Ooo… you’re in for a treat today, Live Lighter Readers! Our guest blogger today, Reshma, shares with us tips that she used to stop the diet madness and her negative emotions around food, as well as turning her tastes around so she actually prefers healthy meals over processed food.
Hello Readers! My name is Reshma and I’m a whole-foods culinary enthusiast and avid cook. My style of “EatFree Cooking” evolved out of the challenge of creating exciting meals for myself that were both nutritionally sound and would finally put an end to the eternal “diet train” that many of us (including myself at one point) seem to be perpetually riding.
This “diet train” seemed to me to be fraught with too much emotional negotiation around eating: calorie counting, “cheat” days, strict regimented diets, “guilt-free” treats, and the like. Over the years I’ve developed recipes that incorporate whole-food ingredients to create dishes that use a balanced and impactful array of tastes and textures.
I’ve now reached a place in which I’m able to eat whole food-based dishes without feeling deprived or unsatisfied. And because these healthy dishes are so tasty, my diet has been consistent and my palate now craves whole foods. I no longer crave processed junk foods, not through strict self-discipline or wishing to ward off unnecessary feelings of guilt, but rather it’s become a lack of desire altogether.
If you want to walk away from your favourite red velvet cake with no problems at all, here are 5 steps to overcoming “guilt” with food:
- Take the word “guilt” out of your mental dialogue around eating. Think of it this way: would you put guilt-trips on your children or loved ones when they make the wrong choice? Then don’t do it to yourself! Nature did not mean for us to have such a guilt-ridden relationship with food in the first place. Nature means for us to be free.
- After you’ve made that promise to yourself, monitor the other ways you “emotionally negotiate” with eating (examples: giving yourself “cheat” days, “rewarding” yourself for being “good”, etc.). Nature did not intend for eating to be such an emotional headache.
- Monitor the re-occurrence of any of these mental and emotional patterns. If you find yourself slipping into them, don’t berate yourself. Just observe them and lovingly nudge them away. Over time as you re-engineer your palate to desire only foods close to their natural state, new patterns will permanently embed themselves in your consciousness and you will reach a place of lack of desire altogether for processed foods (so eating that sugar-laden chocolate cake won’t be a matter of “indulging” but rather a matter of just not wanting it).
- Understand what “real” food is. “Real” food is what nature has given us. Yes, most of us can’t grow all of our food in our backyards, but be mindful of only eating those foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. For example, instead of rolled oats, opt for the steel-cut variety.
- Introduce yourself to the wondrous world of spices and fresh herbs. Spices and fresh herbs are usually dried bark (like cinnamon), seeds (such as cumin) , leaves (e.g. rosemary), and other plant parts that work wonders in elevating the natural flavor profiles of almost any food.
As you practice positively transforming your relationship with food and choose more meals that rely on an abundance of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and whole grains, and those for desserts, which make no use of any refined sweeteners or flours, you’ll find your taste buds will begin to detect “real food”!
About the Author
Reshma shares her original recipes for savory dishes that transform whole foods into gastronomical extravaganzasmade on her blog EatFreeBlog.com. With over 60 recipes so far, you can start taking out the emotional negotiation from eating – one recipe at a time – so you can finally EatFree!