Fall in love with food again!
When following this Gut Reboot program and working to improve your health, I encourage you to try to “Fall in love with food again”!
Often when people talk about diets, programs, or protocols in the nutrition world the implied emotion is one of LACK. The feeling seems to be that… if I do this thing for a while… I’ll have to give up everything I love…but then when it’s over I can go back to eating those things again. But this doesn’t have to be the case! It can be a happy transition to a whole new appreciation of cooking and eating foods that are healthy and healing.
Real Food Heals!
While reading Seamus Mullen's newly released cookbook "Real Food Heals", I was struck by how passionate he is about loving the process of cooking and eating healthy foods.
Seamus refers to a term he calls "Transactional Health", which he says is something that many of us get caught up in. He describes this as "a system of rewards and punishments, abstention and indulgence". "Think calorie counting followed by cheat days. It's the idea that if you eat this pizza, you must go and work out and burn x number of calories to make up for it."
He adds, "To truly be healthy means to break up with the notion of transactional health, to walk away from an antagonistic relationship with food, to quit diets. I mean, after all, just look at the first three letters of the word diet. When you embrace a positive relationship with real food, you can eat as much as little as you want without feeling bad about the decisions you've made and without any food remorse. Love the foods that love you back and you'll never need another "diet" again!" Read more by Seamus Mullen
The American perception of a “healthy meal” is a mess.
Take, for example, the classic continental breakfast of toast and cereal, a piece of fruit, and juice or coffee. I can’t think of a worse way to start your day than this!! An initial meal of carbs and sugar sets you up for a roller coaster of sugar cravings that will last all day long. Your body goes into insulin production, which means it switches over to converting consumed calories to stored energy (stored fat). And it will try to stay in that mode, craving more sugary foods and more carbohydrates until satisfied. It becomes a vicious cycle!
And then there is the issue of our portion sizes, particularly here in the US! I probably don’t even need to bother writing about the topic of over-eating and the misinformed American concept of the “Happy Meal” or “Super-sized” options at many fast food restaurants. Thanks to recent films, like “Supersize Me” and other resources, this is information has become public. The concern about over-eating and portion sizes being too large to be healthy is something that most people know about, whether we chose to pay attention to the information, however, is another story.
Social Pressure. Practice makes it better (and closer to “perfect”).
Learning to embrace a positive relationship with food can take some practice, particularly if you haven’t experienced this before. And knowing how to identify and add to your routine some truly healthy foods can be intimidating at first. The challenges are real and the social pressures steer us away from choosing and eating “real” food. Those pressures are all around us, every day. Through media and advertising, it’s easy to succumb to the siren’s song. The menu choices in restaurants, the grocery store layouts (where all the sugary snack kinds of foods are in the center front) are hard to ignore. And the opinions of families and friends can sometimes make it difficult to make good food choices.
Change is possible!
But you can do it! It takes some resilience and also some practice to change old paradigms of what constitutes “healthy” food. But you, too, can learn to love the food you eat and eat the food you love. There are many experts and many programs, including the True Gut Health and the 30-day reboot, that can help you on this exciting adventure and a very happy journey!
It sounds good. But how do I get started and actually fall in love with food again?
One way to build this rapport and positive relationship with the food you cook and eat is to follow our Gut Health Improvement program.
** Download and become familiar with the food guidelines suggested in the “True Gut Health 30-day reboot!”. It’s a free document and available for anyone to access! (download .pdf here)
As you begin to experiment with new food flavors and practice cooking and eating different combinations of foods, you will find your palette and your food cravings changing. And you will find yourself slowly, but surely, beginning to love cooking and eating foods that make you feel good when you eat them. Here are some other suggestions to assist you.
- Surround yourself with good resources including books and cookbooks that will give you ideas and education on the topic of real food nutrition.
A list of resources that helped me is available in my recent post about the Goals of this Program (here).
- Participate in a community of friends, online or in person. “Like and follow” the True Gut Health Facebook Page. And consider joining the Group if you’re ready to get started – this is a way to get more exposure to information and people who are excited about the same health concepts.
Change your patterns.
- Create and allow time in your day to plan your menu, to cook, and to enjoy eating the new and healthy foods you are discovering.
- Re-calibrate what “delicious” means by changing your palette. This takes time, but not a lot of time. If you have been accustomed to eating lots of simple carbs and sugary foods it will definitely be a transition. But your body will adjust to the new and healthier nutrition it is being given. And these shifts will happen much more quickly than you might anticipate.
- Consider the quality of calories, rather than the number of calories, in every meal.
- Shop locally. Grow your own food. Or, if you can, try to meet the people who grow the food that you buy. For example, you can do this by shopping local farmer’s markets and farm stands. Familiar faces and building friendships around the food you are buying give it value. Having this personal connection to the food you eat will make your meals much more special.
- And finally, be patient with yourself. Change takes time, but the transformation to really enjoying healthy foods and learning how to “fall in love with food again” will be so worthwhile. I promise! ❤
True Gut Health
Live a Vibrant life!
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