When I started this blog I wanted to share my experiences with food and my knowledge of nutrition, with one of my key interests being a healthy relationship with food. In my teenage years I had terrible body image and relationship with food which resulted in continual FAD diets and binge eating. It wasn’t until I began my course that I learnt about food, the impact it has on our body and how wrong the FAD diet crusaders are, that I started to change how I ate and thought about food.
Balance is an exceptionally challenging concept that many people struggle to achieve, not only in the terms of diet but also lifestyle. It is very easy to follow extremes like eating a strict, ‘clean’ diet or on the other hand eating only nutrient poor foods. It’s easier to be completely worked off your feet or lay on the couch than it is to combine the both. One of my biggest challenges was turning those voices and feelings about supposed ‘bad’ foods off and simply eating the foods I enjoy and that will fuel my body correctly. Once I changed my view on foods, removing labels and really listening to my body I began to change my diet and what I ate dramatically. It has been a long process over several years but I have created a healthy relationship with my food and I want to share how I achieved that.
Over a couple of posts I plan to provide strategies on how to change your relationship with food by changing four key areas in your life.
- Removing food labels
- Recognising your bodies cravings and eating habits
- Being aware of triggers
- Changing your focus
To start this journey to a happier, healthier you we will look at the impact of labelling food good or bad, and strategies on how to remove those labels.
Food is food, it is neither good nor bad.
The first step to coming to terms with food is realising that it serves a greater purpose in our lives other than just fuelling our body. Food is a part of celebrations, it gives us joy and it gives us something to share with our loved ones. There should never be a point in your life where you avoid these times or dread these times because certain foods will be served there. Nor should you feel guilty about enjoying food with the ones you love. So how do you change that mindset?
- Carbs are not the devil. Sugar will not cause you to self district. And gluten does not cause Autism. The first step to coming to peace with what you eat is to recognise that eliminating whole food groups and demonising them gets you know where. A balanced diet of all food groups is much healthier than one that avoids groups, particularly those that provide good sources of energy, fibre and vitamins and minerals. Include carbohydrate foods that are high in fibre and low Gi (broken down gradually) such as wholegrain bread, pasta, rice, barley, quinoa and sweet potato. If you currently avoid these foods then slowly add them back into your diet. Pay attention to the impact on your energy levels and how it makes you feel.
- If you feel like eating something, eat it! Savour the taste and the people you are sharing it with. Make it a moment, and enjoy it! The trick with being at peace with these foods is that you stop at just one because that is all you truly feel like. Eat your piece of cake, just not the whole thing.
- Be aware of the labels others put on foods. Just because a food is ‘refined sugar free’ by a cafe or food company doesn’t make it any healthier than another food, it’s still got sugar in it, just from a different source. So eat that cookie/brownie/smoothie bowl because it tastes darn good, not because you think it’s ‘better for you’.
Changing your mindset is a gradual process. You will have set backs and these tricky thoughts will creep back in. The next step in developing your healthy relationship with food is recognising your bodies cravings and eating habits. Keep working on positive vibes, enjoy a balanced diet with a wide variety of food groups and enjoy your sugary, gluten filled brownie (singular).
Peace, Love and Food xx