I saw something in a store window recently that reminded me of this truth. And if we aren’t paying attention, we can sometimes forget.
That life is short.
I was walking down a street in one of the cute neighbourhoods where I live and saw a sign in a store window that read: “Life is short. Eat the bacon.”
I realize for some that this sign simply means to “Live a little!” or “Have fun!” or “Let loose!”
But for me, it feels different than that.
What I hear in those words is society telling me to “relax”. To “not be so strict.” To “not live with so many rules.”…to “enjoy life more.”
And I get it.
I get that society doesn’t like those who shine a light on their own behaviour. Society likes all of us in the same boat, doing the same things, following the crowd.
But I believe the research and my own experience that shows me that making poor food choices more often than making good food choices is the leading cause of preventable illness and disease.
And I believe that how I choose to nourish my body says a lot about who I am and what I value and how I want my life to look.
Now, please hear me out! I am not saying to never eat the bacon (or the ice cream or the doughnuts). I eat these things sometimes, myself.
But what I am saying is that we can do so much good for ourselves when we crowd out the junk food with a diet rich in real, whole foods that our bodies know what to do with.
And what I am saying is that we can’t lie to ourselves and believe that there are no consequences for our actions.
In fact, even more than no consequences, we can convince ourselves that it is BETTER to have these foods than to avoid them because having them means we aren’t being RESTRICTIVE or denying ourselves from the pleasure they bring.
We can begin to believe that going ahead and feeding our cravings, even in light of evidence that shows that some of these food-like products are harming our health in real ways, is better than not eating them.
And this is simply not true.
We can’t keep pretending that we are choosing the junk because we want to choose it. We must face the facts that we are choosing it because it is a drug. And it has become a habit for us; something we have developed a taste for; something that is designed to have us coming back for more. Because it is a drug.
Again, I am not even really talking about the bacon–especially if we are talking about bacon from pasture-raised organic pork–the good stuff you can find at farmer’s markets. Rather, I am talking about the way we use food and food-like products to soothe our emotions and help us avoid our feelings.
So, the trick is awareness. The deal is not to lie to ourselves about what’s really going on.
Because the truth is, if we always choose the bacon (or the doughnuts or the ice cream), there is a part of us that’s decided to believe that “life’s too short” not to enjoy that thing. So we continue to give in to cravings and close our eyes to the truth about food.
There is a lot of work we need to do in order to get to a place of true awareness. But it can be done.
If we are being really honest with ourselves, we can see that we don’t want to admit that our food choices may indeed shorten our lives! Or at least have us enjoying our lives a lot less than if we nourished ourselves through food more often than we indulged in foods that don’t serve us.
What I am so passionate about is helping people realize that nourishing food doesn’t taste like sacrifice! It tastes like freedom….and it tastes delicious!
You see, I never, ever feel deprived in my life.
Neither do my students who just graduated from The 6 Week Sugar Freedom eCourse.
Feeling deprived all the time is no way to live. Instead, we feel EMPOWERED. We LOVE our lives! We feel good about our choices and we have eyes wide open about what’s really going on out there. It doesn’t mean we never eat junk food, but it means we know what we are doing when we do.
My life’s mission and passion is to help people love their lives by creating a lifestyle they LOVE.
For some, it means never eating refined sugar because one taste sets them into a tailspin (sugar addiction is a real thing and complete abstinence works best for them–like me with alcohol). For others, like me, we can enjoy some sugar now and again if we really want to have it, but we have eyes wide open and we respect our boundaries with it.
And sometimes, life happens…and we eat the bacon and the ice cream and the doughnuts…and we move on.
For me, for the most part, I just eat foods that are as close to nature as possible, and that means I get to enjoy dessert (like the recipes at the bottom of this post, especially My Favourite Milkshake–it doesn’t even need the maple syrup!) that won’t spike and crash my blood sugar, which is a major key towards feeling my best.
There is nothing like waking up refreshed and having sustained energy throughout the day by using real, whole foods to fuel my body.
I believe, with everything inside of me, that if we use food as a tool to nourish and nurture ourselves, then so much good comes from this place.
And everything changes.
Because the truth is, life is short.
But life can be cut shorter when we don’t take care of ourselves.
The truth is also that life IS short…and eating foods that don’t nourish us means we likely won’t experience the best quality of life that we could if we took better care of ourselves.
I’m not saying that everything is guaranteed by eating well and living a healthy lifestyle. But I AM saying that we have a much better shot at it.
Life is short.
So, eat the bacon. Once in a while.
But eat the kale. More often.
It all boils down to one question: WHAT DO YOU WANT?
Do you want the bacon? Or do you want the life?
Do you want the ice cream? Or do you want the energy?
Do you want the doughnuts? Or do you want the joy?
I’m never, ever saying that you can’t have these things in your life! But what I am saying is that your life should be about so much more than food!
Food should be used for nourishment, not entertainment (at least not all the time)!
When we just fixate on food and we aren’t excited about our ACTUAL lives, there is an imbalance there.
I believe this is about a much bigger issue.
So, I ask you again: WHAT DO YOU WANT?
Are you living the life you WANT to be living?
Do you find fulfillment in your work? Happiness in your relationships? Joy in your activities or hobbies?
Or is much of your joy wrapped up in what you’ll be eating at your next meal?
Let’s get better at knowing what we REALLY want.
Start today. Think about HOW you want to live.
Dream big! Think about all the things you want to have. All you want to see. All you wish to become.
And then do ONE thing, right now, to get you closer to your dreams.
Because life is short.
Because I want you to believe in your dreams.
Because I want you to love your life.
Because I want you to love your life one bite at a time.
P.S. I am blown away by what my students have accomplished in just 6 short weeks on The 6 Week Sugar Freedom eCourse! If you would like to experience a transformation of your own, then I invite you to register for the next course, being offered in a few weeks. Join the Wait List to be the first to know when registration officially opens. I would be honoured to serve you. And we will welcome you, with open arms. Here is what Louise had to say:
“I thoroughly enjoyed [the course] and I honestly think your amazing dedication to the participants and your strong belief in the cause is what makes this course a great success. I am amazed by your energy and just love everything you have taught us. I will be forever grateful to you for having awakened me. As you say “once you know, you can’t un-know”.”
Thank you, Louise, It was an honour to serve you. xo
P.P.S. On April 22 & 23, my team and I are running The Healthy Brain and Body Show at the EY Centre in Ottawa! If you live in the area, it is going to be an amazing opportunity for us to learn from, be inspired by, and purchase amazing products from experts in the health and wellness industry. We have hand-selected many of the exhibitors we want at our show, but if YOU are in the wellness space and you want to be a part of this exciting event, we want to hear from you! Feel free to head over to the website, HealthyBrainAndBodyShow.com and download the Exhibitor Package or email me at Sarah@SarahTalksFood.com. I will happily answer all of your questions!