On my journey to being more health-conscious, there were times when food and I did not get along. Even though I loved it, there were times when I let emotions rule my actions, acting impulsively and not knowing when to walk away from it. (Funny, that sounds a lot like my relationship with my first boyfriend!) Our relationships with food, much like with people, are bound to be rocky now and then. There are times when friends, family, boyfriends and husbands fill our lives with joy and happiness, and there are also times when they drive us nuts!
So when my relationship with food was on the rocks, I educated myself. With a bit of research and a little counseling from a nutritionist, I have learned to connect my relationship with food to the kind of ideal relationships that I want with friends, family or a partner. Now, food is my friend! With this new outlook, I have a healthy, balanced approach to eating clean – men, however, I'm still confused about.
1. Try honesty
I find that in both love and food, honesty is the best policy. My body changed when I started being real about what I was eating. Keep a journal and write down everything you eat and see for yourself. You might be surprised at how little bites and cheats can add up.
2. Be attentive
Don’t just mindlessly scarf down a meal while watching TV or working at your desk. Take the time to pay attention to how it smells, tastes and what it’s doing to fuel your body. Eating slowly allows your body to digest the food and tell you when you are full before it’s too late.
3. Love it the way it is
Instead of smothering the natural flavors of food with calorie-laden sauces and dressings, enhance them by playing with spices and herbs. Some of my favorites are lemon, dill, cinnamon, paprika, cumin, chipotle chili pepper, ginger and garlic.
4. Make an effort
A relationship won’t work unless you put in a little elbow grease, so skip the drive-thru and get in the kitchen. Spice things up by trying a new ingredient or recipe from Oxygen! If you put in the effort, you will reap the rewards. To get the most out of your time, cook in batches, pre-portion your meals for the following few days, and freeze the rest for later.
5. Get help
If you feel helpless and want to give up, seek out the help of a nutritionist or reliable websites. Find out your specific diet needs, and learn what’s really in the food you eat – I was shocked to find out that a low-fat blueberry bran muffin was almost the same as a slice of cake nutrition-wise!
6. Love food that loves you back
The healthiest relationships are good for your body, mind and spirit. So when your relationship with food hits a bump in the road, remember that nutritious, clean food will always treat you better than sugary, fatty or processed foods, and get back on track!
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