I love cooking and eating food. I love the full array of flavor we can get from foods as nature intended them – ripe tomatoes, tender peaches, crisp lettuce, browned grass fed beef, and chewy whole grains.
Food and eating a healthy diet is glorious and beautiful.
Except when it isn’t.
Sometimes dinner is burned. The kids refuse to eat a beautiful meal and then spend the next two hours complaining they are hungry. You are just plain too tired to put very much energy into meal planning. The kitchen is a mess, and you forgot where you put your dish soap. It’s just easier to eat “whatever” even though it isn’t as satisfying and doesn’t make you feel well.
And then, you get online, and a beautiful, trim, single, woman jumps in front of you to berate the slightest variance from a diet she has carefully outlined for you in her bazillion blog posts and cookbooks.
And you give up.
You thought this was supposed to be a wonderful, beautiful journey, and instead it is confusing, time-consuming, and sometimes expensive.
Dear friend, we are all there at times.
As I shared here and then have also been sharing with my email subscriber list since then, life has been truly crazy for us recently, full of change, moldy houses, anaphylactic shock, and many new things.
So I well related to being overwhelmed at times. This week, for a short few days, my cookbook, Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons is part of the amazing bundle that I am an affiliate partner with, The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle, where you can snatch not only my eBook, but a wonderful array of resources in the form of cookbooks, eCourses, and tangible bonus offers.
But I’m concerned.
There is a very real problem of “information overload”. This happens all the time to us. Perhaps it’s when we first started getting into healthy eating/living, and we thought it was going to be so simple – that is, until we read our hundredth article on what a healthy diet is, and that hundredth article contained the hundredth opinion on what eating a healthy diet even is. Or when we decided we’d like to add essential oils into our resource kit at home, and then tried to find info on what brand to buy and soon got overloaded with the information pouring over them as to what brand really (“no, REALLY”) is the best one to buy from.
I could go on.
I can’t take away the hardships of life for you – or for me. I don’t have all of the answers for myself – or for you.
I don’t. So I’m not going to pretend that I do.
We are on this journey together, and sometimes this journey is going to be exhilarating and exciting and you will find the right answers and it will blow your mind. Dinner will be amazing, and the kids love it, and you feel healthier and stronger. Other times – not so much.
If that’s where you are at, here are three very simple things that help me weather the times of information overload, life overload, or craziness overload.
Don’t Forget to Breathe
Take a deep breath.
No, take three. Inhale and count to five, exhale and count to eight.
Eating healthy food, learning about essential oils, and what type of cod liver oil you should buy – these are just props to your life, they don’t define your life or you. Your success or failure at dinner tonight, it doesn’t define you either. It just defines that one moment in your very long eating history and future.
Healthy living starts with being able to calm down your stress response to life. So look at the kitchen that needs to be cleaned, food that needs to be prepped, and stare them down while you breathe in and out slowly.
You don’t need to do and decide everything today. Don’t let the complexities of life, the numerous informational sources you read, and the ebb and flow of your life overwhelm you. And if it does, remember to breathe. Breathe slowly.
Find JOY Again
Healthy eating is nothing of value if it doesn’t add happiness to your life. The goal of eating a good diet is so that you can be stronger and healthier, and happier to meet the rest of life’s demands. If instead you are growing stressed and depressed, take a step back, remember to breath, and keep your to-do list short.
If you’re a newbie, don’t try to do it all at once. Make goals baby steps. If you’ve been around the block a couple of times, but just need to get yourself back on track, remind yourself of the simple steps you can make to improve.
But most of all, keep your eyes on the goal – whatever your personal goal may be. Does that goal give you joy? If not, you need a new goal. If it does? Then, keep finding joy in that goal!
For me, I find joy at the thought of my kids growing up with well nourished and happy tummies, and that well nourished body can help them face the rest of life’s challenges as they continue to grow and mature. I find joy in knowing that good food helps me improve my energy so that I can be a better mommy. The journey is not perfect, but that goal is worth aiming for – even worth fighting for.
Make Mini Goals that You Can Easily Meet
While you should be finding joy and happiness in your ultimate goal, don’t forget to make small goals that you can tangibly meet and accomplish. It doesn’t matter how small – life is made up of millions of small decisions and the sum of them is what helps you meet your larger life goals.
Have you taken those long and deep breaths? Have you focused on the joy of your ultimate goal? Decided to make small baby step goals that you can easily meet? If you have, then, and only then, consider whether this resource of eBooks and eCourses and bonus offers fits in your goals. Personally, I feel that if you use it right, it can help the newbie start making baby steps and add a wealth of supporting recipes and knowledge to the pro.
My Personal Goals
As we are recovering from mold exposure and the stress of moving and having a what felt like “near death” experience, my personal goals have been simple, doable, back to the basics.
Mini Goal One: Eat Lots of produce
I am eating a lot of fresh salads and vegetables. The recipes in my cookbook, Fresh: Nourishing Salads for all Seasons, have been well used during this time. I’m also just eating as much cooked vegetables as I can get in! I feel I could just eat and eat and eat them!
Mini Goal Two: Eat lots of Fermented Foods
I have been craving and consuming a lot of fermented foods (and they seem to be helping me recover from the many allergic responses I have been having). Right now I’ve been plowing my way through a lot of the locally available pre-made fermented foods, but it’s on my short list to start making my own ASAP.
In the bundle, Oh Lardy’s ebook, Guide to Fermenting Fruits and Vegetables, Nourished Kitchen eCourse, Get Cultured and Wardee’s eCourse Lacto-Fermentation (she’s the author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Fermenting Foods) are helping me brush up on my culturing skills and giving me excellent resources. These eCourses alone are worth multiples of the bundle price, so I’m very thrilled to have them at hand.
Mini Goal Three: Support My Body with Simple Home Remedies
I’ve already redeemed one of the bundles bonuses offers, three essential oils from Plant Therapy (Lemon, Lavender, and Peppermint). I find lavender helpful in soothing and relaxing me – good for when practicing deep breaths after a stressful time period. I’m also going to be using my Trilight Health bonus offer to get some herbs that are safe to take when breastfeeding and that gently support my body. And it’s on my short list for future mini goals, to read through some of the ebooks on herbs, and go through the essential oil eCourse (written by a certified aromatherapist) also available in the bundle, in the next month or so.
The point is this – I am using the bundle to help support where I’m at right now. If it would also help you, then don’t hesitate.
If not, then keep taking those slow breaths, finding joy, and making baby steps. You’ve got this.
Disclaimer: I am both an author, and a partner affiliate with the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle, which means I earn a commission on each bundle I sell, so thank you for purchasing using my links as it helps support the work I do here!