A healthier relationship with food
A huge number of people in the developed world today have a deeply unhappy, conflicted, and perhaps even pathological relationship with food.
On the one hand, we all love to eat and savour delicious flavours, but on the other hand, we’re constantly obsessing over which new diet plan can help us to lose weight, or worrying that a particular dish we enjoy is going to put us in an early grave.
Many people sacrifice their health and wellbeing on the hamster wheel of constant crash dieting, resulting in yo-yo weight loss and weight gain, hormonal issues, low mood, and full-blown complex surrounding the simple act of eating.
While it can be very difficult trying to identify the correct dietary maxims to abide by, here are a few suggestions for helping you develop a healthier relationship with food.
Eat whatever you want… as long as you prepare it all from scratch
The author Michael Pollan, famous in large part for his writing on food-related topics, and for his documentary series on the subject titled “Cooked”, appears to endorse a pretty straightforward guideline, proposed by another cast member on “Cooked”.
The rule is that you can eat whatever you want, and as much of it as you want… as long as you cook it all yourself, from scratch. That means no instant cake mixes, no microwave meals, no pre-prepared pizza bases, or any of the rest.
What this does mean, however, is that you can eat cake, pizza, and lasagna to your heart’s content. You just have to prepare it all from scratch.
Why would such a rule be beneficial?
Firstly, it removes the stigma from your diet. You’re not obliged to feel guilty for eating anything
Secondly, it forces you to make more effort to eat “treat foods”, meaning you’ll likely eat them less, by default.
Thirdly, it puts you fully in control of what you eat. No mysterious additives that you’ve never heard of, with dubious health effects.
Preparing a meal from scratch may seem daunting if you’ve never done it before. Luckily, good information on how to go about things is easy to find online. A couple of beginner tips:
When it comes to selecting chopping boards, coloured boards reduce food contamination by allowing for the easy use of a colour code, which can prevent different raw foods from coming into contact with each other.
Following a cookbook is always easier and likely to yield better results, at least in the early days of your kitchen forays.
Turn your back on overly restrictive dieting
Some popular diets are extremely restrictive, in one form or another, such as the “carnivore diet” (eating nothing but meat) or the “raw vegan diet” (eating nothing but uncooked vegetables). Others just propose eating very few calories.
These diets invariably make tremendous claims about their ability to change your life for the better. Sooner or later, however, a couple of things are likely to occur:
One — you become so fed up with restrictive dieting that you give up and binge, disheartened.
Two — due to insufficient intake of certain core nutrients, your health suffers, and your stress hormone levels skyrocket.
Always strive for equilibrium in your eating, and turn your back on overly restrictive dieting.
Vary your diet on a regular basis
There are many vitamins and minerals which contribute to the health and proper performance of our bodies. Some of these are easy to obtain, others a bit less so.
By varying your diet on a regular basis, and eating many different types of food, you have the best chance of getting the right balance of vitamins and minerals.
Your diet will also be more interesting and enjoyable.
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