Somewhere between the macros and the carbs and the ketones, we seem to have forgotten what it means to eat for pleasure.
Our society often looks at food through a lens tinted with diet culture’s influence — this urges us to think about food and eating as transactional in nature. In other words: We’re taught that we must “earn” food through restriction or exercise, or else that all meals and snacks must serve a greater nutritional purpose.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with moving your body, and meeting your nutritional needs by enjoying a variety of food. But when the rules start to get rigid, we’re at risk for disordered eating and eating disorders.
When was the last time you ate purely for pleasure? Can you remember? Were you able to be in the moment, without guilt? It’s SUCH a powerful way to honor yourself, your cravings, and your intuition. Here are three gentle ideas for bringing some happy back into your meals.
Recreate your favorite childhood snack. Peanut butter celery sticks with raisins on top? Cold Pop-Tarts? Seven different types of cereal mixed together in a bowl with melted ice cream? Hey, we can’t have been the only ones with “creative” childhoods…. If you can recall a snack that made every cell in your body fire with joy as a kid, why not revisit it now? It may not taste exactly the same as it once did, but that’s part of the fun. Notice how your taste buds may have changed, and try to remember what it was you loved so much about it.
Try a new restaurant or cuisine. Routine feels comfortable and comforting, but it can also veer off into “drudgery” territory. Call a friend or set a date night to eat dinner somewhere neither of you have been before. The experience of trying something new, together, has the potential to be not just fun, but a bonding experience, too.
Listen to your instinctual cravings. You know the first moment something yummy calls out to you? You walk into a café and BAM — that cinnamon muffin is just calling your name. That’s the magic moment. Tune in and notice what your first-impression craving tells you it wants… then enjoy it. No ifs or buts: That’s what you want, and that’s what you deserve to enjoy.
We’d love to see your mega-happy food moments. Tag us on Instagram with @theeverybodyisbeautifulproject and #theeverybodyisbeautifulproject