Is good nutrition important?

Is good nutrition important? Well, no, it's not...unless you want to feel good, be healthy, support meditation practice, and empower your caregiving efforts!

You can try going the distance without asking whether good nutrition is important. But when you start slowing down, feeling groggy, dealing with ever more aches and pains or allergies and all sorts of weird physical and mental issues...then talk to a nutritionist and most likely he or she will suggest a look at your diet.

There really is no sensible way around it. You can either help your body do its work, or you can make its job more difficult. You can either help your mind do the incredibly complex processing it does, or you can put roadblocks up. You can either align your body with nature or move further away from alignment.

So, is good nutrition important? Yes! You have surely heard or read the studies that adding more fruits and vegetables into your diet is the right direction. A wonderfully clear example of this is Dean Ornish's research showing the reversal of heart disease with proper diet and lifestyle changes. So, if you're not eating better, what holds you back?

The Excuse obstacle

Excuses. Yes, we all make excuses--especially to others. But what about to yourself? How much is your life impacted when you don't do what's right for you? When you ask yourself "Is good nutrition important?" you might answer "Yes!" "Will I do something about it?" "No! I mean...yes...well, maybe, when I have more time, or when my doctor finds something wrong, or I finish this incredibly tasty quadruple bipass burger!"

The Money obstacle

What else holds you back? Money. How do you want to spend your money? On eating more healthy food or on eventual doctor's bills? The first might be a little more expensive now (e.g. fresh fruit and vegetables vs. processed food), but the benefits are almost immediate, and long-term too. Invest in your health every day a little, and it will pay back big rewards over time.

The Taste obstacle

Another obstacle--taste. "Is good nutrition important?" "Yes!" "Do I like the taste of healthy food?" "No!" If that is your answer, try more exploration. Healthy food can be incredibly tasty. Especially if you are mindful of your eating. Add some Zen into your eating by doing a mindful eating exercise. Pay attention to every bite. Look at your food before eating it. You will see the lusciousness of a fresh orange, and the deadness of poor food choices.

The Time obstacle

Here's another reason people decide not to eat healthy: Time. They say it takes too long to make a healthy dish, even a healthy snack. Not so. Case in point: The banana. See what your body does when you eat a bag of chips vs. a banana for a snack. Observe your hunger before the snack, your body's and mind's reactions during the eating, and how you feel afterwards.

Start connecting the dots

There are many reasons you may not have generally healthy diet, but just try one step in the direction you feel is wholesome and see what happens. In fact, once you start connecting the dots between how you feel and what you eat, you might occasionally take some fun detours, but you can't go back. You'll always know that there's a connection.

You can't avoid death, or perpetually put off illness or old age, but you can often make choices that substitute something a little healthier for something a little less healthy. And not forego good taste. For much of your life, health can be cumulative.

Your effect on your loved one

Two final points. If you start asking: is good nutrition important, your loved one will more likely start asking the same thing. In other words, you can model healthy behavior. And when you are enjoying life, and feeling good, your interactions with your loved one will be more enjoyable too. Some of that good "vibe" will rub off on them.

So, what to eat? What great food will power your day and maybe even power your loved one's day? Try searching for that answer. Look at ingredients of processed foods. Find out how and where your foods were made. Pay attention to eating, in a mindful meditative way, especially when you eat alone. Make it a meditation.

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