What is a "diet"? And why does it matter?

You really ARE what you eat!


We have all heard this old saying before- “you are what you eat”, but how true is it? When one talks about their “diet” they are usually referring to a temporarily restricted eating pattern. There are more fad diets out there to count and there always seems to be a new trendy diet that all the celebrities swear is the secret to losing those last few pounds. The truth is there is no miracle diet. Furthermore, your “diet” is not something you are temporarily practicing, but rather the food patterns you practice over time.

By definition, a diet is “the kinds of food a person habitually eats”, and the original Greek translation literally means “a way of life”. If you look at it this way your “diet” is not just what you eat, but encompasses your entire lifestyle. This includes everything you consume, not just food. It is the TV shows you watch, the conversations and company you keep, what you read, the things you buy, the music you listen to, and so much more!

In this sense you are not just what you eat, you are also what you buy, watch, work with, discuss, listen to, and encourage. As consumers and global citizens we tend to identify ourselves as individuals by our social engagements and belongings. We become aligned with the values of the things we support and become a reflection of everything we consume and surround ourselves with.

If you look at your “diet” in this way you can see that you are really doing yourself a disservice by adopting trendy fad diets or being overly restrictive or indulgent in certain aspects of life. It is all of our personal responsibilities as global citizens to be aware of our influence and strive to reach our full potential. The things you fill your body, mind, soul, home, and time with is what is what you will have to give back to the world. Be mindful of how you feed yourself- body, mind, and spirit.



Practicing Mindfulness Meditation


To mindfully meditate is to be in the present moment. You’re not thinking about your past or worrying about your future, but you are living in the present moment. During meditation, thoughts will pass and this is okay. The key to this is to only acknowledge these thoughts, but do not label them good or bad. Try not to label them as anything as you are trying to focus on the here and now.

To practice mindfulness meditation, you need to find a quiet and comfortable place where you will not become distracted. While you are sitting there notice how your upper body feels. How does your lower body feel? Notice the tension spots without labeling them good or bad, just notice them. What is your breathing like? Is it shallow and fast, or heavy and slow? These are all the physical signs to acknowledge, but not label, while you’re meditating. Once you have noticed how your body is responding go ahead and drop your gaze. Focus on something that is right in front of you, or you can close your eyes if you would like. The main goal is just to be in this moment. If thoughts come to you while you are mindfully meditating acknowledge them and push them to the side. Go back to focusing on the present. Once you are done with the meditation take a few moments to notice everything around you, including yourself. What do you notice about your environment that you didn’t notice before? How does your body feel? What thoughts are on your mind now?

Practicing mindfulness meditation has so many benefits that everyone should try it. It can improve memory, increase focus, and reduce stress, just to name a few. You can practice this anywhere that you feel comfortable and you can even practice living mindfully in everyday life. Meditation has helped me reduce stress in my life and live a simpler productive life. It also helps with chronic illnesses because it has many physical benefits that come with practicing it as well such as reducing blood pressure, improving circulation, slowing down your heart rate, and putting the body in a homeostasis state.

Blog Contributor:

Ashley Jerzak


Facebook: Ashley Word-Jerzak

Twitter and Instagram: @mywindingroad17