Thursday, October 27, 2011

Being Healthy

Yeah, this is kind of another food post...

I've been reflecting on how what I eat makes me feel. This largely came to pass because of last night, when it became apparent that my dinner of leftovers had over-aged, and my stomach started tossing and turning for the rest of the evening. Not a huge fan of when that happens, but it makes me grateful for the good health that I experience most of the time.

While I was roaming the grocery aisles and checking my list today, I pondered the diet I've had this semester and how it's made me feel. Thanks to the advice of more health-conscious friends (due to their hypoglycemia and allergies/intolerances), I've been trying to consume more protein, and I was impressed with how much more... balanced? steady? energized?... I feel. I think I was relying too heavily on grains before. I'm slowly doing better about eating fruits and veggies this semester; part of my problem is that I need to plan ahead when buying fresh produce, and I'm not very good at planning my meals beforehand. I've been learning how to satisfy my sweet cravings with fruit (or occasionally dark chocolate), and relying less on straight sugars (though I still love them). Also, the longer I've been in college, the more I've tried to cook from scratch. Principle tells me that that should be cheaper and healthier, but in practice... It requires practice :) I do feel accomplished when I can make something delicious, especially if it's from scratch, and it's a habit that I'm developing with every semester.

Moral of the story is that I feel better when I have a more balanced diet. I'll probably learn more when I take my anatomy class next summer, but it's been cool realizing how much connection there is between our physical bodies and mental/emotional states. I'm not too concerned with numbers as far as "health" (really, that's more like a "body image" line of thinking) goes: thanks to my dad's example, I think of being healthy as taking care of your body by having a balanced diet and exercising. I don't need to weigh a certain amount, or have a certain size of waist, or have huge muscles to consider myself healthy. Can I do the things I want to - like hike and dance - without excessive difficulty and do I feel energized and emotionally stable? I think those are important marks of good health.

Not to mention the importance of getting enough sleep (and, as my mom likes to remind me, at the right hours of the day) :) That's enough of a health spiel for now though. I'm just thinking about the progress I've made and thinking about what I can do better.

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