Food is so much more than the totality of nutrients that it contains. It’s a way of life.
Often times, we see food simply as fuel – nutrients and energy. It’s viewed as a source of energy to help us get our daily tasks accomplished. While this is all true, there’s another way to think about food that goes beyond just the energy it provides. I challenge you to see how food, as a whole, can impact the way you live.
Go beyond the nutrients and energy, and you will see that food also provides satisfaction, pleasure, and lasting memories. Beyond your own personal experiences, the food choices you make can also impact the world that you live in. Here are a few ways to recognize why food means more than just about fueling your own body.
1. Connect with yourself.
Take a breath before eating, remove as many distractions as possible, and simply enjoy the experience for what it’s worth. By tuning in to your mindful side, we can recognize this and the beauty of food for the experience it gives us. This takes slowing down, savoring the food in front of you, and tuning in to what your body is saying.
2. Share the experience with others.
It can be a romantic connection when on a date night with your partner, celebrating your child’s birthday, sitting down to a family meal during the holidays, or enjoying a cup of coffee in silence. It’s creating an environment around eating that nurtures the shared experience that food can bring you, besides just nutrients.
3. Savor the flavors.
Get excited about the way you can flavor your foods. Take boring veggies and amp them up with seasonings or by roasting them. Get creative with flavor combinations and bring life back to the foods you consume on a regular basis.
4. Enjoy the experience.
Whether it be a salad, a smoothie, or a piece of cake, everyone deserves enjoyment and satisfying foods. Choose foods you actually like to eat and leave the hyperfocus on numbers behind. Enjoy your time with loved ones, embrace the special occasion of everyday life, and remember what it feels like to go further with food.
5. Sustain both you and the earth.
Finally, it’s also just as important to keep in mind how we can stretch our food supply just a little bit more by being more conscious of food waste. It takes little daily changes to waste less food, which can be achieved by planning ahead, taking inventory of what you currently have on hand, shopping locally, getting creative with leftovers, and store things properly in your kitchen.
By keeping these things in mind, allow your food experiences to become a better way of life.
Adapted from the original article.
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Emily Holdorf, MS, RDN is a Charlotte, NC-based private practice dietitian on a mission to empower others to live a healthier, happier life. By emphasizing a non-diet approach to eating, Emily helps individuals form a better relationship with food by focusing on why there’s room for every food in moderation. Find out more about about Emily at EmPowered Nutrition.