Eat well, be well – how to eat more consciously

We live in an era of increasingly “unconscious” living. What does this mean? Surely, we are all trying to do the things in life that bring us happiness, wellbeing and health, however, the reality looks very different. When we investigate the decisions we make, practically, about our food consumption in our daily lives, it is astonishing to see how much we do to not do ourselves good.

In a world where the focus on our daily work tasks has become the number one priority, often involuntarily, we think we have no time to eat and even think about food. Also, looking closer at the availability of foods in and around most offices, it’s apparent that it mainly consists of unhealthy snacks, fast food and processed foods filled with empty calories, refined sugar, preservatives and toxic fats. All you have to do is turn the snack packs to check the ingredient lists or look closer at food preparation methods at your local diner, and you will be shocked by the things you are putting into your body without question.

The wrong prioritisation and a lack of knowledge often result in “unconscious” eating. A common phenomenon these days is that we eat alone and/or while we focus on a work task on our computer, i.e. in an inappropriate state of mind, which means we potentially under-eat, overeat and often eat the wrong foods at the wrong times. Making unplanned decisions about food often leads to impulse and emotional purchases, so-called “quick fixes”, which in the majority of cases are unhealthy and non-nutritious snacks and foods, which make us feel heavy, bloated, less able to concentrate and eventually can result in serious non-communicable diseases such as obesity, diabetes and cancer, and mental illnesses.

How to improve? The good news is that eating right can be acquired through learning and persistence to reflect on our food choices more consciously. Learning how to eat right requires a habit change, which includes the acquisition of more knowledge about the foods that we consume, choosing the good ones that will enhance our wellbeing and avoiding and eliminating the bad ones. Eating good means consuming an appropriate balance of protein, good fats, complex carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins and avoiding any processed foods on a daily basis (if you would like more detailed information on this, please refer to the FoodYoung Nutritional Standards and Guidelines on www.foodyoung.com).

Immediate first steps to eating more consciously include planning your meals ahead for the day, bringing a healthy homemade lunch and clean snacks with you to work (to keep it interesting, ZAZ offers one tasty bar variety for every working day of the week). Ask your company to offer clean snacks at the office and in case you should find yourself in a situation that you require a “quick fix”, look closely at the ingredients of the products you buy and avoid anything with ingredients you don’t understand. In most cases these are unnatural substances and usually bad for your health. For lunch, find a takeaway or diner that offers locally sourced clean food. It is a common misconception that fast food has to be unhealthy. For instance, the fast food chain Qibi (www.qibi.ch), based in Geneva and planning to expand to Zurich at the end of 2017, offers healthy and clean food options for lunch and dinner in their local diners and also quickly deliver to your office and home.

It is crucial to reverse the trend of “unconscious” eating in our daily work lives. By supporting local entrepreneurs and businesses offering clean, healthy snack and food options, they can extend, grow their ranges and presence across the country and beyond, which will be in the best interest of everyone in society to achieve good health and wellbeing. Let’s start to do ourselves some good.

 

The Author: Julia Rahmani

Julia is one of the partners at Mani and is a healthy food enthusiast. She encourages you to dig deeper and understand what it means to eat a healthy diet and live a balanced lifestyle.