For many of us, a change in diet often comes with an added layer of stress. We worry that we might have to prepare different meals for different family members, we might not know what to eat or how often, or that we might wind up back at square one.

We all know that at its most basic level, food is the fuel we need to live. But all we need to do is look around us at home, at work, and in social environments, to realize that food addictions, unhealthy emotional attachments to food, and stress over food are commonplace. If you look at the vast and dizzying array of “diet” and “health” books on the bookstore shelves and in the Amazon marketplace, it’s astounding.

Regardless of you personal eating philosophy (yes, most of us nowadays have an eating philosophy), the one principle that I encourage you to focus on more than any other, is to simply eat whole plant foods, grown in organic soil. Although I like Michael Pollan’s advice to “eat food, not too much, mostly plants”, I think we can simplify it even more. Just eat whole plant foods, grown in organic soil. The more of these life-affirming foods you begin putting in your body, the more you will begin to crave them. The more you begin to crave them, the more you will eat them. The more you eat them, the less you will eat of other foods.

Having been through my own personal hell with food, my struggle to lose a large amount of weight, and my past propensity to look at foods as either good or bad, and the scale as either enemy or friend, the single most powerful wisdom I gleaned through my struggles was that feeding our bodies whole plant foods, grown in organic soil, is the best way to love ourselves.

Dieting mostly punishes us and makes us feel bad. Eating whole plant foods, grown in organic soil, makes us feel good.

If what you’ve been doing isn’t working for you, try this. Instead of thinking that the value of food is in it’s “calorie” count, and that you — a wonderful, magnificent, vibrant human being — are destined to be a 1200 calorie slave for the rest of your life, eat a bowl of organic green salad.

Sit down, in a quiet and peaceful spot. You, a bowl of organic greens, and a fork. Eat slow, think of all the sunlight and energy that went into those greens, the amazing amount of nutrients and chlorophyll, the crunch, the flavor, the joy. For the moment, allow yourself to sink into the moment. You and your salad greens.Don’t think about anything else. Not calories, not carbs, not fat, not weight loss. Just experience the salad.

I promise you, you’re only one bowl away from peace and serenity. Give yourself this treasure even if only a few times a week until it becomes your personal sanctuary. And let me know how it goes!