You Don’t Have to Break Up – Go to Counseling
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, let’s talk about relationships. Specifically, your relationship with food.
People’s relationship with food can be like any other relationship in their life. It can be one of love and hate, or many times you find yourself not really understanding the other person in the relationship – in this case; it is food. In order to have a good relationship with food, you need to understand food better; just like you need to understand your spouse better in order to co-exist in a loving and happy relationship.
When you understand food, you will be able to appreciate how special it is. You will want to know more, you will want to care for it, cook it and allow it to nourish your body. Food is remarkable in many ways. It can bring you healing, happiness and a life of longevity and prosperity.
But how do you get to know food better, how can you understand the complexities of it all? It can be overwhelming, but not impossible. As with anything else, it just takes a little time and open-mindedness.
Here are my top five quick and easy ways to put the passion back in in your pantry.
- No Bad Days
- Eat at Home
- Don’t Skip a Meal
Let’s start with the FOOD SHOPPING. A supermarket can be both a food lover’s dream and a nightmare. There can be good food in the supermarket and a lot of bad ingredients as well. You must carefully shop the store. However, you should shop. Take it from me, someone who avoided the food store and anything supermarket related at all costs. You need to shop to know what’s out there. Take your time reading labels and exploring new ingredients. Many stores now offer food demos where you can learn about the ingredients being cooked. I am not talking about food demos at Costco or BJs. In fact, I would stay away from eating anything being demo’d at those stores. Back to shopping. The shopping experience can be fun. Stick to the perimeter of the store where you will find the freshest ingredients. Take advantage of farmer’s markets and other local markets, also, where you can buy organic and fresh grown ingredients. Like in any relationship, things will get better if you invest the time. Make sure you visit the supermarket and take your time getting to know the ingredients you are buying. Today, I go to the supermarket and other markets at least three times a week.
Now that you’ve gotten to first base [so to speak]. You can move on to having more fun. You’ve shopped for all these healthy and delicious ingredients; now spend time caring for them. COOKING can be fun, educational, rewarding and therapeutic all in one. When you are the cook, you can control everything that goes into the recipe. For example, if something calls for salt and you want to skip it; go for it. If the recipe requires milk and you want to use Soy or Almond Milk; do it. Feel free to replace high fat and processed ingredients with those that are healthier for you. Recipes are only guidelines. The meal is yours to make it your own. Eat what you like. I never liked to cook and I think that was because I was so busy prioritizing work and other less important things in life. Now that I cook, I feel better about what is going into my body both mentally and physically. Not to mention how it has improved my relationship with my spouse. It’s true while you work on your relationship with food, you can also improve other relationships as sharing good food; means sharing love.
DON’T LET ONE BAD DAY DERAIL YOU. Do you file for a divorce after one fight with your spouse? I hope not so don’t give up on food that easily either. You will have bad days without a doubt. Just know that and get over it. Move on after you’ve done something bad. Don’t continue to punish yourself or your body. In fact, once you’ve began eating well and treating your body kindly with good food; it will tell you that it does not like the bad food. It will force you to go back to eating healthy. When your body is running like that, it is at optimal form.
EAT AT HOME MORE. If home is where the heart is, why do you want to go out to eat all the time? You simply cannot have a good relationship with food if you are constantly having a one night stand. That is what I call eating out. You don’t know much about the food and you are not sure if you will see it again. It is like a bad one night stand. I get it. I eat out too and I am not asking you to never eat out. What I am suggesting is limiting the number of times you do. All food cooked in a restaurant has 3X the amount of calories if you were to make it at home, according to the CDC. Don’t use it as your only social outlet. There are lots of things to do with friends other than eating out. You can get your nails done, go shopping, walk around the park, go to yoga, sign up for a sports league, and more. The list goes on and on, and never ends. Make eating out a special occasion. You will appreciate it more and so will your body.
I am not one that is guilty of this, but many people I talk to speak about SKIPPING A MEAL. When this happens to you, I hope it happens because you are too busy and caught up in the moment because if you are using this as a form of dieting, it will have the opposite effect on you. When your body is starved, it holds on to the fat, carbs and other nutrients because it worries about when those things will be introduced to the body again. It goes into a sort of state of shock and will not perform at its best. You cannot ignore the body’s signals. Your relationship with food becomes even healthier when you appreciate how often and what you need to fuel your body with. Not respecting food and ignoring it means it will ignore you back. Don’t skip a meal, treat food like you would an important meeting. Make sure it is on your agenda. You must make time for all relationships in your life and food is an important relationship.
As with any relationship, the more respect, attention and care you give it, it will flourish into something wonderful. You want that with food. You don’t want to be afraid of it, you don’t want to ignore it and you definitely don’t want to treat it badly. A serial non-shopper, non-cooker and many of the things I described above, I know what you are going through. I offer this “relationship” advice from a place of experience. Try it for 30 days and you will see improvements – not only in your weight, but in your happiness and healthfulness.
Happy Valentine’s Day.