Thursday, February 21, 2013

Assessing Your Relationship with Food

All too often in today’s world, food is portrayed as an enemy, something to be feared.  This view truly saddens and concerns me when I think to future generations and how they will perceive eating, nutrition and the overall culinary world.  Although I don’t have any children of my own at this point, I do often think of how I will raise my future offspring in comparison to what I observe in my casual people watching. 

We cultivate our relationship with food at an incredibly young age – far before we truly understand what we’re eating.  Looking back, I’m eternally grateful to my parents for exposing me to spices and flavors often shunned by small children.  I will never fully understanding the youthful opposition to eating anything green.  Again, being fed broccoli, spinach, kale and green bean all throughout my life, vegetables were never viewed as adverse. 

As we grow up, the media plays an integral role in shaping our views on eating.  Low carb?  No carb?  Low fat?  Avoid high fructose corn syrup?  Our minds are being pulled in so many different directions everyday that it dose become challenging to build a foundation for that healthy relationship with food. 

I’ve never been a petite person – and I’m okay with that.  I’ve always strived to be healthy and eat well, but I’m never going to be a size 2.  I think really accepting that was one of the first steps to really developing my understanding of what I see as the core to any food relationship - moderation and indulgence. 

Just to clarify, these aren’t meant to be opposing polar viewpoints.   I don’t interpret indulgence as gluttony or excess, but rather something out of the ordinary – a treat if you will.  In my opinion, indulgence and moderation are extremely harmonious words and should always be used in conjunction. 

When I talk about “building your relationship with food,” I’m primarily talking about finding a balance between excess and starvation.  Not looking to food as a comfort source consumed in excess or detesting and loathing food for fear of weight gain.  I love food an there’s nothing wrong with that – it’s just not my closest confident or mortal enemy.  

I challenge you all to really think about what your personal relationship with food is.  Recognizing the love/hate dichotomy we all have is something that can truly help you establish a healthy, happy balance where our food is not only enjoyable, but nutritious and wholesome as well. 

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