A visit to my friend’s house yesterday got me thinking about Attitude. I had just walked into his house and knew immediately he was on another one of his health-food kicks. They cycle around about every six or so weeks. I think the first one was right after we had watched the movie, “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.” He decides to clean up his act and spends like a million dollars on beets, kale, carrots, apples, celery, you name it. I always know he has had another epiphany because the juicer is on the kitchen counter. The kick lasts a day at the most. Sometimes hours. Most of the produce ends up in the compost bucket and he’s back to sneaking Mexican food or steak and eggs or mac n’ cheese.
What does that have to do with me thinking about attitude? After the visit, I took a walk and got thinking about how my appetite pendulum doesn’t swing from steak to juice fasts. I’m pretty consistent. Why? Because somewhere along the line I’ve adopted an attitude, or a philosophy, that the main purpose of my food choices is to nourish me. I love life and want to live long and healthy. Food is one of the ways I can get there. Slowly I’ve trained my tastebuds to love flavorful food that is good for me. And, over time, the crap food just doesn’t even appeal any more. I don’t need to “cleanse” my body, because a healthy diet does that automatically. That has become my food attitude and so most of my food choices sprout from that base. My friend’s attitude, probably mostly unconscious, is “Hey if it sounds good at the moment, that’s what I want to have” with no real contribution from the “but is it good for me” category. So, his health-food kicks are just a flimsy drapery over his real attitude. They can’t stick because they have no roots. I’ve been in the nutrition field for like 30 years and this is the first time I thought about food this way.
It’s all about attitude. That was my “aha moment.” Anyone who really and truly wants to change food habits must first decide on what that underlying attitude/philosophy about their relationship with food is going to be. That attitude is chosen, whether consciously or unconsciously. It’s very much like that great saying about – the best gift you can give you kids is roots, the other is wings. Well, that should apply to ourselves as well. Without giving ourselves roots in a healthy attitude toward food, how can anyone expect to be successful, whether it is to be healthier, leaner, smarter, happier, more energetic, or medication-free? So, I ask you, What is your attitude toward the foods you choose every day?
This article is by Elizabeth Somer award-winning author of more than 10 books. She has also written articles for Shape, Cooking Light, Cosmopolitan, Healthy Living and many other publications. She is a frequent guest on the Today Show, the View, and Dr. Oz. Learn more about Elizabeth