Most of us who have ever, even for a short period of time, had a great track record of eating our veggies, avoiding processed food and refined sugars, and listening to our hunger cues know that aside from the great feelings food can generate in our bodies, food can be responsible for a sense of well-being and positive attitude, too. When you’re eating wholesome foods, those feelings can be linked to just about anything from healthy gut flora to a simple sense of accomplishment and taking care of yourself.
But there’s more to it than that. Food, whether it’s a salad or a decadent cheese plate dotted with cubes of dark chocolate, is deeply nourishing. We make food when we want to bring together family and friends to remind us of our support networks. We take casseroles to grieving families, and leave a batch of muffins on the doorstep of a new mother, carefully avoiding ringing the doorbell so as not to disturb her midday slumber.
The foods that we use as vehicles for reaching out to others and creating a sense of support and community are usually warm, comforting, and often wholesome – not necessarily healthy – but they have just as much of a place in making us feel great as our salad does.
Pay attention to how your food makes you feel today. Does the yogurt and fruit you ate for breakfast make you feel deeply satisfied, confident that you can take care of the precious body you were given? Does the piece of chocolate or latte that you indulged in in the afternoon make you feel guilty, or was it a special treat, an act of self-love? This is the power that food has in our lives.
What word describes your relationship with food? Is this relationship something you feel comfortable with, or wish you could change?