Do you treat food as a key tool in your sex life?
A few years ago I watched the movie Bridget Jones’ Diary and read the book (neither were that spectacular, but everyone was talking about them so I wanted to see if they were good.) Other than the funny fact that Colin Firth played the “Darcy” character (if you know the book you know why that’s ironic), it was kind of forgettable.
But there’s one scene that I always laugh at. Everyday, in her diary, Bridget records how many calories she eats, religiously. And she’s always beating herself up about it.
And then one day she has this epiphany. She realizes, “The goal is not supposed to be 0!”
Food is not actually the enemy.
Over the last five years I’ve gotten a lot more careful with what I eat, simply because I have to or else I get some pretty serious side effects. But thinking back on how I used to see food, this was my general approach:
- I eat because I’m hungry and food stops me from being hungry.
- I eat because I want a particular food.
So food was about pleasure and about not being hungry. I really didn’t ever think about actual nutrition. Sure, when the babies were little I made sure they had vegetables, and I’ve always tried to cook fairly healthy. But on the whole I wasn’t thinking about the fact that food is actually fuel.
Food keeps our bodies going. And we need certain foods if we’re going to operate at peak performance. And whether we like it or not, our bodies have a lot to do with our sexual performance or even our sexual desire.
When we eat the wrong types of foods, we make our sex life worse.
We can get diabetes which can kill sex drive. Men can get erectile dysfunction. Sex because physically more complicated just because things get in the way.
But even if the health issues aren’t obvious (and in time, trust me, they will become obvious), you can still have them in the here and now because our bodies aren’t energetic.
My daughter Rebecca (who is celebrating her second anniversary today! Woo hoo!) has been on a bit of a health quest to try to clear up some physical problems she’s had, too, and I’ve asked her to chime in on what she’s learned about food and getting healthy.
When we think “getting healthy” we think diets and exercise.
You eat nothing but lettuce and chicken breasts for four weeks while you sweat at the gym 5x a week so you can maybe lose a few pounds you know you’ll just pack right back on as soon as the diet is over.
Connor and I are working (gradually) towards a non-toxic, plant-based lifestyle. Yup. We’re crazy. And a huge part of that is because I struggle with really bad PMS symptoms that make our lives much more difficult than they have to be.
But working through this for the last 6 months has taught me a lot–and I wanted to share some of those lessons with you!
What you eat impacts your entire life
I’m going to be honest: if you’re eating crap every day, if you very rarely eat any fruits and vegetables, and if you’re wondering why you have no libido, it’s time to change your habits. Our bodies actually NEED nutrients to function well.
What we eat impacts every single area of our lives because it’s the fuel for everything we do. It impacts our mental health, it impacts our motivation, and it affects our sex drives.
This is something I’ve really noticed. The days that I eat a healthy, balanced diet my energy levels soar, but when I have a day where I eat a bunch of chips it just plummets. I’m sluggish, tired, and grumpy because my body was never made to eat that kind of food.
If you want to boost your sex life up to the next level, maybe it’s time to look at what you’re putting into your body. I know my mom is going to read this, so I’m gonna keep this tame, but I’ve found that it’s way easier to get “in the mood” when I’ve had a diet primarily of plant-based meals that are rich with dark, leafy greens and fruits than when I’ve had chips or ordered pizza that week.
What you put on your body matters
I’ve always been really sensitive to chemicals. I get headaches really easily with 95% of perfumes so I can only wear 2 scents, and my skin has always been incredibly dry.
Switching to natural-based beauty products has been a fantastic experience.
In researching healthier options to mainstream beauty care products I’ve been reading more and more about how so many of the everyday ingredients we come into contact with have tons of negative side effects. As well, there are many anecdotal stories of how switching from chemical-heavy products to organic beauty products helped many women with hormonal imbalance like PCOS, or even the Unveiled Wife’s story about how she cured her vaginismus by switching to paraben-free beauty products.
One of the most relieving things I found about switching to natural beauty products is that it doesn’t need to be expensive. (Big thank you to The Honest Company for sending me shampoos, conditioners, lotions and luxurious bubble baths to try out!)
Companies like The Honest Company are helping women make healthier choices by giving them natural products at much more reasonable prices than you’re going to find in a lot of health foods stores. (And don’t you love the French on the bottles? Yay for Canada! In Canada, you can find The Honest Company products at Chapters–saw a huge display of them recently.)
As well, they’re super open and transparent about all of the ingredients in their products so you can know what exactly you’re putting on your skin.
Your skin is your largest organ. And it’s really good at absorbing things. If you’re having problems like chronic headaches, irritated skin, yeast infections, or even painful sex, switching to organic, natural-based beauty products may give your body the break it needs to be able to get “in the mood!”
What you’re cleaning with may be part of the problem
One of Connor’s and my first fights was when he cleaned the entire apartment for me when I was away at school and my reaction when I came home was, “I can’t be in here–the smell is too strong!”
He got angry, because he had worked too hard, I was immediately hit with a pounding headache (that took 6 hours to go away) when I smelled all the chemicals… we weren’t a happy bunch.
To deal with this, my routine for the longest time was simply to stretch out all the cleaning over the week so that the smell was never overpowering. We did the bathroom on Saturdays, I cleaned the sink on Sunday, washed the mirrors and windows on Monday, etc.
But then it hit me: if this is giving me such pain and discomfort, why not just try something else? Instead of just having a one hour headache instead of a 6 hour one, why not just find something that would give me no headache at all?
It seems simple, but to me it was a revelation. Since then, we’ve been making our own cleaners with vinegar, essential oils, and citrus peels (get the instructions here). We use baking soda, my home-made cleaner, and some crushed egg shells mixed with baking soda as a heavy-duty scrubber (it does wonders on a bathtub).
If you’re anything like me, you’re not going to be wanting to jump into bed if you’ve got a pounding headache from cleaning earlier that day. Switching to natural cleaners has really helped me feel better at night, instead of having to pop an advil after dinner to keep my cleaner-induced headache away.
Overall, switching to natural products and foods has been a great experience. We aren’t 100% there yet, and it’ll be a long time before we are. But the benefits we’re seeing even now are so worth the little bit of extra time it takes to live a health-focused lifestyle!
Here’s what it comes down to: if you want your body to work well, you have to treat it well. Your body is sensitive to chemicals and junk. You need to put good stuff in it and on it if you want to nourish it. You can’t expect everything to work well if you’re depriving it of what it needs.
I think we all know that. The question is: are we going to make the change?
Your Sizzling Challenge!
Think of one healthy habit you can adopt in your life that will help you have more energy and get “in the mood” easier!
Is it cleaning up what you eat? Choosing different cleaning products? Choosing different beauty products? Don’t tackle everything at once–but choose the one that most resonates with you and start making some small changes.
Now let me know in the comments: What sacrifices do you need to make to get healthier? What are your reasons for choosing the area of change that you did? Let’s talk!
Sex is supposed to be stupendous--physically, emotionally, AND spiritually. If it's not, get The Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex--and find out what you've been missing.