What are you hungry for? The messy and beautiful matter of Food

I have been mulling over and digging through these thoughts a long time in writing this post: wanting to tread carefully and respectfully in sharing recommendations on a subject so personal (and challenging) as food. But here goes.

Note: the previous posts in this series are not sequential, so reading them first isn’t critical. But for helpful thoughts and action steps related to this discussion of hunger, I encourage you to also read what are we really craving? – and thoughts on hunger for connection and friendship.

Food: the random menu list displays how options can be all over the map.

Add on: details about nutrients, dietary protocols, the practicality of needing food several times a day; shopping, cooking at home or eating elsewhere…

And factor in: the likelihood of psychological pressure through shame and judgment from ourselves and others, based on what we eat or don’t eat – especially if we carry excess weight.

Food is in the thick of it: even with a foodie mindset and nutritional training I know it can be painfully complicated.

YET. Though I don’t know the ‘when and where’ of the origin of our need for food, I believe it was in the earliest ‘God-design’ for living – because it can be so beautiful, pleasurable, nourishing, healing, delicious, purposeful! If you feel that food is your enemy I want to help you turn that around.

Try releasing perfection, start scripting your own rules.

At one time in my work I would offer here a tidy menu plan and a list of good or bad, yes and no foods with a check list to record your score: no disrespect to those using this system if it works well for you. Now, I suggest cutting the pressure to get the food thing perfect, to listen to your body – and yes, your heart too – allow yourself to write your own rules. Don’t let the term rules put you off, i.e. oral health is improved thanks to a “brush before bed rule” . A snack rule for eating a combo of protein, fat and fibre keeps you satisfied longer., i.e. apple with almond butter or cheese.

Idea! Integrate Health Canada’s guidelines into your new rules.

Ready to Begin? Then Consider These Four Things

  • Approach food as your friend to appreciate and enjoy rather than a controller, inconvenience: choose food based on the eating-path you ultimately desire, rather than what you ‘must deny‘ yourself. Go at your pace as simple or as deep for what fits for you, now.
  • Think about how you want to feel with your food while you’re eating it: what you want it to do – or not – for you, the pleasures and challenges of preparing it and sharing it.
  • Ask yourself: what stage of life am I in right now? If children are still at home, are you the primary cook, do strict dietary guidelines apply, available time for cooking is more or less, you’re not as excited about food – this all helps you determine what is your next step.
  • Mindset and emotions can accompany food like dressing on a salad: useful additions to making food choices and to thoroughly enjoying food. Your mindset is powerful – access my free booklet including a section on eating for health. Emotions can try to sway you to binge on potato chips, or chocolate chips: neither can fill the loneliness you feel after you’ve moved to a new city. On the other hand – if a rich, creamy mug of cocoa feels like a hug, ENJOY! If you like, let’s meet to work through this.

Some of these eating goals might fit, or can inspire your own menu plan.

menutwo

Savour the essence of food

Finally: a pause for food-gratitude. I’ve never been starving for lack of food – and I’m hoping this is your story also. I encourage a practice of ‘giving thanks’ for our abundance as a routine of thankfulness and reminder that many people (one in nine, world-wide) experience chronic hunger. What a privilege to actively contribute to feed our world.

Wrapping this up with two things:

  • Though we can get overwhelmed, caught in perfection, frustrated by habits, or how our body responds to food, it is not our enemy but a blessing to sustain life. How boring it would be to just throw back hand fulls of tablets for our sustenance!
  • A Food Disclaimer in a nutshell: I am not proposing a daily diet of processed foods or consuming large amounts of refined white—anything! But I do recommend a meal plan with whole, real foods as close as possible to how you’d find them in nature.
  • Oh, one more! If you’re beating yourself up over the eating-food scene and want to move to a more beautiful, less complicated relationship, connect with me here or at ketoews@gmail.com for a complimentary 20-minute conversation. I’d love to help you get started.

I hope this post has been helpful. Don’t forget to check Part 1 and Part 2.

If I can be of any help, in whatever stage of life you’re in, please contact me here or at ketoews@gmail.com.

May you be rejuvenated with healthy food, activity, purpose and joy.

Love and gratitude,  

Karen

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