I was talking with a client this morning about “gentle nutrition.” She’s been practicing eating intuitively now for six-months in our coaching program, giving herself unconditional permission to eat, and learning how to honor her body’s signals.
She’s at a place where she feels ready to learn about “gentle nutrition.” Meaning, how to nourish her body and take care of herself without crossing the line of obsessing over what she eats. She wants to continue practicing everything she’s learned about food freedom.
I shared with her that I approach gentle nutrition from an appreciation of food standpoint. If you read books — even Intuitive Eating — about gentle nutrition they often focus on whatever is “nutritious” at the time. As you and I know, these things are always changing.
One day culture tells us that bread is the best thing ever — full of fiber and keeps you full and that you should steer clear of fat… and the next day carbs give you cancer, ruin your intestines and cause you endless weight gain and fat is good. It’s all so confusing.
So instead of talking about specific nutritious foods we talked about the one thing that never seems to change: the foods that God so creatively and miraculously grows for us like fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds, beans, etc… (Note: this client asked that God be included in our conversations).
Diet culture makes us amount kale to protein powder. They’re both “health” foods that you “should” eat if you’re being “healthy.” Right? It makes us see kale as just a health food.
But when you line kale up with every other leafy green that God has created for you… do you notice the variety? It’s incredible. I want you to close your eyes and visualize it. God didn’t just make us iceberg lettuce and romaine. No, He decided to give us chard, kale, arugula, romaine, ice burg, etc…
For fruit, He didn’t stop at apples and bananas… he gave us strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, watermelon, pineapple, mango, peaches, oranges, plums, apricots, etc.
When I think of this variety from a spiritual standpoint I cannot help but feel overwhelmed with love and feel so cared for. God didn’t just give us “food,” He gave us incredible, beautiful, creative, miraculous food that is FULL of flavor and variety. Not only in it’s taste but in it’s smell, texture, taste, and how it looks.
Doesn’t that make you feel like someone out there cares for you? Like someone out there meant for you to feel good? To enjoy food? To have fun experimenting with what you get to enjoy for food? Doesn’t that make you think that food was intended not only for nourishment but also for pleasure?
I know this post is more spiritual than most that I write… but I didn’t want to keep this ah-ha moment that my client and I shared together all to myself. Food is so special. It’s designed to be enjoyed and appreciated.
Diets take that meaning away. They make us look at food from a standpoint of numbers and measurements. That’s not the way it was meant to be. Food was designed to be a source of enjoyment in our lives, just not our only enjoyment.
Today, I want to challenge you to think of food differently.
I want to challenge you to choose foods that you can deeply appreciate. Practice being grateful for them. Focus on variety and filling up on all of your senses when you eat: look at the food, smell it, taste and savor it. Enjoy it! And come back and tell me what you learn.