In my journey to living a healthier lifestyle, one of the greatest challenges is eating better. This has become even more of a challenge in the last few years because I have a lady who is an amazing cook of delicious food in my life. One thing that helps me keep myself in line is this question, “What is the purpose for eating?” In simple terms, the answer is so you don’t die. Everyday for lunch I eat oatmeal. It amazes some, confuses most. I noticed one difference between healthy eaters and those who are…um…less than healthy is that the healthy eaters understand the consumption of food is about fueling the body, while those who are less healthy eat what is fun and tastes good. They view mealtime as a sort of entertainment. That is not to say you should eat bland food at every meal. Ponder what that pound of gummy bears might be doing to your body. Mix in some healthy options and find dishes that both taste great as well as provide fuel for body and brain.

The funny thing is that this is not a post about eating or healthy meal choices. It is about the reason and benefits behind our choices. The question we asked about food is the same we can ask about our viewing. Do we spend hours in front of the television watching reality shows that have very little basis in reality? Do we stream hours of mindless programing on Netflix? Do we spend a large percentage of our day watching cat videos on YouTube? Consuming information can be the same as consuming food. It should not be just an entertainment option, but should also fuel our brains, or even our spirit. Can you imagine how your day would start if you read something inspirational for 10 minutes before you checked your email and social media? How about swapping out one of those reality programs for one on improving your relationships?

I want to make it very clear that I am not advocating eating seaweed and oatmeal for every meal. I am also not saying you should spend all of your viewing time glued to documentaries about the effects of solar radiation on the skin. We need entertainment. That can be on our television or on our dinner plate. I just caution you to understand this should be an exception, not the rule. Our bodies work best when we feed them the proper fuel. So do our brains. There are times we need to relax and watch Dumb and Dumber for the third time. There are times when I enjoy a good pizza. When those cease to be something special and become our norm, we are not feeding our brains or our bodies with the right fuel. That is like having a sports car and putting the cheapest gas in it. Chances are it will not run as well as it should. If that sounds like something foolish to do, why would we do the same thing to our bodies? Let us try to strike a balance between fuel and entertainment. We should work towards putting the priority on fueling our bodies and brains while taking moments for entertainment. That is the secret to an amazing life.

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