How a Plant-Based Diet Transformed My Relationship to Food
Have you ever felt like you love AND hate food?
Like, you love it so much that you hate it because you feel so out of control when it comes to what you are putting in your body?
You love sweets and salty foods, decadent and delicious foods, and it seems like no matter what you do you’re surrounded by temptation ALL of the time.
In today’s world it can be SO hard to eat healthy and actually enjoy it.
But let me tell you, it’s TOTALLY possible and can even be easy and fun.
You see, I’ve struggled with my relationship to food since I was a teenager.
I used it for comfort, numbing or a way to have some control.
When I felt stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed I would eat chips, cookies, and fast food.
When I was feeling hurt, sad, or mad I would use food as a way to avoid dealing with my feelings or the current circumstances.
When I felt like my body was no longer it’s normal “slim and slender” self and it no longer matched the image society and media glamorize, I used food as a way to feel like I had control over my body. I’d restrict or deprive myself, and then binge and allow, and went on to repeat this cycle again and again.
I spent years living this way with very little awareness of it.
I tried diet after diet, cleanse after cleanse, and even tried a few diet pills.
The thing is, I was never overweight and I’m not really sure why I became so obsessed with losing weight, but I know this is a struggle that so many women continue to battle.
Once I had my daughter, I started to slowly shift my mindset.
I wanted to live a healthy life and I wanted to raise healthy children.
I also wanted my daughter to grow up with a healthy relationship to food and naturally love fruits, vegetables, and a variety of healthy foods.
WHEN THINGS BEGAN TO CHANGE
So my obsession with dieting and losing weight slowly transitioned to focusing on health and wellness. I started reading books and learning everything I could.
During this time I was definitely still eating emotionally, but my focus started to move from weight loss to wanting to live a healthier lifestyle.
If you’ve read my post about how I started eating plant-based, then you already know how I got into eating a more plant-based diet so I won’t go into those details here.
But when I started learning about eating plant-based and actually started to incorporate it into my life, my relationship to food began to change.
I started to learn that FOOD IS MEDICINE, nourishment and fuel for our bodies.
I began to reconnect to the fact that food is a part of nature and it is specifically here to provide for us.
I began to appreciate and feel grateful for the abundance of food that comes from the Earth and how many delicious and creative meals can be made.
I also realized that food CAN be about connection. Cooking an amazing meal and enjoying the presence of family and friends while eating a delicious meal is a way that people have been connecting for thousands of years. It is not something that should be taken for granted. And it is truly something I love to do.
Learning to eat and cook more plant-based, whole foods completely changed my relationship to food and appreciation of it.
So if you are struggling with your relationship to food it’s so important to start shifting your mindset, reconnect and remember the true essence of what food is here for.
3 Practical Tips to Start Shifting Your Relationship to Food
Tune into WHY you are eating. Is it for fuel? Nourishment? Comfort? Avoidance? Once you begin to realize why you are eating you can begin to shift your mindset to focus on the true reason for eating. This means if you notice you want to eat for comfort than you now have the choice to make - eat for comfort? Or do something else to make you feel more comfortable? Either choice is valid and fine and should be made without judgment, but it’s important to begin to build this awareness.
Reconnect to Food
If you’ve had a love-hate relationship to food for a while than it’s time to change that to simply a relationship filled with love. You should love food and love it for all of the nutrients and minerals it provides your body. You should love it for the fact that it comes from the earth and it tastes delicious. Start practicing gratitude and appreciation for each meal or food you ingest. Say a simple prayer in your mind or out loud and thank Mother Earth, the gardner, and the cook for the food that is prepared for you.
Gather with Food & Friends
Take the time to make a nourishing, plant-based meal with friends or family and take the time to sit and truly enjoy the food and the company. Remember that connection with food can be about pleasure, enjoyment, AND health. Perhaps you’re thinking you don’t have any friends or family that would actually want to eat healthy food together, but I would suggest that you simply start by incorporating more plant-based options with your typical meals. Make a large salad with a homemade dressing or bake your own loaf of whole wheat bread.
Whether you recently transitioned to a plant-based diet or you are completely new to the idea, I hope you can start to incorporate more plants and begin to transform your relationship to food in the process.
And if you’re really working on your relationship to food then I recommend eating more plants, trying the tips above, taking my free mindful eating course, and if you’d like some added support including a 30 day road map to reach your goals click here to schedule a free breakthrough session with me now!!