lifestyle related factors. I agree these changes would be evident, particular for friends in London who have not seen me in six months, i.e, diet, alcohol consumption, social engagement, etc.
My response overlooked the noticeable shifts as I think they were fairy explicit, especially considering I have been in London for almost nine weeks and haven’t been for a drink with him, and was now ordering a breakfast without bread. Instead, the less obvious factors were shared, the points I view as more significant changes made in my life. For instance, a reduced pace in life, an increased motivation to learn, an introduction to the area of mindfulness, a greater motivation to explore possible ideas to improve my health and an overall better approach to my health and well-being. Maybe to some, this may not be significant areas of change, however, when placed in a context whereby comparisons are made to the life lived before, the changes are very clear. In addition, I explained to my friend that at the beginning the changes were constantly in my mind, however, now there seems to be little thought towards certain decision as the patterns are already well established, meaning I no longer internally quarrel about what to eat, whether I can have a beer, how to reduce stressors from my life and whether I am keeping to my designed scheduled. The example below describes a period when making changes were not as easy, and my mind did not automatically shift without needing to concentrate on the decisions and choices made.
I have told this story to many people, and it involves a scenario I encountered with food when first starting to read about nutrition. I was visiting a market at The Rocks in Sydney, and an abundance of delicious food was at reach of my eager taste buds. In my mind, thoughts were circulating about the newly obtained information. Thoughts such as the need to cut meat, gluten, sugar and varying oils from my diet. Consequently, I left the market, upset and hungry because the decision made was one whereby I did not eat anything. You may think I’m preaching the old saying ‘eat anything in moderation’. I’m not. I’m saying crate a plan that works for you, and live the best you can. If you happens to slip up, well, don’t get down on yourself, think back to the reason for making the change, and simply enjoy the food. Just to note, during these periods, use of a tracking system or diary can put everything into perspective, possibly helping to reduce any guilt or mixed emotions experienced. I stated above that I know I eat a nutrient rich diet, however, I recognise there would be loads of people lining up to voice their criticism when looking at my food journal. The stark contrast in the opinion of eating habits and nutrition is what I believe causes so much confusion and uncertainty, especially in relation to the most optimal diet in order for people to promote their health. The example I told resulted from the vast array of information I was processing during that period. Should I cut carbs, how much sugar is in this, I wonder what oils they use, and is red meat going to see a Tumour return again. You get the picture! To conclude, I would suggest complete your reading, track your foods and work out a plan and after time, no longer will the changes become a matter to consciously think about. Rather, an automatic pattern will have been created that will keep you fit, healthy and give your body the best chance of maintaining a level of wellness or the needed immunity to fight invading infections.