I feel like we are constantly taught from society and health experts: “You can’t have this”, “Only have one bite”, “You want less sugar” “No.” “Can’t.” “Shouldn’t.”

That’s how we have been trained to think about food when it comes to trying to make healthy changes. “No, I don’t deserve it.” It’s coming from this lack mentality which is not healthy. Let’s stop this madness and start telling ourselves YES instead. I’m not telling you to say YES to the bad stuff, instead I want you to re-frame your mindset. Change from constantly telling yourself “I’m saying NO to that bad thing.” to “I’m saying YES to better things!”

I will do a comparison between doughnuts and a green smoothie. A green smoothie made with spinach, fresh fruit and maybe some Chia seeds will make you feel super good on the inside, right? And then we have a doughnut. They’re both good but in completely different ways. A doughnut is soothing to your soul for about the 2 minutes that it takes to eat it.

The thing with doughnuts is, it’s super tantalizing beforehand, the first couple of bites are absolutely amazing and you get that sugar high. Halfway through the doughnut, you hit a point wherein that doughnut is not providing you anymore happiness but you want the happiness to come back. It tasted so good the first few bites so you just keep eating it hoping that it will come back. But it doesn’t. You maxed out your sugar happiness during the first few bites. Afterward,  you end up feeling junky.

On the other hand, we have the green smoothie that I just described. Raw food, full of live enzymes, they make you feel amazing inside, they give you lasting energy, lasting happiness and the only downside is taking the time to make it.

Both the doughnut and the smoothie are good in different ways. You have the short-term, then you feel like junk… or you can have the long-term goodness. They both provide some positive in our life. If they didn’t then you wouldn’t ever choose them. You’d never choose that doughnut if it didn’t provide some reward!

For some reason, the conversation around food is not about saying YES to what truly makes us happy and what truly makes us healthy. Instead, the language and the conversation we’re having with ourselves is “No, I can’t have that.”

I want us to flip our switch. Let’s start saying yes to the good things! It doesn’t mean that you will automatically never crave any bad food again, but it does make it so much easier to make healthier choices when you change your mindset from, “No, I can’t have that doughnut” to “Yes, I choose the food that gives me energy.”

Say YES to energy, say YES to your healthy future, to mental clarity, better moods, pain free joints, vibrancy and all those good things that healthful foods provide. By thinking in terms of “YES,” it makes life so much easier because we are not coming from this emotional state of lack.

All the deprivation, all the lack mentality and the torture that we give ourselves around food creates toxic stress. When you say to yourself, “No, I may not have that” it creates toxic stress in the body. When we have a stress response, our body secretes Cortisol. Cortisol increases inflammation and instantly makes us store fat. Sounds like deprivation and torture over our food is just as toxic as eating the dang doughnut in the first place.

Find that switch in your brain and remind yourself constantly to practice the art of telling yourself YES to the good (instead of NO to the bad.) Try it!