The decisions we make about what to eat, when and how, offer a vivid reflection of our attitudes, values, and well-being. Increasingly, scientific research is emphasizing the profound ways in which our food choices impact not only our physical health but our overall quality of life.
“The food you choose to put into your body directly impacts your quality of life and reflects your attitudes, values and well-being. A balanced and mindful approach to food can contribute to a longer and healthier life,” says Marnie Dachis Marmet, the author of “My Song, Unleashed” and a renowned holistic coach.
In a world overflowing with dietary fads and conflicting nutritional advice, the focus should ideally pivot towards understanding the holistic benefits of food. Consuming food is not just about satiating hunger but nourishing the body and mind. We are what we eat, not just in a physical sense, but emotionally and mentally.
Alarming statistics shine a light on the critical necessity for dietary awareness. A staggering 50% of Americans are deficient in essential nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, and magnesium. What’s even more concerning is that more than half the general population is deficient in vitamin D, a vital nutrient responsible for bone health, immune function, and mood regulation.
Marnie emphasizes the importance of variety in our diet. “Eating a variety of nutrient-rich foods and maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the risk of chronic diseases and improve overall quality of life as we age. Aim to include a wide range of foods from all food groups. Different foods provide different nutrients, so diversifying your diet helps ensure you’re getting a broad spectrum of essential nutrients. Prioritize fruits and vegetables and strive to eat a rainbow of colors to ensure a diverse nutrient intake.”
The concept of ‘eating the rainbow’ is not just an aesthetic appeal for Instagram feeds but an essential guideline for comprehensive nutrition. Each color in fruits and vegetables corresponds to specific nutrients. For example, red fruits and vegetables like tomatoes and strawberries often contain antioxidants such as lycopene, beneficial for heart health. Green foods like spinach and broccoli are rich in vitamins K, B, and E.
Our relationship with food also extends beyond the nutritional content. It encompasses our emotional and psychological ties to eating. A mindful approach to food considers not just the what but the why of eating. Understanding our cravings, recognizing when we eat out of stress, boredom, or emotional triggers, and fostering a sense of gratitude and presence during meals can transform eating from a mundane task to a deeply enriching experience.
In essence, every meal is an opportunity. It’s a chance to nourish our bodies, to show respect to ourselves, and to make choices that align with our values and aspirations. In an era where convenience often overshadows quality, taking a step back to evaluate, understand, and cultivate a better relationship with our food can pave the way for a life that’s not just longer, but richer in quality and experience.
The importance of our relationship with food cannot be understated. It influences our physical health, emotional balance, and the very essence of our daily existence. By making mindful, informed choices, and by recognizing the profound ways in which every bite shapes our lives, we can truly harness the power of food to live our best lives.
Marnie Dachis Marmet is an author, serial entrepreneur, board-certified health coach, and the founder of Zenful Life Coaching, a practice dedicated to helping women and teens create healthier and happier lives. She supports clients in implementing personalized nutrition and wellness plans and making gradual, sustainable lifestyle changes. Her areas of expertise include longevity, mind-body-spirit holistic health, gut health, yoga, mindfulness, and meditation. As co-creator and co-host of “The Art of Living Well Podcast,” Marnie empowers listeners to challenge the status quo, and she provides information and inspiration for living their healthiest and most authentic life. She has also owned and operated ChillyBean Promotions, a promotional products company, for more than 20 years.