Tonight I wanted to share something a little different and a bit more personal. I hope you'll indulge. I'm really curious to hear what you think also.
Nowadays we are surrounded by folks looking to inspire you to eat and live healthy (me included!). These are exciting times we live in nutrition wise – our ideas about which fats are healthy have come full circle in a delicious way (pass the butter) and we understand more than ever how important our gut health is to our overall wellbeing. It can be easy though to feel overwhelmed by making major changes to your diet. There are new ingredients and cooking techniques to explore and a raft of different labels that you might feel are necessary to assign to yourself.
I’m going to implore you to add one little thing to that list of things you’re learning - and bear with me because I think this is the most important one yet.
While you’re working hard to green up your diet and eat with a more “clean” or whole foods approach. I want you to also think very seriously about healing your attitude towards food and most importantly with yourself. It’s time to make peace with your plate.
I meet females all the time who read the blog and they say things to me like “I’m trying to eat healthy but I’m not as good as you” or “I’ve been a bit naughty”. Women can be so darn hard on themselves and unless an active effort is made to change this way of thinking it’s a treadmill you can be on forever – and who wants that!?
I say this all from a place of experience. I was once an over-achieving clean eating, super fit UNHAPPY person.
I’ve been eating in a healthy way since I was at least 20 (I’m almost 34 now). I was a vegan during my teen years and was searching out raw food and macrobiotic cafes over a decade ago while living overseas. A lot of the newly emerging foods / techniques are not new to me at all. What I did have to address though about 6 years ago was my attitude to my health and healthy eating. I struggled pretty seriously with body image issues in my late teens and early twenties. Pair my body image issues with the fact I have the discipline of a ninja and I like to exercise a lot and you’ve got a recipe for a punishing set of rules, a "me vs my body" mentality and a body / mind disconnect that would take years to heal. On the face of it I was doing all the right things, I ate well (vital greens powders and broccoli were my best friends) I loved to keep fit and I appeared very happy. Truthfully I never felt like I “made it”. I viewed myself as a constant work in progress. That is no way to live – exhausting to say the very least. All my healthy eating was a totally hollow experience because I didn’t do it from a self nurturing place.
I’m now a happy-in-my-own-skin gal who loves eating healthy, creating recipes and sharing food with loved ones but feels no great burden about what I’m eating. I exercise (a few times a week) but I do it to feel alive, to have a healthy glow and to experience some time out - not to sculpt a perfect form.
None of this happened by accident. I had to actively work on shaking the shackles of guilt and huge self expectations. I made a decision that I didn’t want to head into my 30’s (or 40’s or 50’s) worrying about this bullshit.
Food is truly glorious. It can be an amazing creative outlet, a way to show others you care and it definitely can heal and create health. What it SHOULD never be is a weapon against yourself, a burden or occupy more much time in your head than it takes to plan lunch or dinner (unless you want it too).
Let this be the time when you let go of the feeling of guilt associated with food. The goal should be that eating and cooking be an act of total nourishment, self love and fun, not part of a precarious tight rope you walk with “good” and “bad” foods. I believe REALLY strongly that guilt is as bad for your health as that 3pm chocolate addiction you’re trying to kick.
I'll leave the chat there for now and share with you this favourite recipe of mine that I remade this weekend. A rich, wholesome Pear, Ginger & Buckwheat Loaf that is crazy delicious and perfect paired with a cup of tea and five minutes of "me" time.
You'll find the recipe link HERE
Love, Kelly xx