your relationship with food

Everyone needs to have a relationship with food. We need a relationship with food if we want to survive. Some have a healthy relationship with food, and others have an unhealthy relationship with food.

According to a statistic from the World Food Program, 842 million people in the world have an unhealthy relationship with food because they’re starving. This is a very disturbing and sad truth. These people do not have the choice of being healthy or unhealthy.

To those that have the liberty of choice at their hands each and every day, don’t take it for granted. This article is aimed to inspire you to make the healthy decision.

Many take abuse what we have at our disposal. People select greasy fast food from McDonalds as their daily lunch. Some are dissatisfied with an easy 1 or 2 slices of pizza and choose to overindulge in 5 or 6. While these decisions are not only disrespectful to your body, they are scornful to those who cannot afford food in our world. I know that my opinion sounds a little harsh, but I truly believe it.

I’m not saying that this choice is easy. I feel that, especially in America, we have way too much to choose from. What each of us need is a bit of guidance and most importantly, self-control. As in any sort of work, schooling, sport, spirituality, or mental peace of mind, it takes discipline to achieve greatness. My mantra I’ve been living lately is “discipline yields glory”. Factors that greatly influence a healthy relationship with food due are listed below.

-education
Many people don’t know enough about nutrition. Nutrition courses should be implemented from the time children are young. If not, then parents can take part in this education process. If you don’t know much about proper nutrition, take a deliberate step to learn. Today more health books, magazines, websites and TV shows are available than ever. Be selective about the ones that you choose. Make sure they are accredited and backed up by research. Avoid “trendy” nutrition and exercise mediums. Here are a few websites that may be helpful in your education process:

Nutrition.gov
Eatright.org/kids

-self-discipline
This is a practice that takes time. Don’t be a slave to food. You are the master of your body.

-bodily awareness
This is the knowing of when you’re hungry and when you’re satiated. Often times we think we’re hungry when we’re not. Be sure to drink plenty of water as to not confuse thirst with hunger. Be mindful of situations where you’re eating recreationally, emotionally, or because of boredom. Consciously identify if you’re in such a situation and try to eliminate the habit.

I’ll take bodily awareness a step further here. An idea was brought to light for me yesterday when I was talking with a woman who is in grad school for nutrition. She mentioned that in clinical settings, nutritionists spend the majority of their time with clients with psychological issues. I encourage individuals with eating disorders (over eaters & under eaters) to seek out a dietician or nutritionist to help channel the mind toward alternate coping mechanisms.

-portion control
Put the proper portions on your plate. Use choosemyplate.gov to view what a real portion is if you’re unsure. Often times, you’ll be surprised on how satiated you are with a true serving. You can eat just about anything, but everything in moderation.

-balance
Attempting to eat too strict often times ends with binge eating. Allow yourself some sweets and unhealthy foods every once in a while. Not for every meal, but in moderation.

-availability of fresh food
Try your best to consume fresh, unprocessed, homemade foods whenever possible. I believe that a homemade cupcake is better than a Hostess cupcake. A tomato from a local farmers market is better (and cheaper) than a tomato from a Super Walmart.

To conclude, I confess that I struggle with living this lifestyle day in and day out. I am temped all the time by the multitude of choices in our society. But I have recently changed my eating habits within the last two years. Going to culinary school gave me this respect for food. Being a trainer gave me respect for my body. It has been a bumpy road, but I remind myself that eating this way makes me a healthier and happier person. Respect your food and respect your body. Eat well my people.

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