Sunday, 21 October 2012

A New Relationship with Food

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I think many of us have a somewhat unhelpful relationship with food in some way or another.  We have strange food rules and guilt over eating something we think we shouldn't.  Or like me, food that tastes delicious but will end up making you feel less than well.

My last download from Kindle's Top 100 Free list was "Why Quantum Physcicists Don't Get Fat" by Gregory Kuhn.  It's not a very long book and it contains its fair share of Oprah-style psycho-fluff over which I swished rather quickly.  But there were two little gems to be gleaned that I think will change the relationships we have with food.

The first of these nuggets was to only eat what makes you feel good.  Now I know that sugar does not make me feel good.  Nor does wheat.  And as I stood in my kitchen the other morning considering what I might have for breakfast I wondered "what would make me feel good?".  Whilst my favourite breakfast is raspberry jam on toast, at some point that would make me feel quite uncomfortable.  So I chose thinly sliced tomato on rye toast that had been lashed with real butter and sprinkled with ground salt and pepper.  It made me feel really good.  It's a question I ask each morning now.  This morning it was poached eggs on the afore described butter-lashed rye toast.

The second nugget was to reconsider the stories you tell yourself about food (and exercise).  The author suggests that you begin thinking carefully about rewording your stories so that they are positive....a bit of a "fake it til you make it" kind of approach.  He tells the story of his journey to loving fruit.  He didn't begin that way, but he began by eating one piece of fruit a day and telling himself that while he didn't enjoy it now he would eat it because he knew it was a healthy practice to engage in.  He went on to tell himself that perhaps tomorrow he would enjoy it better.  Eventually - about three months later - he was able to genuinely enjoy eating fruit.  I think that beats "I hate fruit, I'm only doing it because I know I should".  The positive story brings with it hope and a willingness to change.
It's a rather interesting take on how to think about food.  I'd love to hear your thoughts.


dolly mixtures said...

I think we all need to reassess our relationship with food from time to time. I like to take a balanced approach with no one food seen as bad. However, I try to create healthy habits, eating a lighter evening meal once a week (scrambled eggs on toast)and a variety of healthy breakfasts over the week.
I think you can retrain your brain to like things you might otherwise resist as the author suggests. Very interesting thanks :)

Attila said...

Like you, I find wheat is bad for me and my insides and I'm starting to feel that sugar doesn't help me; it just makes me want to eat more sugar and more stodge. I'e just had apple and berry compote sweetened with raisins; absolutely gorgeous.

Tracy said...

Dolly Mixtures - I agree. An 'all things in moderation' approach is definitely the most health way to go, particularly emotionally/mentally.

Attila - I began with a particular event that revealed my sugar issues. The further down that road I travel the more I find that a variety of different types of sugars are an issue. I'm still OK with fruit. For now.

Left-Handed Housewife said...

I've been doing a lot of rethinking about food lately, too. Making yet another effort to wean myself off of sugar, because it really makes me feel bad. Bread, while I love it, leaves me tired. Strawberries always make me feel good, and they make me happy, too. Will continue pondering ... thanks for the prompt!