For the love of food!

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What a topic to write about. I enjoy eating and love, I mean LOVE food.
Now I am not a food critic, nor am I a dietitian, so before you just dismiss this as a topic that will either make you hungry or feel guilty about what you eat, then let me stop you now. I am not here to place judgement. On occasion, I enjoy that colorful plate of “nutritionally dense, good for you” food, but most days you will find me filling my face with a juicy hamburger, fries, and that double scoop of ice cream. Enjoying every. single. bite.

I have been on my own personal journey with food for a while, trying to discover the complex relationship I have; so, I decided that it was time to discuss the topic with you. I wanted to do this in a way that would divide it into small snippets of information. This way we can hopefully discover and digest the importance of how food affects us not just physically, but emotionally and mentally as well.

The following series of posts will not only discuss these aspects of nutrition but why each play an important role in our overall health. Let me start off by saying I am NOT a nutritionist. I know that this field is complex as is the psychological aspect around eating. I don’t want to oversimplify or water down any of the important issues that many face daily both locally and internationally. Food insecurity, hunger, eating disorders, body dysmorphia, famine, this list could go on and on. I do however want to say that everyone should stop and take a serious look at the why, what, when and how they eat. I hope to do the same in both an honest and transparent way, while giving you some tips and scientific data to back up what I am saying.

In the next few weeks, we will also tackle the ever-dreaded buying “organic, local, home-grown” versus grocery store debate and how this can overwhelm even the most serious consumer. I will also include in an upcoming post the most up-to-date Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 list with an image that you can save to your phone or device to have handy while shopping. So, let’s get started!

WHY we eat?
Now this may seem like an obvious question, but I think we should at least list a few of the reasons we eat before we cover the other aspects around food.
Physical need– our bodies need fuel for energy.
Hunger– we feel the pain of hunger, or our stomach growls and we immediately desire to “fill it up.”
Habit – we look at the clock and it is “time to eat.”
Celebration/Social Aspect– many cultural and family gatherings are centered around food and meals.
Emotional Need– memories are associated with food, and food can fill an emotional void or elevate our mood. (This can include drinking alcohol and other beverages like coffee/caffeine.)
Boredom-yeah, I do this too.
Addiction – there have been studies that show our brains respond strongly to certain foods and substances like sugar in the same way that we respond to other addictive substances.

What is the main reason(s) you eat? For most of us, if we are honest, it is a combination of all the above reasons and maybe a few I failed to mention.
What if you and I decided that over the next few weeks we would just start being conscious of the why. Being mindful and making the decision to only eat when we are _______, _________and __________.
You may be physically fit and believe you have no reason to worry about the why. Your weight or dietary habits may look “perfect,” but I do believe that EVERYONE can benefit from filling in the above blanks.

I will go first.
Over the next few weeks, Lynn will be mindful to only eat when she needs fuel for energy, is hungry, or is enjoying a social gathering, that fills her physical and emotional needs for food.

I hope this has “wet your appetite” for the upcoming weeks when we will uncover the WHAT, WHEN and HOW we eat!

Give Yourself Grace,