Belated Happy New Year to all!!! I hope you guys had a happy and memorable holiday!

It’s the beginning of 2021 (still, sorry late) and I’m here with a new blog post to help you get a head start on the new year! Now, I’m thinking a lot of you might want to have a post-holiday health detox or maybe start an eating habit for a healthier lifestyle.

So, if your goal this year is one of those two or maybe both, then join me as I share below – in simple words and probably the best one – an advice on how to eat healthily.

a school of philosophy that teaches us to develop self-control and overcome any destructive emotions.

The pandemic really messed up my emotional health. So, for the past few months, I’ve started reading up on Stoicism. And for those of you who aren’t familiar about it, it’s a school of philosophy that teaches us to develop self-control and overcome any destructive emotions.

Just this month, I finished the book “A Guide to a Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy” by William Braxton Irvine. The book talks about Stoic philosophy and its history. But most importantly, it gives advices on how to live with accordance to nature, which is the key to a good life!

The goal of the author was to show that the Stoic techniques are still applicable to modern lives. One advice, which I viewed from my perspective as a health and fitness enthusiast, stayed with me.

Practice choosing food not for pleasure but for nourishment, not to please the palate but to strengthen the body

The advice from a Stoic Philosopher Musonius Rufus is to “Practice choosing food not for pleasure but for nourishment, not to please the palate but to strengthen the body”.

I have to say that, that Stoic advice isn’t really something new, but it stayed with me because I realized that it’s exactly what health courses, books, some articles, and probably experts – all with a scientific explanation, of course – have been advocating in these modern times.

The industrial revolution caused us to change our diet. It did made food accessible and cheap, but unfortunately, unhealthy. This is what we know now as Processed food, containing a decreased amount of the actual / whole / real food with an increased amount of fat, sugar, and salt. Now you know why they’re cheap!

Fad diets then became a thing. They differentiate “good” food from “bad” food, advice us to eliminate a food group, and most importantly, they promise us a quick fix. Although fad diets work, they’re restrictive, unhealthy, and only for the short term. And it’s sad to think that these diets are the most common, popular, and preferred way of fighting and preventing the undesirable effects of processed food on our health.

But there’s a better way and it’s that ancient advice. When Musonius said choose food for nourishment and strength, it means choose Whole Foods, those that are unrefined or unprocessed, the advice your health experts would recommend to overcome modern-day health problems.

It doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a hotdog or a cake from time to time, it just means that you shouldn’t abandon your vegetables, fruits, fresh meat, legumes, dairy and whole grains.

There’s no need to restrict yourself and suffer from a diet you think you can sustain. Consuming enough amount of whole foods is the healthiest, simplest, and most sustainable way to improve overall health.

Happy Healthy Living!

Justine.