Cauliflower rice instead of white rice.
Applesauce instead of oil.
Chickpea noodles instead of spaghetti.
Avocado oil instead of canola.
Coconut sugar instead of white sugar.
These are all classic “healthy” substitutes that you see people making in the health and wellness space. You might see graphics on Instagram and Facebook telling you about substitutions to make in order to be healthier, or YouTube videos about these essential “healthy swaps”. Honestly, I make some of these “swaps” myself! However, “healthifying” all of your recipes might not actually lead to a healthier you.
If you prefer the taste of cauliflower to rice, cool! If eating white rice gives you anxiety because you’re scared of white carbs, then you might be obsessed with healthifying.
If you love the texture of your baked goods with applesauce, I’m with you! If eating vegetable oil is unfathomable to you, then you might be obsessed with healthifying.
If you’re gluten-free and love the protein that you get from chickpea noodles, I get you! If the thought of eating a bowl of regular pasta is a no-no in your books, then you might be obsessed with healthifying.
If you appreciate avocado oil for its high smoke point and smooth taste, amazing! If you are scared to eat out at restaurants because you know they likely use canola oil, then you might be obsessed with healthifying.
The health and wellness industry has become a confusing place - it encourages you to be as healthy as possible, but if you step too far into the healthy side, you will likely become more stressed and anxious than ever before. This will eventually lead to a decline in your mental health at the expense of your physical health, which does NOT actually equal a healthier you.
So, how can we prioritize our health and wellness holistically while enjoying “health foods” and superfoods, taking care of our bodies, nurturing our mental wellbeing, and not falling into the trap of obsession and control?
It really boils down to living with love and intuition holistically.
This means being mindful of our physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing at all times and eating with love and intuition with each component in mind. You really can have it all! If you ignore any one of the 3 pieces, your health will be out of balance, and you won’t be able to reach your fullest potential.
Eating with love and intuition for your physical body means enjoying lots of fruits and veggies, eating enough protein to fuel your body, including enough carbs for energy, cooking with fats for optimal hormonal balance and vitamin absorption, and being aware of how your physical body feels. If you know that white sugar gives you a headache and pimples, it’s definitely something to be aware of! That doesn’t mean that you have to avoid all packaged foods and cane sugar though - rather, experiment with different amounts of sugar until you know your body’s unique limit.
Eating with love and intuition for your mental body means eating stress-free! This includes releasing anxiety, control, and obsession around food so that you can experience the flexibility and freedom to truly enjoy whatever you desire. If you truly desire a “healthy” homemade mac and cheese with vegan cashew cheese, then invite me over for dinner and ENJOY it ;) But if you’re in the mood for some cozy Kraft, then that must be allowed too. The stress that comes with restrictions and control are worse for your health than the “junk” food will ever be. That’s why “healthifying” everything always backfires.
Eating with love and intuition for your spiritual body means nourishing your soul. Food IS emotional - we are all emotional eaters because we associate memories and preferences and culture with food. That’s a good thing! That means we can take care of our soul and spiritual body with foods that are nourishing to the heart - creamy hot cocoa, freshly made french fries, piping hot chocolate chip cookies....whatever resonates with you. Does forcing yourself to eat smoothies and salads and low-cal protein ice cream daily nourish your soul? Probably (definitely) not!
Being healthy is about so much more than swapping out foods - is about living life as the BEST version of yourself as a whole, from all angles. As you become more aware of your eating habits and tendencies to “healthify”, ask yourself WHY you’re making the swap: Is it genuinely for the benefit of your physical, mental, and spiritual body? Or are you making the decision out of fear, anxiety, and control?
I encourage you to adopt the habit of eating (and moving and living) through the lens of love and intuition, and watch how your life shifts in the most beautiful and abundant ways.