chocolate, glorious chocolate!

This morning I had a fabulous breakfast feast with home made bean sprouts, fresh coconut from the Notting Hill Carnival and garnished with vegetarian Furikake and smothered in oodles of virgin olive oil.

Furikake is a wonderful Japanese seasoning containing black & white sesame seeds, Nori Seaweed and Red Shiso leaves. (LINK)

Learn how to make your own bean sprouts.

I must say it was a wonderful way to start the day and I could literally feel the goodness in the food. My gourmet dish also looked rather attractive.

Now that was over 3 hours ago and I still have loads of energy and no hunger pangs.

This reminded me of the oft repeated phrase that you are what you eat. On that basis if I continue to eat fresh, healthy “live” foods, I will always be highly energised and healthy.

My eating habits have changed significantly since I started on my journey of personal development and self discovery. During this time, I have found that my taste buds have changed quite a bit and I no longer crave sweet foods apart from the occasional chocolate. Funnily, I tried some luxury chocolates last week and also found them far too sweet. So maybe those tiny chocolate cravings will disappear too!

As for Indian sweets they are rapidly becoming taboo for me – if you have ever tried Indian sweets, you will know just how sweet and sickly they can be!

So what really stops us from following such a healthy eating regime even though we know what is good for us and what is not?

1. Lack of knowledge.

With the advent of the internet there really is no excuse for anyone not to find out about what’s really good for us and what is not. For instance, it is now well known and chronicled that fried food in excess clogs up the arteries – and yet here in the UK, a fried breakfast is still the norm in many homes.

So the first step is to learn more about healthy eating.

2. Media and conflicting advice

At the same time, there is so much conflicting and confusing advice that seems to come out on a weekly basis from the media. The solution is to be discerning and sensible and follow what seems to be right for you.

The media of course has vested interests with many sponsorships and programme endorsements being made by multinational food companies.

The best way of judging whether something is good for you is how you feel after eating it. If you feel energised and vital then it is more likely to be good for you. Contrast

Also, you can even “ask” your body what it thinks. There is a lot to be said for literally following your gut reaction!

3. Lack of time and convenience foods

We so often choose ready made, microwaveable convenience food – and then plonk ourselves in front of the television. I am not a fan of TV dinners and got rid of my TV set a while ago, but I remember how easy it is to gobble our food down whilst mindlessly flicking through the TV channels.

Sometimes we are just too lazy to put that extra effort into preparing a healthy meal! But what I have learnt over the years is that it really doesn’t take much time to prepare a nutritious meal.

Ideally, we should then eat our meals on our own in a Zen like zone without any distractions or share it with family and friends. In many cultures including my Indian background, mealtimes are often a big family feast though sadly that tradition too is observed less and less, especially in the West.

Mealtimes should be a perfect opportunity to take a break from our hectic lives. Do what the French do – spend a leisurely hour or two over a gourmet lunch if your work allows!

4. Peer pressure

I remember times when friends have made fun of me for taking a packed salad lunch with me for work assignments – and then they used to wonder where I got my energy and youthful looks from 🙂

Eat what you feels right and healthy to you rather than what everyone else is eating. Of course, you can be a little flexible too and not let your eating habits become a hindrance to your social life.

For instance, being a vegetarian I am often restricted to where I can eat out healthily, but I don’t let that become an issue when out with friends.

5. Lifestyle and personal choices

At the end of the day, what you choose to eat and how you live your life is your personal choice and no one else’s. So a lot of your current unhealthy eating habits may have arisen from your chosen lifestyle.

However, it is common sense that you are what you eat and by even making minor changes to your lifestyle and therefore changes to what you eat, your whole being will benefit. Then gradually you can make more changes as you notice and appreciate the positive benefits.

Eating healthily is not about having a tough, unrelenting regime – it is simply about taking some sensible precautions and forming new habits.

It is not about feeling deprived of say chocolate – it is about moderation and cutting back on unhealthy eating habits over time.

So here is my challenge to all of you from today. Adopt just one new healthy eating habit every week and maintain it. Soon within a few weeks you will have adopted many new habits.

Do share below your ideas and what healthy eating habits you are committing to take on this week.

And do go easy on those chocolates!

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