Food? Do you have a Relationship with it OR Does it just Happen?
A common theme for almost all of my clients (and I must admit, for myself at times) is a hectic lifestyle that involves fitting in food, eating on the go; scarfing down a meal as fast as one can, and really, playing ‘catch-up,’ rather than taking the time to stop, sit and enjoy the food experience. Having a relationship with food? There is none. The relationship plainly is “I got to eat. I got to fit it in!”
I came across a quote not long ago that inspired me. I created a poster with it. It now sits in my office. I share it with all of my clients:
“Nourishment is the nutrients in our food, the taste, the aroma, the ambiance of the room, the conversation at the table, the love and inspiration in the cooking, and the joy of the entire eating experience”
I think we can all agree that given the current circumstances surrounding our lives, too much work, too much stress, and not enough sleep, there is a problem. The term ‘mindfulness’ is one that has been floating around in the and “health field speak” for years. There is no place it is has a more important role to play than in creating healthy eating habits, a relationship savoring the experiences surrounding food.
My challenge I place before you are two: First, change your description of consuming food from the word “eating” to “nourishing” your body. And second, take some time and think about your relationship with food. Here are five suggested questions to consider:
· When do you nourish yourself throughout your day?
· Where do you nourish yourself?
· With what do you choose to nourish yourself?
· How do you nourish yourself? And;
· Who are you when you are well nourished?
Take a moment, jot down your answers. Reflect on your answers. Anything you would like to change? Do it once today, change the experience.
HOW to START?
1. Upon your finishing reading this blog take one action! Start immediately. The next instance you are going to eat, think “STOP… Savour this.”
2. Practice “mindfulness”—You sit down to eat. Hit the Sloooow mo button. Slow down. Stop thoughts. Be present. Be more aware of the experiences, the conversations, escape from the business of work momentarily - just take a moment and savour the time for food. “Enjoy the time around eating. Laughter and smiles?” (What a novel idea??)
Asking yourself these questions isn’t going to fix your relationship with food overnight. But intentions do translate into actions. And Actions beget experiences. Support yourself and those feeding humans who sit with you in finding healthier paths to making the manner in which you find nourishment, a part of your overall personal self-care-- the focus of your nourishment experience..
Celene Winterton RD BSc.
Registered Dietitian, Alberta Heartland Primary Care Network