You Only Live Once – Healthy & Whole

fish and chips british

While away up north with family 2 weeks ago, we tended to eat out most days. I was able to go sugar-free with the exception of a few glasses of wine and cider. I ate some deliciously stodgy foods, but realised that I could not live like that all the time. From beef-burgers in white flour buns, to roast dinner, potatoes, fish in batter and chips, it was nice, but I could feel that eating like that consistently would totally knock me off balance.

I would put on weight, sap my energy and mess with my digestion. And while I was away it did. The food made me constipated and tired, yet many people in restaurants and family said to me “Ah well… you only live once!”


This is a mantra said by everyone who believes that fatty, stodgy, sugary food is so tasty and is part of ‘living’. I don’t agree anymore.  I don’t want to just physically survive, but thrive in my body. I want to be full of vitality, and to experience my life journey energised. But, eating high carbohydrate foods and foods high in starch like bread, batter, desserts and potatoes is not life-enhancing food. Yes it tastes yummy, and yes it’s nice occasionally, but as a regular diet choice, it’s not going to support your life. You may only live once, but the cons of such a diet could mean that you live a tired, ill, full of aches and pains, arthritis, popping lots of pharmaceutical pills, kind of life. That’s not my idea of living.

Many could say: “But you could eat healthily and be run over by a bus tomorrow, or still get sick”. Yes, this is true, but who says that eating healthy is not tasty or satisfying? Once you kick the sugar addiction and the stodge addiction, your body yearns for healthy life-giving foods.

A good friend always says to me “Let the first mouthful be the banquet” and what he means is, enjoy a little taste but no need to eat the entire banquet every day. It’s not so much of a joy when you have the opportunity to taste something different.

While sitting at the airport writing this blog, the cafe server asked me if I wanted the meal deal with a bag of crisps included, saying:  “You only live once!”. I nodded and sat down and ate my yucky stodgy bacon lettuce and tomato sandwich with gluten sticking to my teeth. And thought to myself “Yes, I only live once and I choose to live fully!”.

What have you given up and have later discovered you no longer like? 
How does food taste since you changed to a more healthy lifestyle? 

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Kelly Martin
Kelly Martin

Kelly Martin, author of ‘When Everyone Shines But You’ is a dedicated writer and blogger who fearlessly explores life’s deepest questions. Faced with a decade of profound anxiety and grief following the loss of her father and her best friend Michael, Kelly embarked on a transformative journey guided by mindfulness, and she hasn’t looked back since. Through her insightful writing, engaging podcasts, and inspiring You Tube channel Kelly empowers others to unearth the hidden treasures within their pain, embracing the profound truth that they are ‘enough’ exactly as they are.

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    • March 24, 2013 / 9:12 am

      Thanks Lise, do you ever get people saying that to you? It seems a regular thing for people to say in the UK.

  1. March 26, 2013 / 11:34 pm

    Keep at it. Your blog is getting better and better.

    'You only live once'. People use this as an excuse or reason to carry on doing things they know are crazy. It also can mean that we should live our lives with gusto – take risks – because 'You only live once'. It's been in use in various forms ever since the 18th century, but today it is more often used as YOLO in text speak.

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