What’s your relationship with food?

Do you find yourself skipping meals? Are you an emotional eater? These are interesting questions to ask yourself. Food isn’t like Alcohol or Drugs whereby we can choose to have them in our lives or not. Food is something that everyone has to have a relationship with. It’s determining what that relationship is.

Some people use food as a way to figuratively stuff down emotions. It feels much better to eat those feelings because expressing them may not feel safe to you. You may feel once you open that metaphorical can of worms, there is no going back and you even worry it would all get so overwhelming to the point you wouldn’t be able to function or work. And lets face it, everyone needs to pay those bills. It feels much better to repress and carry on. You get stuck in this ‘keep going’ mode.

What people don’t see is that repressing an emotion, just makes the emotions build up and that’s where it becomes unbearable and feels out of control. That’s how you sink lower in despair. Simply learning to feel your feelings more, instead of trying to get away from them, will help you move ‘through’ that emotion and it will have less control and power over you. Once the emotion is felt, you can move on quickly. It can kind of dissipate. The more you hold onto something, the more problematic it can get.

Another form of relationship with food, that I feel is slightly misunderstood, are the people that won’t allow themselves to be nourished by food. They may feel they need to withhold food until a task is done, like it’s a reward, rather than something that’s essential to life. It often gets misconstrued for someone who is uncomfortable with their body, but, a lot of the time, withholding food is usually a way to feel in control, when everything in life seems out of control. Food issues are, for the most part, not about food. It’s about the underlying issue you are trying to get away from, escape from. In either instance, if you learn to create more control in other areas of your life, you will feel less of a need to control your food intake. And even better you can learn to actually enjoy food. 

Ditch Dieting. Embrace Nourishment!

Want feel energetic throughout the day?  Research shows the high correlation between what you eat and how you feel.  Here are some takeaway lessons from Blue Zones, places in the world where people live the longest:

1.  Eat the rainbow to get your phytonutrients with your fruits and veggies.  Aim to eat 8 different raw veggies a day and at least a pound of cooked vegetables everyday.    

2.  Eat whole grains and beans.  Whole grains include brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat pasta, millet, and more.  And eat at least a cup of beans a day, the options are endless-black beans, chickpeas, great northern, or kidney beans-to name a few!

3.  Eliminate sugar, including soda and fruit juices.  Instead, satisfy your sweet tooth with a few pieces of fruit a day, munching on some dates, and dark chocolate. 

4.   Drink water throughout the day.  Bored of it?  Add a wedge of lemon, grapegruit, cucumber or mint. 

5.  Plan for three filling meals everyday with lots of fiber!  Need snacks to keep you going?  Keep nuts, dried fruit, seeds, veggies/hummus, and other healthy low-fat options on hand.  

Cheers to happy, healthy meal planning!