Cultivating a healthy relationship with food can increase our zest and taste for daily life.
1. Notice how you feel. Take a moment to close your eyes, breathe, and drop into what it feels like to be in your body. Does it feel dumpy, sluggish, drab, or low in energy?
Now, notice if there is a similar relationship to the foods you have been eating recently. For example, are you eating dumpy foods? Does your food look gray and dark? Overcooked, dull, lifeless? Simply notice if there is a relationship.
On a biological level, we are what we eat. Certain foods and their preparation carry potential vibrancy for increased flavor and life energy. See if adding more food with vibrant color and zest makes a difference.
2. Notice automatic behaviors around eating. Are you rushed, packing your bags with a granola bar in your mouth? Are you cramming chocolate at the same time every day? Are you eating while watching TV or on the computer? Have you finished a meal without actually tasting anything?
Slow down. Breathe. If you are too busy to taste your food, you will not be able to taste the fullness of your life. Take a moment to connect to your food: notice the flavor and texture. Slow down and allow food to digest, and you will begin digesting the gifts of daily life.
3. Notice cravings and urges for certain foods. Learning to listen to your body will help you tune in to the subtle messages of life that attempt to support you. Cravings are your body’s need for attention. Listen closely and see if you can satisfy the need in a healthy way.
4. Notice thoughts and feeling around eating. “I don’t have time to eat!” or “Wow — I just finished that entire box.” Do you experience any guilt or disappointment?
Your body wants nothing more than to make you feel young and healthy. Just as in a personal relationship, we can take time to apologize and make things right. You can start a new relationship with your body and food today.
5. Notice social customs associated with food. Do you eat at work and gossip? Complain? Is dinner in front of the TV? Or in the car?
We expect our bodies to do so much for us every day. All they really expect from us is to feed them well, allow them time to digest, and limit external stress. Notice what changes you can begin to make.
Your health is a gift, and every day we have a chance to cultivate responsibility, kindness, love, and attention to our relationship with food. The benefits will directly influence the quality of our daily life, and life simply tastes better at a high quality.