Food changes everything: feel full, fueled and fulfilled

I need to write a fitness-related post—it’s coming I promise. Yes, physical activity is extremely important to overall health and well-being, but lately I’ve been compelled to focus on those other areas that nourish us. Food profoundly affects everything we do. Our energy, mood, feelings, how we interact with other people. So many people think nothing of what’s being put into their bodies. But food changes everything.

I’m currently enrolled in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become a certified health coach with an emphasis in holistic nutrition. Not only will I be learning over 100 dietary theories to help people choose the foods that compliment individual biochemistry for a vibrant life, I’ll also be learning how to holistically incorporate other important factors (say hello, physical activity and positive relationships!) in my own life and in the life of others.

Most of my life I subscribed to the notion of calories in versus calories out. If I exercised long enough or hard enough, it didn’t matter what foods I ate (good for the fitness industry, not always good for achieving optimum health). Not all calories are created equal. We have access to some of the best food in the world, especially the fresh and local produce and meat grown and raised right here in our own backyard. When we get the nutrients we need from real, whole foods we feel satisfied, we feel full. When we eat processed, packaged “food” not fit for human consumption our bodies are still crave nourishment. That’s one reason we can keep eating even after consuming more than enough calories—our bodies are seeking nutrients. You can eat to the point of over-fullness but still not feel fulfilled. You can, in fact, be overweight AND malnourished.

My challenge: take note of what foods make you feel amazing (full, fueled and fulfilled) and what foods make you tired, irritable and down-right crappy. Think about the most nourishing and nutrient-dense food you’ve eaten today. What was it and how did it make you feel afterwards?

Fresh farmers market fruit and vegetable from above with copy space