One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. - Virginia Woolf

Living with hepatitis C is an opportune time to consciously make healthier choices. As for making choices, what we eat is a constant exercise in picking and choosing. We have to decide what to eat, how much to eat, when to eat, and how to eat whatever we select.

Let me be the first to admit that I don’t always eat how or what I wish I would eat. For instance, if I am focused on a project, I might grab something healthy, but eat it quickly at my desk. I know it would be good to take a break, to let the lovely noon sun wash over me while I eat, but sometimes I make poor choices. Other times, particularly when immersed in the vulnerable cloud of fatigue, I choose convenience or comfort over nutrition. Later I wonder why I don’t feel well.

What we eat and how we eat influence how we feel. The human body needs fuel, just as a car needs gas. We would not put old, junky gas of questionable quality into our cars, and yet we put low-grade food into our bodies and expect high performance. The human body needs fuel all the time, not just when it is convenient. However, the gap between intention and reality can be wide.

Making realistic daily obtainable goals helps me to stay on track. For today, I choose to eat whole food, and to abstain from unprocessed products. For today, my diet is free of sugar. I try to frame my intention in the positive. Telling myself, “I will not eat junk food,” sounds too negative and bossy. I respond better to a gentler, kinder inner voice.

Sometimes I slip, but a slip is not a reason to chastise myself. A slip is just an invitation to find a different way to reach my goals. Either I get back on the horse, or I find a new horse. 

The bottom line is that if I eat well, I feel better, and then everything falls in place, making it easier to live with hepatitis C.