Small Changes, Big Results
There is so much inspiration to be drawn from nature.
Imagine you were an acorn with a sense of awareness (stay with me) and knew that you wanted to grow into an oak. To transform from a tiny circular blob into a huge linear form; from seedling to sapling to tree. Where might you even start? Well, clearly this could never happen overnight, and if you examined your acorn-form in the mirror from one day to the next, you wouldn’t see any noticeable change. However, even if you were the most average of acorns (and not your exceptional self!) there would be some small change as each day passed. Then, as Summer gained momentum you’d see more and more evidence of the outcome of these miniscule, step-by-step gains.
Although this musing on acorns may seem a little unexpected, this idea of taking baby steps, of progressing action-by-action, is a theme I return to again and again. It’s probably applicable to other aspects of life. It certainly applies to thoughts and goals around health.
I think it’s a very human quality to want to see fast results or have an overnight impact when you set your mind on making a change.
When you stop and think about it, it would be pretty ridiculous to expect a tiny acorn to transform into a magnificent oak all in one go.
However, when given enough time after lots of small changes, you end up with big results.
In practice, I’ve found that being able to side-step a mindset which literally sets you up for failure gives a greater chance of long-term success. I’ve found that there are many ways to put this into practice, for instance by creating a plan to eat in tune with the seasons.
Here’s why you may find this approach can create a pattern of ‘small changes – big results’ which positively impact your wellbeing and long-term health.
How Eating With The Seasons Creates Healthier Food Habits
Imagine you had chosen to work on your energy levels. You’re fed up with feeling knackered before the end of the day and want to enjoy your family time – perhaps take a walk together in the evening rather than spend it slumped in front of the TV. Consider some of the ways that eating more in tune with the seasons can help you create healthier food habits.
- You eat more raw and fresh ingredients. This automatically increases your intake of vitamins, minerals and other plant nutrients.
If you’re health goal was to feel more energetic and have greater vitality, then one of your actions would be to adjust your diet and eat more nutrient-rich foods.
- You eat a wider variety of foods throughout the year. This broadens your intake of vitamins, minerals and other plant nutrients.
Another reason why it’s easy to become nutrient depleted is because of the variety (or lack of it!) in the foods that are eaten. You may be like 60% of people in the UK who eat the same foods EVERY DAY. Or be part of the trend that has seen the amount of veg and fruit eaten fall from between 3.5 – 4.5 servings down to 3 – 4 portions.
- You eat fewer processed foods. This automatically reduces your intake of salt and added sugar.
The short term effects of excess salt can include thirst, increased blood pressure and water retention, while over the long term eating a lot of salt may increase your risk of heart disease. The effects of excess sugar are far more obvious – ranging from disordered moods, joint pain, fatty liver disease and excess weight.
If better managing other mood and physical states helps you move closer towards your health goals, then one of your actions would be to acknowledge and embrace additional knock-on effects.
Seasonal Food Bingo – an easy way to eat with the seasons
As great as it all sounds, I know that making a plan to eat more seasonal foods and actually putting it into practice are two completely different things.
Where will you shop?… What’s in season for the month?… What recipes will you use with unfamiliar ingredients? You would probably need some time to figure this out.
As you mull this over I thought I’d share a fun activity – it’s a bit like a game – Seasonal Food Bingo, as it were. It’s a cheat sheet of what’s in season for the month of April.
Print it out and each time you eat a particular food mark it off from the chart. Then at the end of the month simply add up your score.
How many different seasonal foods will you eat this month?
0-7… Do you live off toast and cereal, my friend? Give you’re tastebuds a treat and try a few more.
8 – 15… Not too shabby, maybe it’s time to try a new recipe or two.
16 – 25… Pretty impressive; I see you like to mix things up.
26 – 29… Wow!! You’re a total foodie rockstar!
Image Mockupgraphics at Unsplash.com