I did it again to myself. No one to blame but me.
It was a morning I was running at 90 doing a million things before I left the house for the day. Now it was lunch, I was hungry and I pulled out my less than stellar salad I’d hurriedly tossed together.
Hungry, with food that would feed my hunger, but not necessarily bring me joy.
My favorite goof up was tossing salad in my container one night thinking I’d add protein to it in the morning along with a few more veggies.
Imagine my delight when lunch came and I had forgotten to add that and all I had was mostly dark leafy greens.
It’s ok to feel good about eating
When I’m hungry, I shamelessly love my food. When my stomach is growling and let’s me know it’s time to eat I want to enjoy my meal.
In the diet obsessive,weight loss focused world we live in there is often an unspoken idea that really, you shouldn’t. You shouldn’t enjoy eating, you should obsess or feel guilt, you should eat food that is unexciting because ya know, gotta lose weight.
You should feel deprived and a bit miserable in the process.
Listen, whether you’re working on weight loss or not, you should feel good about eating. Hopefully, you’re making good food choices, but even if you aren’t at that meal I hope there aren’t feelings of guilt that go down with it.
Unfortunately many of us may have grown up with negative behaviors with food, not been shown good eating habits, or used food as a coping mechanism/drug as we grew up.
Working to develop good eating habits, even if it’s slowly, will help you learn to feel good about it.
So about that “joy” of eating
Back to my opening lines. I don’t have much joy when I’ve been haphazard or lazy about putting my food together. When my lunch is ok and basically takes up stomach space, it doesn’t give me joy.
It makes me annoyed I didn’t take the time to put together food I would appreciate more.
We should enjoy our food, we should have food that not only offers our bodies the nutrients it needs for good health, but it should be satisfying to our souls.
Think of things like Thanksgiving or if you were fortunate, amazing Sunday dinners your grandmother whipped up.
Those are often times we may think of that are joyful eating.
True, not every day is like that. Reality might be a sandwich on the run between meetings or whatever we can grab in a busy day.
I’m surrounded by a lot of men in my family. Men have this tendency to wolf food down. They love teasing me about my “little bites” and being the last one left eating.
I simply inform them I like tasting and savoring my food. 😉
I like taking my time and not rushing.. nothing wrong with that is there?
Some tips for joyful eating
* Be mindful. Really, be in the moment of what you’re eating. Lose the phone, don’t stare at the TV and really focus on enjoying your food.
* Be aware of textures and flavors, appreciate how it all tastes and smells.
* Take your time. Honestly you may have to practice slowing down if you’re used to eating fast. You’ll have a better appreciation if you do.
* Savor the meal and learn to savor the relationships with those you have around the table. Over good food I’ve learned much about my family.
*Prepare foods you really love. Double win if you prepare foods others love as much.
* Leave any guilt you have at the door. Food and guilt have no place together.
* Look for new recipes that give you joy in cooking for you and your family meals.
Tell me…how do you view eating? Is it a joyful thing or one that is mindlessly accomplished ?
3 thoughts on “The Joy Of Eating”
Oops, you’ve done it again! Another spot on piece about our chemical romance with food . . wonderful food.
I think what happens is that we are faced with two competing mindsets. On the one side of the table, we have food as sport and entertainment. As the ultimate prize to our harried lives. People actually win cash prizes for being the fastest to fork down one food or other. TV personalities cook up meals with attitude (ie: stuff we shouldn’t be eating every night). And restaurants tell us it’s okay if we have their three servings worth of glorious gluttony because hey . . we kicked butt today!
And then there’s the other side, where we banish ourselves to some food correction camp that denies us all the things we were busy loving five minutes ago. Fats? Gone. Sugar? See ya! Calories? What are they? And well hey, never mind that our bodies NEED fats as long as they’re the right ones. And never mind that our bodies NEED sugar for the same reasons.
Sorry to leave such a long winded response to your post, but you know my thoughts full well on this topic. Moderation and as you put it so well, being in the moment with your food by not scarfing it down . . they are integral. And some exercise tossed into the mix ain’t hurting either.
Food IS a four letter word, so it’s up to us to find the l-o-v-e in it.
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I love your responses, long winded or not! “Food correction camp” I gotta remember that one 🙂 thanks for your insights! And happy weekend to you!
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Love your food posts quite a lot.
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