I want you to think for a minute about what sorts of things factor into your decisions when it comes to choosing the food you eat. Is it about what’s on sale? What the kids will eat? What you’re craving? What is comforting? What you feel is nutritious? What it convenient? Whatever is in arm’s reach?
What do you think might happen if you approached most food opportunities by thinking about what might be most nourishing for your whole being?
I can’t even tell you what a difference looking at food in this way has made in my life. When you’ve spent the majority of your life thinking about the toll of every little bite, every calorie and obsessing over how your flesh looks or feels on any given day – finding something that allows you to relax around food instead of tearing yourself down is amazing. Amazeballs amazing. It’s not a quick fix – it’s a mindset that I think takes some time and creativity to get to but it’s so freeing. I look forward to nourishing myself with food daily, instead of looking forward to what feelings I could satisfy with food. It sounds subtle but it has a big impact. I’ll explain why.
When we start choosing food that is physically nourishing, a positive side effect is that it often becomes emotionally nourishing as well. You begin to feel good about what you’re doing for your body, you start to notice how much more energy you have, how much better you feel eating this way, how much more stable your moods are etc. Soon you’re eating better not just because it’s “good for you” but because you actually want to. With each nourishing meal, you reinforce positive feelings associated with those choices, which makes you want to continue to make good choices, you continue to feel good and so on. Soon, foods that you never thought you liked before start to taste pretty good – not only are you more open to new flavors, textures and combinations but taking good care of yourself “tastes” so much better than any of the crap food you may have been eating before.
When we are eating lots of “not so great foods” day in and day out, we can’t even fathom not eating them. It’s scary to give them up (or at least eat less of them). It feels impossible to stop eating that way. It seems crazy that anyone would want to eat more vegetables and less of the “fun” stuff. When you’re eating this way there is no nourishment. Sure, on some level, these are “comfort” foods that we reach for after a long day or a bad week – but how much comfort are they truly giving you after the opiates you receive from eating them have worn off? I bet the answer is NONE and in many cases you feel far worse.
When our diet isn’t nourishing us physically and emotionally, our bodies AND souls suffer. And when both suffer, well your life suffers. Your goals suffer. Your relationships suffer. It all feels out of control. And you thought it was just food!
The food we put in our bodies is so incredibly important but we’ve been taught that quality doesn’t matter (in fact, who talked about the quality of food up until the last decade??) and that the only thing that does is calories, carbs and fat grams. Every cell in our body is made from the food we eat – how can our bodies, our minds and our souls not be affected by it?
There’s no need to change it all overnight. Studies show people make more lasting change when they make changes slowly! You make something a long term habit first and then it becomes just a part of you and your life. Where to start? Think about what you can add to your diet, rather than what you can take out.
It’s springtime here in the North East so I recommend adding some of these nourishing spring time foods to your diet to start: asparagus, leeks, avocado, fennel, peas, watercress, swiss chard, beets, fiddleheads, mizuna, strawberries, dandelion greens, chives, parsley, dill, ramps, radishes and lemons. Choose one or two to add to your diet this week, note how they make you feel and then next week try adding something else. Focus on adding IN nourishment and see if you feel a difference. The rest will fall into place over time.
How much more awesome would your life be if you were nourished physically and emotionally? What do you think you’d be able to accomplish that you are struggling with now? Share in the comments. And as always, if you want help tackling the physical or emotional side of nourishing yourself with food – you know where to find me.