Why is it so hard to consistently eat well?

veggiesAt the office this morning a patient told me that after getting off cholesterol medication her muscle aches have improved. She is working with her medical doctor on this issue and the doctor was very pleased that her cholesterol is stabilized, she is off medication and her body is feeling better.  Interestingly though, her liver enzymes are still high.  Her doctor assumed they would return to normal once off the medication.  I love what her doctor recommended she do next: improve her diet and lose some weight.  They will be checking the liver enzymes again in three months and the doctor wants to see them improved.  So here is my patient, happy to be off her medication, feeling better and wanting to lose weight.  She asked me if I had a liver cleanse to get her started.  I told her I do and that is a great idea.  In addition, I told her that to lose the 30 pounds she wants to lose she’ll have to get serious about her nutrition.  I could tell by her demeanor that she isn’t really committed to changing her diet.

Honestly, I understand.  It’s not fun to change your diet.  What you eat is what you eat.  The morning cereal and coffee is how you get out the door in three minutes.  The quick lunch at the drive through is efficient and tasty.  The box of pasta you make at night is inexpensive and makes you feel full.  It is a huge inconvenience of time and taste buds to change.

I told my patient that she’ll have to decide how bad she wants to lose weight.  She’s got to really want it.  It either has to hurt to stay the way she is (hurt as in scared of liver enzymes being elevated) or she can attach a great feeling to the success of weight loss (more stamina, feel better in her clothes, be admired by a loved one, etc.)  It seems that if you don’t have one of these, it’s not easy to just rely on “will power.”

As a wellness chiropractor, I often feel the healthy pressure of making choices that will set a good example for my patients.  I stay fit and eat well because I’m constantly recommending that my patients stay fit and eat well.  I realize the benefits a million-fold.  Why is it, then, that those extra five pounds can still creep up from time to time?

Now, I realize that an extra five pounds is not the same as being thirty pounds overweight.  But isn’t the difficulty the same?  Is it just as hard for my patient to initiate better eating habits as it is for me to say no to the yummy white rolls at the restaurant?  Why is it so hard to eat well?

I believe it is almost impossible to consistently eat well because the vast majority of food we have available to us is JUNK.  Everywhere you look is high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated vegetable oils.  Forms of glutamate are in a great majority of food and food flavorings and colorings are rampant in our food supply.  It is near impossible to walk into a national chain restaurant and get completely fresh, organic, whole food that contains no sweeteners or flavor enhancers.  You just can’t do it.

I eat the best when it is summertime and I have better access to whole organic food.  If I primarily eat at home and take the time to prepare fresh meals I eat quite well.  My focus is vegetable salads with organic protein on top.  But I’ll tell you, if I go to a restaurant, I’m likely going for the white roll and fried calamari.

In conclusion, here’s a loving shout-out to the local small organic farms.  You are the way!  The Temple-Wilton Community Farm has been our family’s nutritional saving grace.  My wish is that we will continue to see small organic farms thrive and large corporate GMO farms suffer as more people choose to each local and organic.

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