We’re back with another installment of our Healthy & Whole series. We connected with Valentina through her beautiful blog, Hortus Cuisine. Not only does she create gorgeous vegetarian Italian recipes inspired by her native country (which we love!), she’s extraordinarily passionate about healthy eating and living. After countless emails back and forth about our mutual passion, we asked her to share some inspiration as part of our series. Here she’s taken a concept from one of her business classes and applied it to healthy eating with an infectious positivity. Make sure to check out not only Hortus Cuisine, but her newest site Modern Pop Cooking, where she shares quick and easy healthy meal ideas. Thank you, Valentina, for sharing your passion with us!
We’ve all been there: that “oh-my gosh” moment when you set your mind to do something, and, like most things you’ve never done before, it seems like the most difficult task in the world. But sure enough, all things that seem like the most difficult task in the world are very likely to be perceived as much harder than they actually are.
This is why people are so intimidated by the transition to a healthy lifestyle: we worry that it will be too time-consuming, too expensive, and overall too bothersome to actually face any effort to do it. Our minds tend to amplify the silliest things, making the transition from your airplane-style frozen dinner to a real-food based diet feel like a tremendous leap.
So why take this leap? Why embrace this eating lifestyle? Because it’s an investment. And one with a real, visible return, on top of that. Healthy eating is investing in ourselves and in the well-being of everyone around us, pulling everything into an upward spiral that, once started, will be very difficult to break.
Here’s an example of an upward spiral from the business world: let’s say we have a small pool of money as our asset. We don’t want it to go to waste, so we invest it in something that we know will generate return. When return is generated, we can re-invest that return to generate more return. Investing your money in a smart way generates an upward spiral that is only bound to continue upwards. It will be our personal tornado trip to Oz.
Now, our own bodies and our own health – in this sense, our whole lives, are the asset we have in our hands and that we want to manage in positivity. Healthily nourishing ourselves is the investment we can make that we know will generate a positive return:
You will feel less bloated, and you will feel like your pants fit more snugly. You will sleep better, work better, and smile better. People will stop you on the street to tell you how good you look and your colleagues will make comments about how more luminous your skin has been looking as of late.
It will feel good. No, it will feel great. And you’ll want more of that. And BAM – you will have entered the spiral. You will have fallen in love with yourself and found a reason to do what you do.
Healthy eating seems complicated because you’re not sure what to do. But contrary to popular beliefs, sorting out your own meals is neither more difficult nor more expensive than buying prepackaged, especially in an era in which you can cook your eggs or steam your broccoli in the microwave. The key difference here is this: you can’t fail at being healthy. Therefore, have no fear: you’re way too smart to be tricked by chemicals. Do you love yourself? Then skip that can of sodium-flavored soup.
Ultimately, this is the point: fall in love with yourself. Do it, and you’ll see you wouldn’t feed any chemicals to the valuable asset that you are. Isn’t this a good enough reason to take that leap? You are awesome. Show it to yourself, and to yourself first. Then enter the upward spiral, sit back, and enjoy the ride.
Healthy & Whole Series
What We Eat
On Food and Guilt
On Food and Judgement
From Inspiration to Recipe
On Food and Money
All Things in Moderation
Emotionally Healthy Eating
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.