Let’s be honest: most of us have a complicated relationship with food. Food is our source of nourishment and is there to be enjoyed, but in the modern world, food can be an enemy as well as a friend. With more and more junk food available at cheap prices, while healthier options can be harder to find, our world has flipped our relationship to food upside down! Because there’s so much harmful information out there, it’s never been more important to be mindful of our food and the way we think about it. Food is the ultimate form of self-care, yet sometimes it’s sidelined as a bad thing or just a necessity we shouldn’t enjoy. Here are three ways to strengthen your relationship with food!
Don’t Blame Yourself
If you have a bad relationship with food, it probably isn’t your fault. With all that’s out there to convince us we aren’t good enough, blaming yourself is not going to help. Whether you find food a challenge because you’re unhappy with your weight; or you have allergies which restrict you and make you fearful of food; or if it’s something else entirely - you are not alone.
Being honest with yourself about why you and food seem like enemies rather than friends is a good thing. But bullying yourself about your problems will only make them worse. Be kind to yourself as you would be to others, and you’ll find yourself healing from these troubles more quickly.
Make Food a Source of Joy, Not Stress
Often, if we are obsessing over what we eat constantly, it can take the joy out of food. And after all, food supplies us with energy, growth, and enables us to do what we love every day. So why hate it? If you are one of these people who finds food stressful, one helpful way to get out of this funk is to experiment with recipes.
Ditching the same old few meals you make in rotation and trying something brand new is amazing. Trying cuisines from other cultures is more accessible now than ever before, like a gorgeous Chinese chicken salad recipe from BoulderLocavore.com. Experimenting in the kitchen can be done alone or with friends, and helps you fall in love with food again.
With all the stresses of life, we’re all busy and exhausted. It’s difficult to find food inspiring when you’re tired, super hungry, and just wanting to relax. Getting inspired by food, though, is a surefire way to break out of your bad relationship with food. Watching cooking tutorials and creating food mood boards in your free time helps to alleviate the stressful relationship you might have with food and make you excited for all the food there is to eat. Having a healthy relationship with food doesn’t mean being obsessed with health! Instead, it just requires you to have an open mind, a sense of joy and passion for the food you love, and a willingness to accept food as a good thing, not an enemy.