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Why Do Healthy Ingredients Really Matter?
Have you ever really thought about this question, “Why do healthy ingredients matter?” It’s a funny question because if someone asked, “Do healthy ingredients matter?” most people would say “of course”.

It feels like a no-brainer, our parents told us, our media tells us, we tell our children, “make sure you get a healthy lunch” and “don’t ruin your dinner with junk food”. But the answers to “Why?” are usually quite broad in our minds. Most people would say, “because we need healthy ingredients to be healthy” or something to that effect.
Take a second to think about what “healthy” looks like. Is it you, a year from now, doing something you didn’t think you could? We all know that cousin or uncle who wishes they could still have the vim & vigor they used to, or is your picture the 92 year old that can out dance us all (if you don’t know anyone like this, you should get out more because there are plenty of them to know!). Really think about what “healthy” means to you.

The question of “why” allows us to be as broad-minded or as detailed as we feel like. The reason I am bothering to write this piece is because the answer is really important and I want everyone to know it. This is the type of thing that is so easy to know about in a general sense and still pick up a bag of chips instead of an apple at lunch. Many people out there nowadays will tell you to choose an apple because it has less calories, or less carbs or more nutrients but that is, in my opinion, not why I would pick that apple over the chips.

Healthy ingredients, healthful foods, matter for so many reasons so let’s think of a few here.

Today Impacts Tomorrow
Healthy ingredients matter because we are building our future with every moment of the present. It seems like we are just going through life having a good time, or not. But in reality, every moment of “now” adds to the experience we will be having in a year or a decade or 5 decades.

Many of us hope that our ship will come in any moment, essentially that we are building the fun, adventurous, blissful future of our dreams. Of course everyone would choose a “hell yeah” kind of future. Actually, over 40% of Americans have already, unintentionally made lifestyle choices that lead to current conditions of chronic, incurable disease. That means that of those 200+ facebook friends you have, over 80 of them are (or will be) living with chronic illness. No one plans to be one of the ones who gets chronic disease but we do contribute unknowingly. You have to ask yourself how you will be sure to plan for a healthy, happy, playful tomorrow.

Takeaway: Food can and should be used to help lessen your chances of lengthy, difficult, expensive, life-threatening diseases.
Savor The Flavor
As we, the American population, eat more and more artificial flavors, we lose the ability to taste and enjoy natural flavors. The chemistry of your body changes so that your brain gets the signal from your digestive system that “junk food” is a what it should continue to eat repetitively. When you are eating a big mac & fries, it feels like a good thing. Our bodies begin to crave the kind of over processed foods that are detrimental to our health, so we inadvertently build a future of chronic disease and debilitation.

The good news is that the same process takes place when we eat unprocessed, health-giving foods. Our tongue learns to ask for the healthful flavors which support an active, healthy future.

Takeaway: What you choose to eat determines what tastes good to you.
Influence
From the tender age of 2 years old, peer influence plays a role in our meal choices. According to Extension magazine, “A study published in Child Development showed that preschool-aged children model their eating behaviors on the behaviors of their peers. When a preschooler with a strong dislike for a vegetable was seated with peers who had a strong preference for the same vegetable, the preschooler was significantly likely to alter food preferences over time and eventually select the initially disliked vegetable.”

And it continues into adolescence. Parental and peer influence have a significant impact on our choices when we are young. For many of you who are parents this information may clarify some of your parental mission.
But peer influence doesn’t end when you graduate from school. Researchers who study peer influence on eating and weight say there are different levels of influence. The most direct being people who have close friends who are obese, the risk of becoming obese for these adults is increased by 57%. You might say, “Well, they probably eat together and take up eating entire bags of junk food.” But I have bad news on that front. The same researchers found that even if you have a friend of a friend who you have never met who is obese, the chance of obesity goes up by 10%.
You may be thinking, “What does this have to do with making healthy food choices for me?” I will tell you.

You are influencing the world around you to an extent you may have only just now realized. When you choose to eat a healthy vegetable you are not just impacting your own health, you are influencing friends of your friends who you have never even met.
Takeaway: You are a powerful influence on the world around you. Choose deliberately.
What are you choosing?
Ok. So back to my apple. I’m choosing to eat that apple because 
A. I know that whole foods carry toxins out of the body and protect me from disease.
B. I am training my body to enjoy the foods that can make this life long and luxurious.
C. I want my parents, siblings, children, friends and neighbors to have long, happy, healthful lives too.

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About The Author
Donnalynn Riley is a Health Coach, Quantum Biofeedback Specialist and food entrepreneur. Her primary purpose is to bring ease and joy into the world through powerful programs designed to address body, mind & spirit. Happy Body, Happy Family, Happy Work-life, Happy Play-life, Happy Spirit!
Donnalynn Riley, Founder
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This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.