A Guide to Cultivating a Healthy Relationship with Food
Bon Appétit, Baby!
Let’s talk about one of the most important relationships in our lives – the one we have with food. Yep, that thing we can’t live without, but sometimes struggle to get along with. We all have our favourites, whether it’s that decadent chocolate cake that whispers sweet nothings to us or the comforting embrace of a warm bowl of soup on a rainy day. But amidst the pleasure and indulgence, it’s easy to forget that our relationship with food should be one of balance, love and respect.
So, let’s foster a healthier relationship with what we eat. If you can improve your relationship with your food you will improve your relationship with yourself!
1. Get to Know Your Palate
Firstly, let’s take a moment to understand our taste buds. Did you know that we’re born with a natural preference for sweet and salty flavours? Blame it on evolution – our ancestors relied on these tastes to seek out energy rich foods. Fast forward to today, we live in a food surplus but evolution hasn’t quite caught up.
So yes, there is a scientific reason you love sweet chocolate and salty chips. But, your body does not need them in large quantities. Remember to enjoy them in small amounts, alongside foods with high fibre carbohydrates, protein, healthy fats and lots of vitamins.
2. Listen to Your Body, Not Just Your Cravings
Picture this: You’re curled up on the couch, binge-watching your favourite show, and suddenly, the craving for pizza hits you like a ton of cheese. Before you speed dial your local pizzeria, pause for a moment and check in with your body. Are you really hungry, or are you just bored or stressed?
If you decide you are hungry try to turn the pizza into a meal that will nourish you. This might look like ordering your favourite pizza but eating a couple of pieces with a side salad/veggies OR boosting your pizza topping with veggies OR making your own pizza with lean protein, lots of veggies, a high fibre base and a small sprinkle of cheese. Learn how to create a balanced meal.
3. It’s Okay to Indulge (But Don’t Make it a Habit)
For some of us, life without chocolate is like a salad without dressing – bland and uninspiring. It’s perfectly fine to treat yourself now and then. In fact, denying yourself your favourite foods can sometimes lead to even more intense cravings. So, go ahead, savour that slice of cake or indulge in a decadent dessert. Just remember, moderation is key. Every day should also be filled with lots of veggies, fibre, protein and healthy fats.
4. Cook Up Some Love in the Kitchen
There’s something undeniably therapeutic about cooking (okay maybe not everyone will agree with this). But, the point we want to get across is, when you cook at home, you have full control over what goes into your meals, which means you can skip the extra salt and butter without sacrificing flavour. Why not try to recreate your favourite takeouts at home – they will be so much more nourishing. Check out our homemade vs takeaway meals.
5. Practice Slow Eating
In a world of fast food and on the go meals, it’s easy to wolf down our food without giving it a second thought. But by practising slow-mo eating, we can learn to savour each bite and actually give our body time to feel full (so we don’t eat more than we need to). Take a moment to admire the colours and textures of your meal, chew slowly, and pay attention to how your body feels as you eat. Learn how to eat more mindfully.
6. Embrace Your Imperfections (Yes, Even the Extra Cheese)
Let’s face it – nobody’s perfect, and that includes our eating habits. We all have those moments when we overindulge or reach for the cookie jar one too many times. But instead of beating yourself up over it, embrace the occasional slip up as part of life. As long as you keep working towards prioritising nourishing foods. In the bigger picture, life is too short to stress over a second helping of dessert here and there.
Cheers to a Lifetime of Delicious Adventures
And there you have it – a crash course in developing a healthier relationship with food. Remember, it’s not about depriving yourself or following strict rules; it’s about finding a balance that works for you.