What is your relationship with food? Aside from the obvious that you need nutrients to support your body, what does food mean to you? Is it another chore to prepare meals or do you enjoy being in the kitchen creating scrumptious meals? Perhaps it’s a task that just needs to be done, so you do it as quickly as you can and move on the next thing. Yes. That used to be me for sure! Totally hate cooking during my childhood – I know hate is a strong word but that is the only way I can describe it. It was a gruelling task because I was cooking meals for our entire family of thirteen people, at the age of nine. Today I have a totally different relationship with food, one that brings me much joy!
Do you Respect it?
Respecting food means you are respecting your body. The only body you’ve got in this lifetime. Feed it nutritional foods and it will in turn be your humble slave to carry out whatever task you engage into. Neglect your body over an extensive period of time and surely you will endure the consequences. Sometimes you can recover the trauma and sometimes you can’t. Like any other type of relationship, it must benefit each party: you (taste buds, texture, visually appealing) and it must benefit the body with proper nutrients.
In my personal experience, appreciating the foods I eat results in a deep sense of well being. It means I take pride in properly storing and preserving what I purchased and subsequently prepare meals with excited anticipation of enjoying every mouthful.
When you respect the idea that food nourishes and provides the necessary fuel to sustain a healthy lifestyle, you will learn to develop an intimate relationship with the food which goes into your mouth.
Photo by bruce mars
Does it cause you pain in some way?
Whatever your relationship with food, your body needs it. For some, when you think of food, you associate it with your mom, simply because she is usually the person who prepares the meals. If your relationship with your mom is not on good footing, or it does not bring you joyful memories or conjure up warm feelings of love and appreciation, then your relationship with food suffers. Food then becomes a crutch and you eat without tasting what you’re eating, you eat even though you’re not hungry, you eat simply because you don’t know how to resolve the issue with your mom.
Family Dinners say it all…
At the family dinner table, food is often neglected in light of the issue at hand. Food becomes the target for your anger especially when you are invited to dinner at the family table. You may even develop disgust mentally for food, because whenever you’re invited to these events the outcome is more often than not taxing on your mental state resulting in a stressed experience. Likely you didn’t even tasted the meal.
Food either brings a family together or tears it apart. It’s not that the foods itself does this but there’s always food when these situations arise and it’s easy to associate the food with the psychological impact of the family dynamics. For instance, not only did I have to cook the entire meal for thirteen people, but it needed to be done up to my mom’s expectations. That was not an easy task.
As indian culture would have it, the men in the family were fed first, served by the women. I remember so many times I would be very upset by this cultural stigma that I won’t bother having anything to eat, which means I went to bet hungry many nights.
Later in my life, when I started making meals for myself and subsequently my own family, only then did I understand the impact of the food I was consuming. This was the beginning of my experience of pure enjoyment preparing nutritious and delicious food.
Social well being revolves around Food
Every house, always the kitchen, no matter the occasion! You might have noticed this yourself, whenever you host an event or attend an event at someone’s house. Everyone gathers in the kitchen regardless of how many other rooms there are to sit and enjoy each other’s company. The kitchen has this magnetic sort of nucleus that brings people together.
Food is an integral part of social interactions. Sharing food, preparing food, delivering food, eating food – it all involves your relationship to the food itself and your relationship to the people involved. Sometimes a grand time is had by all just hanging out cooking. The fact that it’s a “task” is meaningless. The rewards of the social interaction as the task is being completed far outweigh the effort to complete the task.
- Food has the ability to heal broken relationships with loved ones.
- It is a necessity to nourish the human body.
- Can be a scarce commodity to those with no financial security.
- Food is comfort in times of distress.
- It is definitely a source of joy and enjoyment.
The word “Food” means something different to each person. Appreciate; respect and honour the food which you feed your body and you will enjoy the rewards of a healthy, enduring body. Food is an investment for sustainable energy. Feel good purchasing, preparing and certainly eating wholesome food that appeals to your senses. It’s an investment which will repay dividends in the form of a long, enduring, fun filled and adventurous life. A healthy relationship with your food will stir you to want to eat better, live better and love more.
As always, if you haven’t connected with us on social outlets, take a moment to do so. We believe healthy eating is a lifestyle not a meal plan!