In a culture where convenience is often valued above health and we are overwhelmed by various and contradictory dietary recommendations, our relationship with food suffers.
Here are 5 simple ways to heal our relationship with food:
1. Avoid restrictions and self-limiting words around food. Restricting and then harshly judging ourselves for indulging can be detrimental to our relationship with food. This negative habit creates feelings of defeat and destroys our self worth. Stop using words like “I can’t,” and replace them with “I can, but choose to fuel my body with [blank]”. Be creative! Choose to empower yourself with positive words and thoughts. It may feel silly in the beginning but the rewards will follow. Embrace healing thoughts and foods.
2. Cook at home. Maybe you cook at home but feel stuck in routine or it has been awhile since you’ve dirtied your kitchen, start out small and be patient with yourself. Turn on your favorite tunes, get in your comfy clothes, pour yourself a glass of wine, and most importantly, relax. Recreate that favorite dish of your mother’s. Cooking can be very rewarding especially when shared with friends or family. Invite a friend over and spend time catching up while cutting vegetables. Cooking at home creates a special energy that simply can’t be recreated with the convenient choice. You save money and know exactly what is in your food.
3. Stop eating on the go. Eating should be treated as an act of self love. Sit down and breath, be present when eating, look at your food and notice the color, texture, and smell. When we are rushing, we miss out on the rich sensory experience offered by good food. The one bite challenge: How long can you go before taking your second bite? Set down your fork and give yourself the opportunity to experience your food before swallowing. Appreciate the opportunity you have in that moment to sit and do nothing but enjoy the bounty.
4. Give gratitude. All too often we forget where our food comes from and take for granted the energy that went into it. Take a moment and seize the day. Check in with yourself. Reflect. Breathe and notice yourself present. Give gratitude to those who prepared it and the place in which your food came. The energy we create becomes infused with the food we intake.
5. Choose your fuel. Sugary, chemically laden, and highly processed foods are making us sick. Avoid meals in a box and stay on the outer perimeter of your local grocery store. Seek out local and organic choices. Sign up for a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). This provides an opportunity to become acquainted with foods you may be less familiar with. Tune your awareness to identify how certain foods leave you feeling. Keep a food journal to track what you eat and how your body reacts. Remember, we are a product of what we eat.
There is so much more to eating than counting calories. It is an incredible act of self-care. Shift your mindset from quick acts of fueling to enjoyable acts of love that change your life and improve your energy and focus.