It is helpful to understand that food isn’t just food it is our fuel. We often use it as a comfort or ‘a treat’. We can over-indulge, we can eat a lot of what is not healthy for us and not enough of what is healthy for us. We can learn to eat to fuel our bodies and not feed our emotions. When we ‘treat ourselves’ this is a form of disordered eating where we are eating for comfort or soothing, not fuel and energy which is the real purpose of food. A significant cause of our ill health and poor energy levels comes from the food or fuel we choose to consume.
We need to consume more whole foods (foods that haven’t been processed in anyway) and more plants of different colours and textures. We need to consume less animal products that we do now and add more protein (yes, you can get enough just from plants) and more fibre. Protein is not just important for muscle maintenance and growth but for all of our body replenishment, we need protein to recover from just living. Fibre is important for digestive health, the better our digestive health, the better our overall health. The better our health, the more energy we have and the better we feel. The more whole foods and plants we eat, the more protein (just not as much animal protein) and fibre we consume the better we will feel and the more energy we will have.
We need to cultivate a healthy relationship with food, no food is bad and no food is good. There are just more nutritious and less nutritious foods. We all have a BMR (base metabolic rate) of calories per day we can consume to maintain our weight. When we consume more than that number we gain weight and when we consume less than that number that we lose weight. So for those of us that would like to maintain our weight and/or lose any weight we will be wanting to get as many nutrients (for energy and health) from our consumed calories as we can. The easiest way to do this is through eating more whole foods and more plants, which are generally higher in nutrients per calorie. Consuming drinks that are low or no calorie (water ideally) help manage our overall calorie intake.
When we move towards whole foods our cravings are reduced. When we increase our protein intake our snacking needs are reduced because we feel fuller, longer. We can also choose to be more mindful when we are eating, not watching TV. Tasting of the food and chewing slowly. This way we can eat until we are satisfied, not until we are full. When we are full we feel heavy and have a stretched stomach, we feel uncomfortable and sluggish. When we feel satisfied we feel more neutral, we have no feeling in the stomach, we feel lighter, not heavy or uncomfortable. We should be energetic enough to go for a walk after any meal.
Caffeine is a stimulant that we often use to ‘keep us going throughout the day’ if we ate the right fuel/foods for energy and remained adequately hydrated we would not need any caffeine or sugar for energy in our afternoons at all. Try it.
Alcohol is a toxin. The body expends a significant amount of energy, vitamins and minerals to remove this toxin from our bodies every time it is consumed. Other stimulants we ingest cause our bodies similar challenges. Whilst removing all of these stimulants from our fuel intake would be ideal and offer us the most health benefits, even reducing them helps our bodies. If we cannot remove something, we can work on reducing it over time. The better we feel for it, the easier it becomes to continue to reduce it. If we have a strong motivation to do something unhealthy, we have the capability to have a strong motivation not to.
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For more on how you can eat better to feel better, download my digital download guide:
steeleyournutrition: How To Eat Better To Feel Better now from