Of the seven key areas of your health, why is nutrition the topic I write about most? Good nutrition is one of the most obvious and accessible ways to keep your health in balance. Food is where it all starts.
The shadow of good nutrition is poor nutrition. Really poor nutrition, over time, has the power to pull all of the other six key areas down with it.
For the first twenty-one years of my life, I ate the ‘standard American diet’ (SAD diet). Over the course of those twenty-one years, the quality of several of the other key areas of my health started to decline, ultimately to the lowest possible point in 2000 – the point of not wanting to live at all.
I will never say that the SAD was the sole cause of my depression. It was a combination of factors, including, but not limited to: negative thought patterns, fear of asking for help, lack of connection, poor performance in school, drug & alcohol use, and sedentary lifestyle, to name a few.
In fact, the very commonly asked question of, ‘what caused my depression?’ is a bit misguided. Not only is there not one cause, there is no cause. Your depression is a part of you, right now, today, just as mine still is. The question is, how dormant (or active) is it?
Just as poor nutrition is the opposite of good nutrition, depression is the opposite of vitality. You can either eat well all the time, some of the time, or never at all. You can either be full of life, somewhere in the middle, or completely depressed. Either way, you have to eat, and live, every day.
So, no, you won’t become depressed tomorrow if you eat a happy meal today, even if the potential to become depressed is inside of all of us, as human beings.
However, if you eat a happy meal every day, then, over time, you will get a little bit fatter. You will have a little less energy. You will have a little less drive. You will get sick more often.
If that’s the way that your diet is every day, then, when other things start to go poorly for you, your diet will drag those things down even faster. Your lack of being well fed will reduce your ability to resist negative forces. You will be less able to help yourself.
It’s not impossible to eat poorly and be healthy, but why take that chance? Are you the one in thousands who can eat whatever you want, and avoid all possible side effects?
Your health starts with what you eat. That’s why nutrition comes first for me.