Food and Eating for Self-Care
Exploring ways and expanding our view of caring for our self can take time and patience. Finding what works best for us can often be clouded by what we feel others think we should be doing. Here I invite you to consider how food and eating can be part of your take on self care.
Bubble baths, trips to the stylist or .... may be some ways that we can take extra care of ourselves with activities that we enjoy and help us feel good. And sometimes it is the more obvious aspects of life and living that can be less obvious when it comes to self-care. Setting healthy boundaries for ourself, making that dental appointment or pap-smear check-up, not engaging in gossip, or filing important paper work, can all be part of how we take are of ourselves. The food we choose to eat and how we choose to eat it can also be part of how we care for ourselves.
Here in the West of the world, our current dichotomised food climate and polarised perceptions of what is "good and healthy" or "bad and unhealthy" it is no wonder many of us fall into a sense of hyper-vigilance around our food choices. Add in a hefty dose of modern-day life and living in the super-fast lane, our eating can feel chaotic with our nervous systems on high alert. Sound familiar? What would it feel like to see food as a source of nourishment on ALL levels. Supplying our body with robust nutrition and a balance of fuel whilst offering a sense of satisfaction and pleasure that supports our nervous system to help digest, absorb and assimilate our food. What would it feel like to see food as a fundamental resource and source of pleasure instead of something conditional to over analyse?
As with any food and eating support, with all clients I encourage folks to make any such changes with small steps. Small steps that foster positive internal feedback, encourage trust in our body and that can spur us to build on health-promoting behaviours.
So what may be some of the ways that food can play a role in our self-care. Below are a couple of suggestions. Many of these would benefit from unpacking a little more, but for now take from them what you feel may be relevant for you, and as always.... leave the rest.
Eating with permission
Savouring our food
Taking an extra couple of minutes to check in with our body and listen to what it would like to eat with what is available to us.
Reminding yourself you can always have more if you wish (and if available)
Not "healthifying" every recipe or food choice.
Softening our language of food from "junk" etc, to simply descriptive, eg: cold, smooth and creamy
Trying a new recipe
Discovering your enjoyment of the possible creative aspect of food preparation
Not tying our self-worth and value to our food choice
Eating enough food
Making time to eat
Not comparing our own food choice to that of others
Responding to your hunger, and to your comfortable fullness
Softening some of the food rules you may have
Eating what you actually want to eat as opposed to what you think you should eat.
Reminding yourself that food choice, eating and health isn't all or nothing behaviour.
I hope these suggestions offer an opportunity to explore and get curious about how food and eating can play a role in your self care. I'd love to hear what you think.
Wishing you joy and creativity in your kitchen and on your plate.