Conscious Eating: Getting Started

Doctor visits usually provide a health report that list's some important information: blood type, vitamin levels, and most important, allergies. Some people may experience allergic reactions first hand to find out what they should avoid. In either case once you learn that you have an allergy to peanuts, fruits, gluten, milk, shellfish, wheat or anything else, you make a conscious decision—you will no longer consume them.

You know consuming these products will lead to a negative reaction (think throat swelling, skin outbreaks, or anaphylaxis shock.). You decide whether you want to take the risk. Maybe a swig of Benadryl before you eat some shellfish will help ease the reaction. For some the risk is worth it if you're aware the side effects are not life threatening. For others the "high risk, high reward" concept isn't worth it.

Transition into junk food. Junk food doesn't provide instant reactions like foods we are allergic. Instead how body reacts to them an hour or so after we're done. Eating a cheeseburger will not automatically cause cardiac arrest. Drinking a can of soda will not automatically gave you diabetes. We've learned that excessive consumption of certain foods cause long term negative health effects. But rethinking how and why we consume them can be the start for freeing our body from the damages they cause.

For everything you eat and drink, your body will react a certain way. Always consider that no two moments will ever be the same. You can eat the exact same meals everyday for a month but outside factors will influence your body's reaction. Weather, humidity, and stress will all alter how your body absorbs the food it. Also consider that your body and genes are unique. A cheeseburger won't change your body the way it might change mine.

Even with the differences in how our body responds, there is an underlined thing to accept—certain foods offer little value. Have you ever felt thirsty and drank a soda? What happens? You get more thirsty. Consider the difference in eating a fast food burger versus a burger made at home? One of them makes you feel bloated and heavy, the other leaves you feeling full. Food is different!

Eating a meal isn't meant to make us feel heavy or uncomfortable. We're supposed to feel satisfied and mostly energized. If something makes you feel good, mentally note it and consider having it again down the line. If it hurts your stomach, makes your skin breakout or makes you feel bloated, stay away. That's the basis of conscious eating.

Conscious eating is all about using your memory to be aware of what you've eaten recently and how your body responds to it. If you had pizza on Monday, you don't need pizza on Wednesday. If you had a cheeseburger from a specific place and your stomach became upset, make a burger at home the next time you're craving one.  

Awareness is the first step in conscious eating. Stay tuned for the next article in the Conscious Eating series, Eating With Consequences.