Enough of the dieting, deprivation and self-loathing. Food should be joyful. Food is life. I have found that my work with my clients winds up being less about what they should eat and more about why they eat and how food makes them feel. Does this ring a bell to you? In my teenage years I was consumed with food…calories…my weight. It was not a fun place to be. I am happy to say that I made peace with food many years ago and the genesis of the truce was gratitude.What do food and gratitude have in common? When we focus on the concept of eating to nourish our bodies, it’s natural to feel more reverent about food – for without food, we would not have life. This gives us the space to love food, truly. When we’re grateful for the nourishing nature of food, we’re more likely to choose foods that are whole, pure and unprocessed, which crowds less nutrient-dense foods in a way that lacks deprivation.
Here are Five more ways to eat with gratitude:
- Consider where your food comes from and the people that grew/raised it. We are often disconnected from this concept. Our food doesn’t magically appear on grocery store shelves. There are hard working hands that nurture it prior to it landing in your shopping cart.
- Grow Something. If you are having a difficult time appreciating the source of your food than I recommend growing something yourself. This can be a magical experience. First, you allow yourself the opportunity to witness firsthand how a plant transforms itself from a seed to an edible, nourishing object. It’s kind of a miracle if you ask me. Oh, and it is hard work. This is the part where you realize the amount of love and attention one single plant needs. This can truly change the way you think about your food and the hard working farmers that produce it.
- Cook Mindfully. I find that the more I appreciate the preparation of the meal, the more I enjoy the meal. This rings true to a meal you prepare yourself or to one that is prepared for you.
- Consider those people that are food insecure. It’s easy to scoff at our vegetables when we are secure in the fact that we have choices and plenty of them. Many people do not. You may find that a meal becomes more meaningful if you truly consider how lucky you are to have food on your plate. You will feel less deprived and far more grateful.
- Savor each bite. When you savor each bite you can eat anything without remorse, guilt or regret. Why? Because you will be engaged enough not to over indulge. You will taste your food! You will be mindful enough to know if you are eating because you are hungry or if you are eating to feed your emotions? Eat when you are hungry. If your emotions need attention, pause, take a deep breath and choose to nurture them in a healthy, rewarding way.
Chew with gratitude,