"That each of them may eat and drink and find satisfaction in all their toil, this is a gift of God." Ecclesiastes 3:13
What if we could change our perspective on food, grocery shopping, meal prepping, portions, even calorie counting? What if we could sit down to a meal full of gratitude for what is in front of us. Believing food to be a way to care for our bodies as a gift from God. Food should never be a punishment or a source of guilt. Sadly, we tend to group our food choice in one of two categories: "reward" or "punishment". The food we crave and love go into the "reward" column and the healthy foods are quickly categorized as "punishment". But, what if we could change our heart and mindset on all foods - Healthy and Not So Healthy...
Food is used for celebrations, for time of loss, for energy and fuel, a way to care for friends and family. We need food, so why is choosing the nutritionally dense food such a challenge. I believe we need to strengthen our mind to know we are in control of our choices. Our options and choices are not in control of us. Might sound silly or that I am being contrite. I promise I'm not, but I am finding many people don't realize they have the ability to choose when it comes to food. They believe they have to get french fries with their burger or if they are out to eat and someone gets a desert that they can actually decline from ordering one themselves. It takes practice to strengthen our mind to help us make better choices and it takes time. Eating healthy should not feel like punishment and portion control is not about rules and regulations when it comes to your food, rather it is about creating a boundary for protection. When it comes to health and your goals, until you get your nutrition down, it will be hard to change anything else and reach those goals you have set. We must remember nutrition isn't just about eating, but it flows into every area of our life. It's about learning to live.
Here are a couple of tips we use in our home:
1) When we've been eating food with more salt, sugar, and caffeine, it takes our brains a little longer to adapt and change to a healthier palate. It takes about 10-15 times to change your tastebuds... So keep trying varieties of veggies! If you've tried asparagus 15 times and still can't stand it, move on and don't look back.
2) To help your brain learn to like healthier options, increase the flavors of your healthy food.
3) You can never go wrong if you meal prep and are prepared.
4) To have a lasting behavioral change with food, you really need to bring JOY back into your foods, cooking, and eating.
5) Cooking is a privilege, it's not a chore (This is a reminder for myself. I'm still a work in progress.)
6) Like everything else, the first step is the most challenging and we all will stumble, it's just a matter of getting back up, trying again at your next opportunity, and doing your best in that moment.
Cheers to falling in love with the process of eating healthy and strengthening our ability to make healthy choices.
Peace and Grace,