When we decide to eat a healthier diet and lifestyle it can be more difficult than we expected. There are many factors impacting our diet choices that we are not aware of because we generally never stop to recognize or analyze them. Some of these factors are the culture we were raised in, our habits, social situations, and our economic ability to purchase food.
One of the most emotional connections to the culture we were raised in is food. Everything from the types of food, to their preparation, and whether they were eaten as everyday meals or reserved for celebrations or rituals. Often food is a marker of cultural identity and a connection to our ancestors and lineage. Changing our diets in a small way or making broader choices are often thwarted by cultural norms and pressures from family to continue food preferences which relate to a particular group or region.
If our economics are not optimal, we frequently make food choices based on quantity rather than quality. The perception that healthy foods are more expensive makes foods with less nutritional value more desirable because they are seen as providing more value. The hidden cost of cheaper food is often higher health care costs because those foods do not provide the nutrition that helps to keep us healthy.
Whew! This one gets us all the time. When circumstances in our lives are stressful and out of our control, we can tend to make unhealthy food choices. However, we don't have to be sad, angry or disappointed to go on a junk food eating binge. Excitement and happy occasions can also influence us to overindulge. Being mindful of our triggers and creating healthy options can help to steer us clear of foods that can thwart our diets.
So, our wellness journey is a complicated path of our past, culture, how much money is in our pockets and how we feel day to day. That's a lot to navigate. But understanding how these situations can trigger us is an important step in planning our way forward.
Spring and Summer are really good seasons to solidify great food choices and make lifestyle habits, because of the abundance of fresh plant based foods and becoming more active. You can start with my go-to-pick-me-up recipe for Chocolate Avocado Pudding bellow. Enjoy the warmer weather, visit your farmers markets, and create opportunities to be active.
To your health,
Chocolate Avocado Pudding
2 Ripe Avocados (pitted)
1/2 Cup of Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (or Cacoa)
1/2 Cup of Maple Syrup
1/4 Cup of Plant Mylk
1 Tsp. Vanilla
1/4 Tsp. Cinnamon
Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Chill for at least an hour. Top with berries if desired and enjoy.
Great source of healthy fats (Avocado), and mood enhancing magnesium from cocoa . A great go to dessert or when you feel like something sweet .