The Big Picture Principle: A Three Step System to Simplify the Rules of a Healthy Diet
You have probably been bombarded with all sorts of advice and ideas on all the latest diet fads. Instead what you may be craving is a simple shift in mindset and an approach that will allow you to make better choices without sapping your willpower and beating yourself up. If you understand some basic principles that are easy to remember, you will feel more empowered to take control of your health and to create more vitality in your life.
As a child I started reading nutrition books. I became particular enough about food that my mother was concerned I was anorexic even though I had a big appetite. I actually only went through one phase where I was counting calories and the amount of nutrients I was getting. Most of the time I wanted to enjoy life and not be too particular.
When I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s, hypoglycemia, and food allergies I had even more to learn about food and unique diets for those conditions. After I did all of my research I wanted to find a way to easily remember what and how to eat without becoming obsessive. I feel that living life and not focusing on the disease all the time contributed to my healing. And we want to make the process fun and practical, right?
So I started to look at the big picture behind the process of eating and how to make that the one principle that I needed to remember. Then I could weigh anything else that came up against that principle to determine what I should do with that food. After a while I did not have to think so much. I also realized this practice could be applied to anything in life.
Now, you may be wondering what the ‘big picture’ principle is and I will share it. There are many different theories about diet so you may need to adapt this slightly for your methodology or belief system. My three step system seems to be the simplest way for my students and clients to understand the most replenishing eating habits. It is actually so simple people wonder why they did not think of that before.
The ‘big picture’ principle is to align your eating plan with your true individual nature, or as Coach Ruben says, your “divine design.”
1. Simply start by asking, “what are we made of?” Mostly water! All you need to remember from there is to drill down. What is water made of? H2O! Where do we get H2O? Oxygen comes from the air we breathe and Hydrogen’s biggest source is the sun.
You can get a taste of that for yourself. Next time you feel a little hungry try going outside even if it is cloudy and take a few deep breaths consciously imagining the sun’s rays entering your body just as plants do. You may notice that takes the edge off of your hunger pains.
From there, choose your foods and how to prepare them based on what is closest to the source and most hydrated. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables, which are mostly fed by sun and water is obviously a great source.
When you pick something off of the shelf in the grocery store, ask yourself, “how did it get into that form?” Overcooking, processing, and changing the temperature of the foods drastically changes the composition of the food and can dehydrate it. Thus the food gets further from the source of what we are physically made of.
You may be wondering why our bodies cannot adapt to a new way of eating. I believe they can. I also believe we are having an instinctual response to the impact we are putting on our environment that many scientists agree is not sustainable. This way of eating requires less processing, materials, transportation, and environmental toxins and thus is more satisfying to our desire to preserve the wonderful planet we live in.
2. Be a “Propereatarian,” as the great yoga guru Paramhansa Yogananda would describe. He was telling people to do what is proper for their body and not obsess too much. This is where you get to bring in the science of eating you follow whether it is Paleo, vegetarian, ‘eat right for your blood type’, the ancient Indian medical science called Ayurveda, and/or… I believe so many systems were created to offer us the opportunity to individualize our eating habits according to our constitution, lifestyle, goals, and environment.
Someone who is very anxious or has trouble focusing may want to eat foods that grow into the ground like potatoes, beets, or carrots. Someone who exercises a lot may want to be more conscious about getting enough carbohydrates and proteins. During the cold season you may want more warming nourishment, whereas hot and moist times of the year may call for cool, dry, or raw foods.
3. Choose the foods whose appearance and aroma appeals to you. We often have a natural sense of what foods will balance our bodies. Eating foods that inspire us creates the excitement to help digestion. Eating “healthy” food that we cannot stand can be just as unbalancing as eating junk food because of our emotions while eating it.
When you pick foods that appeal to you, make sure you do so within the parameters set above. If you have an addiction towards a certain food or a have a parasite, your inclination may be towards what feeds the addiction and parasite, which we do not want.
When you ask yourself these three basic questions, you can consciously choose, prepare, serve, eat, and relate to food in an awake and aware manner:
How much H2O does this have?
Is this what I need to feel balanced and achieve my goals?
Do I want to eat this?
Following the ‘Big Picture Principle’ will increase your potential for success at maintaining a healthy diet and a vibrant life.
Learn more about how to create a vitalizing and energizing diet in the online course How to Achieve Glowing Health and Vitality based on the book of the same name by Paramhansa Yogananda.