I Love Food
One of the responses I hear when people are struggling to add more whole foods and fruits and vegetables into their lives, is, “but I just LOVE food! I really love to eat!”
I know what they are saying, absolutely. It can feel like deprivation to go from what you are putting in your body now, to what you think you need to be eating. I also love food, and when I eat, I most certainly eat for pleasure.
But loving food can take different forms, and translate differently than you might think. Here are the reasons I LOVE food, and you might adjust your perception of what loving food means to you too.
- The more fruit and vegetables you incorporate into your diet, the more you crave . Using a technique called “crowding out”, focus on adding in more of these foods into your meals and notice as some of the extras get crowded out. You will crave them less, have less room and appetite for them. You will start to LOVE the taste and satisfaction of a huge fresh bowl of fruit and be less and less satisfied with a daily chocolate fix.
- Energy. An immediate gratifying result of eating highly nourishing foods is the energy after a meal or snack. Not only do the phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals increase your energy, but you are less likely to go into a food coma associated with more processed and heavier meals. You can eat and not fall asleep at your desk after lunch!
- You learn how to flavor food with spices, herbs and use textures and cooking techniques to draw out the flavor and put together food that is just as (if not more) satisfying than your old go-to options.
When it comes to really LOVING food, there are a lot of things to love about whole nourishing foods. In fact, the depth of flavours and options are often more satisfying once you start to experiment with them.
Taste buds adjust and can be tailored based on what you focus on. I can attest to that. I kept two kids out of a traditional American diet, surrounded them with foods from various cultures, and they have developed a taste for foods some US kids on the SAD (Standard American Diet) would never consider. Not only that, but they love it! My oldest doesn’t like cheese, and will eat nori (seaweed paper) until he is green in the face. My youngest eats hummus by the spoonful, the more garlic, the better. You don’t need to be an expat to offer variety to your kids, or yourself. Allow your tastes to adjust by ramping up your fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts and sit back as your body feels the effects, and your tongue starts to prefer them. So much of our tastes are based on cultural norms, what’s available in our environment, AND our upbringing, that can always be shifted!
.If you are moving or living overseas, this is a time to incorporate more whole foods with your family to enhance their health and expand their pallet. Use the fact that you are outside the norms of your home country, to add in local and interesting foods to your dinner table. When you go out, try local restaurants and experiment with salads, soups and fresh local options. Moving to a new country and surrounding yourself with things that are different can be a perfect way to shift your food options. Processed goods from your home country are likely not available, or are more difficult to come by, and are perfect tastes of home on occasion, rather than as a regular staple in the cupboard. I LOVE to have local fruit and veggie cut up and on the table when we tend to feel like snacking. It’s easy, convenient and a great way to fill our bellies and get a taste of the country we are in.
In the end, you aren’t depriving yourself of anything. You are working to bring your tastebuds to a place that benefits your body, and you will feel amazing because of it! Your love of food is really just beginning to come out, and your addiction to sugar and processed, chemical-laden foods will start to naturally wean.