What is Your True Connection with Food
Where is your true connection with food and what you choose to eat?
Is it in remembering the exact amount of Calories that are contained within certain foods?
Is it in checking how much food you need to lose weight?
Is it in searching through reams of blogs, You Tube Channels and Instagram feeds to see how you can perfect your diet?
Is it though planning out exactly what you are going to eat in advance so that you can avoid any 'temptations' or 'fear foods'?
Is it through double checking that whatever you consume is as 'clean', nutritious or as plant-based as possible ?
If the answer is yes to any one of these questions, then I would like you to ask yourself, honestly, if this is the type of connection with food that you really crave? Is this the type of relationship with food that you want to have for the rest of your food consuming life (i.e. a very long time)?
In other words, do you want your connection with food to be founded on rigidity, rule setting, morality, ideology, perfectionism, or fear?
If no, then I invite you tho think a bit more deeply about what your true connection with food actually is, or can, be. For example, instead of thinking about specific amounts of Calories or macronutrients and dieting when faced with eating foods like chips, biscuits, cakes or your favourite meal, ask yourself what authentic connections and symbols these foods play in your life
Do they signify celebrations with family and friends, trips to the beach with your grandparents as you walk along the sand, late night sleepovers as you watch your favourite movies, getting messy and licking your fingers when baking, snuggling up close to someone you love at the cinema, dunking biscuits in hot tea, or trying a new cuisine for the first time while on holiday and soaking up the culture of that specific place?
Whatever your food memory, know that it is unique to you, and that it signifies that food is much much more than just fuel.
However, many of you may have times where eating certain foods has been accompanied by feelings of guilt, remorse, shame - even though food is part of what allows us to feel connected to life through feelings of nostalgia, excitement, joy and inspiration.
If you were eating from a place of connection with yourself and others, then thoughts and actions around food wouldn't be caught up in so much negativity.
As we say a lot in Nourishing Routes philosophy, our connection with food has roots that go far deeper than the content and quantity of food. Alternatively, food is strongly interlinked with place, culture, social connection, positive emotion, love, memories and being in the moment with each unique life experience that you savour while something stimulates your culinary senses (i.e. every human sense yet known)
Can you imagine eating a cake in your favourite cafe, only to not be able to see, taste, smell or think about any of your previous experiences with eating cake? That would just be purely bizzar !
Or, what would you say, if one day, you could be given a magic pill to consume. That pill would contain the exact amount of energy and precise amount of nutrients for your body to thrive. The only catch is, you wouldn't need to eat ever again. All you would need to do is take one pill in the morning, and that would be it.
Well, apart from knife and fork companies going bust (and no longer having lustful trips to furniture departments just to view the amazing dining ware sections ...), you might have guessed that life might become considerably less enjoyable.
As human beings, we yearn to make deep connections with food, and not simply viewing what we eat as a way to keep going. Yes, many other animals view food as fuel, but we are much more complex creatures in the way we think and attach meaning to things in our lives. We human beings thrive on sparking our senses, emotions and memories to life, and eating food provides a great medium for this to happen in.
Connecting with food connects us to out life energy, and to eat food without connection (as might happen if we could only live off pills) would be a deeply unfulfilling, bitter and lonely experience.
Unfortunately, as you probably have experienced yourself, we are encouraged by our society to view food primarily as fuel and optimum nutrition - hence why hashtags such as clean eating exist ...
However, this leads us down a lonely road where we become more disconnected with food , away from ourselves and, sometimes, towards a life tainted by an unhealthy obsession with nutrition, eating disorders and orthorexia.
To combat this negativity surrounding food in our modern salad weary and smoothie bowl obsessed age, we need to give ourselves permission to ignore negative message about food, and give ourselves the right to find out own unique connection with food.
We can start to see food as being about connection, memories, places, social ties and even learning about ourselves as the complex yet beautiful human beings we are
No need to compensate for eating your favourite cake or dipping biscuits in tea, or squirting cream on your hot chocolate. You are a human being, not a lifeless machine that only uses food as fuel
Embrace your true connection with food, and you will be able to connect to a road that leads towards a life of adventure that tastes amazing - without any bitter aftertaste that diet food or exceedingly expensive 'superfoods' leaves in your mouth