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Why healthy eating is so difficult

healthy eating difficult

Why is eating better so difficult? Every year we make New Year’s resolutions or when it is getting closer and closer towards bikini season to finally eat healthy food to fell and look better and get rid of excess fat. But despite our good intentions it mostly doesn’t work out. At least not permanently. Especially if you want to eat more fruit and vegetables or even get closer to the topic of plant nutrition, for many people alarm bells go on and statements like „I won’t be able to eat anything anymore!“ and „That doesn’t sound delicious!“ become loud. But of course there are many people who only eat vegan food and do not die terrible death from starvation 😉 So why do many people think a healthy plant-based diet is so difficult? In my opinion there are various reasons.

Availability

On the one hand of course the availability. At the time when I first became vegan the plant-based diet was becoming more and more popular, but you had to look pretty good at the labels of foods in the supermarket or do your research ahead in order to really get something vegan besides fruits and vegetables…vegan pizza and burger in the fridge came much later! So because of that I had to make that all on my own if I wanted vegan kebabs, pizza, burgers… for a cooking grouch like me not exactly a tempting prospect.

Social conventions

On the other hand it is often seen as unusual, even „abnormal“ to stop consuming animal products just like that. On the other hand, that it is seen as unusual, even „abnormal“, to simply do without animal products. For decades people were used to having meat, milk, eggs etc. on their plate at breakfast, lunch and dinner and suddenly it is supposed to work without? What do we eat then, anyway? We always think that if we eat omnivor (everything), we have the most variety. But as soon as you take a closer look, you realize that you almost always eat the same thing. One eats his cornflakes with milk every morning, the other one his bacon or pancakes, at noon there is pasta or burger and fries and in the evening pizza…most people don’t have much variety. But when you really start to think about what you can eat apart from meat, sausage and cheese, suddenly worlds open up. One discovers that there is not only one kind of beans or lentils, how unbelievably delicious sweet potatoes are, what with a little creativity one can conjure up for unbelievably delicious, different salads and that „eating fruit“ does not have to be limited to apple, pear and banana. You get to know and love the craziest ingredients like psyllium husks, edamame or jackfruit and you realize what great creations you can make out of them. You get to know and love the craziest ingredients like psyllium husks, edamame or jackfruit and you realize what great creations you can make out of them. I once heard from a (not vegan) You-Tuber that she doesn’t live vegan, but loves to cook vegan food, because vegan cooking is so incredibly versatile. In the beginning I didn’t quite understand what she meant, because if I leave out egg, „udder secretion“ and meat, there is less left than before. But then I noticed how monotonous the omnivorous food is, no matter if you look into the canteen or the Sunday dinner of most people, there is not much variety. For me at least I have tried the most different things since I became vegan, which I had not even heard of before.

Taste adjustment

Another reason, in my opinion, is our taste and that it adapts over time to frequently consumed foods. For example, if you constantly eat very salty food, you will quickly find little salted food bland, which others who always eat little salt will find way too salty. This also works with many other tastes, such as bitter or sweet. Western food contains a lot of sugar and little to no bitter substances. Even natural foods such as apples are being cultured to be sweeter and more sugary. The taste is also getting used to this. Many people therefore do not like grapefruit or Brussels sprouts, but only cake and ice cream. I know from my own experience how addictive sugar can be, as I used to eat not just one bar of Snickers but a whole pack of 8 (or 9?) bars in one day! Healthy is something else… But I have to admit that I did not deny my desire for sweets, I just found better alternatives than sweets with white processed sugar 😉 In order to readjust your own taste, it is worthwhile to stick with the healthier diet for a while and to try smaller amounts of the healthy food that you want to eat more often. It is best to mix it into salads, where you can, for example, add a few wild herbs to give it a completely new note and get used to more bitter substances at the same time. These can be increased over time and you learn to love this taste. With salt and sugar (or sugar alternatives) the opposite method is recommended: slowly lower the dosage. It is a good idea to prepare your own food, because there you know how much sugar is put into your food can easily reduce the salt or sugar content bit by bit.

Sustainable change is possible

So it is not because it is difficult or unnatural to eat healthily. It is much more because we have forgotten how to eat healthily over decades (or even centuries) due to our unnatural lifestyle. But the good thing is: you can learn it again 😉 But give yourself time for it, because what you have lost over many generations cannot be regained in a few weeks of changing your diet. But if you always keep this in mind and don’t punish yourself for „setbacks“, but rather see them as something that belongs to this learning process, you will definitely manage the change.

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