Have you ever been to a garbage dump? What does it look like? What does it smell like? A garbage dump is where all the trash goes that we don’t want, or in the case of food, what we did not eat — parts of food, rotten food, packaging, etc.

While this might not be the most pleasant image, it is useful to make a point: many of us make poor food choices. It’s as if we were using our bodies like a garbage dump. Are we are eating quality, nourishing food or something that belongs somewhere else, like in the garbage?

Our body is the only body we will ever have. It’s interesting that some take incredible care of their cars with regular oil checks, premium gasoline, soft-cloth car washes and special waxes, but they do not seem to give a second thought to what goes into their mouths.

Contrary to popular belief, or what big-budget companies pushing its pre-packaged, fast foods want you to believe, eating well and eating healthy is very easy to do. In fact, I’ve discovered that eating well can be cheaper than using pre-packaged foods. It’s a matter of making some changes — you may have to change how you eat and you may need to learn some basic cooking techniques. For some people there may be a period of adjustment with respect to changes in the taste of food. If you have become accustomed to foods that are flavour-enhanced with chemicals, MSG and saturated fats, moving towards a healthier way of eating may seem bland at first. This will not last for long. It is a period of readjustment. Your palette and taste buds will need time to become more sensitive to the subtle flavours of ‘real’ foods.

The same is true for diets.

What does the word, ‘diet’ mean to you? Many people think a diet means starving yourself or taking away the foods you love.

Here’s a new way of looking at the word Diet: ‘Did I Eat Today?’ Do you want to live your life like that, wondering if you ate or when you are ‘allowed’ to eat?

There is a better way.

Over the course of the next several weeks, I’m going to discuss my Top Nutrition Tips that will help you make gradual and progressive changes resulting in greater improvements to your health.

If you own a car and you want your car to run safely, effectively and with optimal gas mileage, you will invest in regular tune-ups, tire rotations and oil changes.

Think of your body in the same way. Our bodies are incredible machines. We can do spectacular things with our bodies, from play, to sports, to creating art, to writing a book and making beautiful music. The way we can do all of these things incredibly well is to take loving care of our bodies — and that all starts with eating well to live healthy.

Be well.

© 2011 Darren Stehle & Integrated Fitness. All Rights Reserved.

Author's Bio: 

Darren has a diverse background in education and work experience. He’s traveled extensively, loves reading, and is constantly learning and developing new skills.

Darren started personal training in 2001. He was privately mentored by internationally renown, Olympic and Commonwealth Physical Preparation Coach, Ian King (King Sports International, 2003-2007).

With his chef-training background, Darren also advises on meal planning, teaches meal preparation and cooking, and utilizes the Precision Nutrition Coaching Program to guide clients through the process of optimal nutrition.

In 2010, Darren began studying Thai Yoga Massage. Thai massage has been described as passive yoga. The healing techniques of Thai massage embrace the four states of mind: loving kindness, compassion, joy and balance.

These extensive professional development programs have taught Darren an holistic approach to training and life, and how to respond to the client’s needs, lifestyle, goals, concerns and feelings.

Darren’s approach is truly unique in fitness coaching. His work involves a higher level of awareness resulting from both experience and understanding that the ego has no place in the process. Your goals and your successes are your own; Darren’s role is to coach you to that place, and to bring out of you what you already possess and to coach you to excellence.