Kitchen's are full of emotion.
The relief of a morning coffee. The pleasure of a long lazy lunch. The laughter of family gatherings.
The flip side...
The stress of cooking healthy family dinners. The guilt of chocolate cake for dessert. The never ending analysis and anxiety.
Wouldn't it be great if we could keep the good feelings and kick out the bad ones?
Well, you can. It all comes down to having a positive Food Philosophy. The way we choose to think about food, will effect how we feel about it.
My food philosophy is simple… I eat everything. The healthy whole food vegetarian dinners and the glass of red with the block of chocolate.
The difference is that I try to do so consciously, listening to my body to tell me when it's ok to indulge and when it's time to stick a bit closer to the straight and narrow. I try to keep moderation and variety in mind; at the market and in the kitchen.
What does that mean in the real world…?
I eat vegetarian five nights out of seven, sometimes more.
There is cow milk, nut milk and soy milk on rotation in my fridge.
There is always cheese. (My husband's French - enough said right?).
I eat wheat and gluten but I have a big enough variety of grains, seeds and nuts in my pantry that if I want to go gluten free, I can.
I buy different coloured vegetables, vary them from week to week and try to keep it seasonal.
I predominantly use natural sugars, mostly honey or rapadura. It’s been a long time since I’ve baked a white flour/white sugar/butter cake but that doesn’t stop me from indulging when I’m out and about.
Variety and moderation are great. But it's also important to listen to what your body needs. What works for me, may not work for you. If you can tune into your bodies signals, then you can learn to throw all of societies ridiculous food rules and unreasonable judgements out the window.
A few examples so you get my meaning...
Maybe you get a dull headache early afternoon because you've had 3 coffee's and no water. Drink some water.
Maybe you're craving fresh veggies. Eat some fresh veggies.
Maybe you feel bloated after eating chickpeas. (They're notoriously hard to digest.) Eat less of them, take a break for a while or go and chat to a naturopath about gut health.
Maybe you're bored, so you head to the pantry just for the sake of it. Stop. Are you actually hungry?
The better you can tune in to what your bodies telling you, and actually listen to it, the better you'll feel about food.
The bottom line is we all need to give ourselves a break, stop thinking about food as a double edged sword and instead remember that food is something to be grateful for. Something that nourishes us. Something we just can't thrive without.