There are many perspectives about food. How do you look at food? Is it the enemy? Is it the tempting evil thing  that brings you down day after day? It is fun to consume and then the aftermath not so fun? Is it something to dread? Something to enjoy? Something to meditate to as you prepare? What?

I had an interesting experience this morning. I was groggy from last night and had a slow to rise morning. Ron and I went on a wagon ride with some fun NYers and some Clydesdales on a farm out in Jersey. It dropped us off at a cozy bonfire where we proceeded to heat up cookies and hot cider rum on the fire. Oh, and s’mores. I don’t like s’mores so I didn’t go for them. But chocolate chip cookies heated up by fire? I went for it. And howzabout that hot cider rum? Really, the main reason I drank that was because it was hot. I was cold, it was hot, I drank it and had some temporary relief from the cold. It was all pretty awesome. In that particular moment, anyway. I actually started falling asleep while I was standing there, so the result of the consumption was fast acting.

Point is, this morning I woke up dragging ass. I was wondering what I would write my blog about today and decided to make myself some food and ponder my options. I made oatmeal with bananas, blueberries, walnuts and cinnamon. YUM! As soon as I was done I found myself bouncing around a little more. Instant energy! From good food! YAY FOOD!!! It’s a lesson we all learn over and over. Eat crappy foods, feel like crap. Eat healthy foods, feel fantastic! So why don’t we all just eat healthy foods all the time?

Now, I’m no psychologist, but I am going to make a generalization about human beings right here right now. We are not designed to avoid temptation. We are just not designed for it. We can do it for small periods of time, but we are built for immediate gratification. Look at what we are doing to the planet! We sort of care what happens in the future, but the majority of us care more about what happens right now. We are the same way with our own lives. You would think that living a long healthy life would be a motivating factor, but it doesn’t seem to be. How we feel from one moment to the next is what drives most of us.

So I am going to ask you to expand your minds a bit. Think about how you want to live. Ask yourself how you want to feel. Do you want to have energy to be able to go out and enjoy life? Enjoy being with your family? Especially this time of year when many of us are spending more than usual quality time with our loved ones. Do we want to spend that time passed out on the couch? I know, for me personally, the answer is NO! I want to be alert and awake and able to focus on them and hear about their lives. So I have to watch what I fuel myself with.

And back to point number 1. How do you see food? I see it as fuel. Am I putting good quality fuel into my tank or not? Last night, I put in low grade crap. This morning, I fueled up with high quality diesel. As far as immediate gratification goes- focus on how you want to feel as opposed to what you want to eat. It’s all in the same moment pretty much. Just shift your focus. Expand your mind a bit. How do you want to feel?

I want to feel fantastic and alive. So I eat foods that I know will fuel me up.

Added bonus: I live a long and healthy life! Yay!!!

How to avoid temptation? Just don’t put the junk in your home. If you don’t know what fuels you, experiment and record what happens. Write down what you ate and how you felt afterwards. Not sure what to make? Go to Barnes & Noble and get yourself a cookbook, or a nutrition book, or both. I just got a book called “Thrive Foods” by Brendan Brazier that is a combination of both. Decide how you want to live, and then DO it!

If you give into temptation at the holidays, it’s human nature. Beating yourself up helps NOTHING, so just focus on moving forward. When going into a situation that you know is going to have a lot of temptation, just focus on how you want to feel, then eat the foods that steer you in that direction.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this and how you are doing this holiday season!!

Your Fitness Coach,

Miranda Zukowski