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Transforming Our Relationship with Food: A Journey to Freedom and Health

In a world where diet culture often dictates our eating habits, finding a path to a healthy and satisfying relationship with food can be a transformative journey. Many of us have experienced the cycle of restrictive diets, guilt-ridden indulgences, and the constant pressure to fit into societal norms of health and beauty. But what if the key to true health and freedom lies not in stringent diet rules but in changing our mindset about food?


My own journey with food has been a rollercoaster of highs and lows, learning and unlearning. Through years of exploration and self-discovery, I've come to realise that our eating habits are more than just fuel for our bodies; they are expressions of our relationship with ourselves. In this blog post, I'll share the eating habits that have significantly changed my life, offering you a perspective that might just set you on your path to freedom and wellness.


Changing Mindset About Food

Embracing Abundance: The Freedom in Knowing Food Is Always Available

One of the most liberating shifts in my eating habits was adopting an abundance mindset towards food. This mindset revolves around the comforting knowledge that food is plentiful and always accessible, eliminating the fear of scarcity that often drives unhealthy eating behaviours.

In our society, it's not uncommon to encounter a scarcity mindset with food. This can manifest as overeating during a meal because of concerns about when the next meal will be or hoarding certain foods out of fear they won't be available later. Such a mindset can lead to unhealthy binge-eating patterns and a disrupted relationship with food.


How the Abundance Mindset Helps


  • Reduces Overeating: Knowing that food will always be available helps in listening to your body’s hunger cues more accurately, reducing the likelihood of overeating.

  • Promotes Mindful Eating: It encourages eating for nourishment and enjoyment rather than out of fear.

  • Alleviates Food-Related Anxiety: Understanding that you won’t run out of food diminishes anxiety around meal times and helps in making more balanced choices.

Tips to Cultivate an Abundance Mindset


  1. Stock Your Pantry: Keep your kitchen stocked with a variety of nourishing foods. This doesn't mean overbuying but having enough to feel secure.

  2. Plan Your Meals: While spontaneity is wonderful, having a rough plan for meals can reassure you that you have what you need.

  3. Remind Yourself Food Is Available: When you feel the urge to overeat, gently remind yourself that the food will still be there later, and you can eat it when you're truly hungry.

Adopting this mindset doesn't happen overnight, but with practice, it becomes a powerful tool in transforming your relationship with food. It's about reassuring yourself that there’s no need to rush, no need to overeat, and no need to worry. Food is not just a source of sustenance but a source of joy and abundance.


Incorporating Chocolate into Your Weekly Routine, Indulgence Without Guilt: Why Chocolate Deserves a Place in Your Week

For many of us, treating ourselves to something sweet like chocolate is often reserved for special occasions or as a weekend reward. However, one of the most delightful changes I made to my eating habits was allowing myself the pleasure of enjoying chocolate on weeknights, breaking the cycle of restrictive weekday eating followed by weekend indulgence.


The Joy of Moderation

Indulging in a piece of chocolate during the week embodies the essence of balanced eating. It's about giving yourself permission to enjoy the foods you love without overindulgence. This approach can help reduce the “all or nothing” mindset that often leads to unhealthy eating patterns.


Why Chocolate Can Be a Healthy Choice

  • Rich in Antioxidants: Dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants and can be a part of a healthy diet.

  • Mood Enhancer: Chocolate is known to boost serotonin levels, contributing to a better mood.

  • Satisfies Cravings: A small amount can satisfy your sweet tooth, helping you avoid overeating.

Tips for Enjoying Chocolate Responsibly

  1. Choose Quality Over Quantity: Opt for a small piece of high-quality dark chocolate rather than a large quantity of lower-quality sweets.

  2. Savour the Flavour: Take the time to really taste and enjoy your chocolate, rather than mindlessly snacking.

  3. Listen to Your Body: Incorporate chocolate as a treat when you truly crave it, rather than as a daily habit.


Incorporating chocolate into my routine in a mindful way has been liberating. It’s a gentle reminder that healthy eating isn't about deprivation, but about finding a balance that includes small pleasures, making the journey towards a healthier lifestyle both enjoyable and sustainable.


Importance of Hydration: The Role of Water in Our Diet

Hydration plays a crucial role in our overall health and well-being, yet it is often overlooked in our daily routines. One of the most significant adjustments I made to improve my eating habits was increasing my water intake, particularly in-between meals. This simple yet effective change has had a profound impact on my health, appetite control, and even my skin.


Why Hydration is Key

  • Controls Appetite: Drinking water before or between meals can help control appetite, often leading to reduced calorie intake.

  • Boosts Metabolism: Staying well-hydrated aids in metabolism, supporting healthy weight management.

  • Enhances Digestion: Water is essential for proper digestion and can help prevent digestive issues.


Incorporating More Water into Your Day


  1. Start Your Day with Water: Begin each morning with a glass of water to kickstart hydration.

  2. Infuse Flavour: Add natural flavours like lemon, cucumber, or mint to make water more appealing.

  3. Set Hydration Reminders: Use reminders on your phone or notes around your workspace to keep sipping water throughout the day.


Water isn't just a thirst quencher; it's a vital component of a healthy lifestyle. By consciously increasing water intake, especially between meals, we give our bodies the essential hydration it needs while curbing unnecessary snacking, leading to a more mindful and healthful approach to eating.


Eliminating Electronic Distractions While Eating: Creating a Mindful Eating Environment

In our fast-paced, digitally driven world, meals are often consumed in front of screens, be it smartphones, laptops, or televisions. One transformative habit I embraced was getting rid of electronic distractions while eating. This simple change not only enhanced the quality of my meals but also allowed me to develop a deeper connection with my food and my body's hunger and fullness cues.


The Benefits of Screen-Free Meals

  • Promotes Mindfulness: Eating without distractions encourages you to focus on the taste, texture, and aroma of your food, enhancing the overall experience.

  • Improves Digestion: Being mindful of your eating slows down the pace, which can aid in better digestion.

  • Strengthens Social Connections: Sharing meals without screens opens up opportunities for meaningful conversations and strengthens relationships.

Tips for a Distraction-Free Dining

  1. Designate Eating Areas: Reserve certain areas of your home, like the dining table, as tech-free zones during meals.

  2. Make It a Family Rule: Encourage everyone in the household to participate in screen-free dining, making it a shared goal.

  3. Engage in Conversation: Use mealtime to engage in conversations with family or to enjoy some quiet time reflecting on your day.

By removing electronic distractions from meal times, we allow ourselves to fully engage in the act of eating, leading to a more satisfying and healthful experience. This habit is not about deprivation but about enriching our relationship with food and the moments we spend nourishing our bodies.


Increasing Protein with Every Meal: The Power of Protein in Your Daily Diet

In my journey towards a healthier lifestyle, one key change I made was increasing the amount of protein in every meal. Protein, an essential macronutrient, plays a vital role in building and repairing tissues, making enzymes and hormones, and contributing to overall health and well-being.


The Importance of Protein in Your Diet

  • Satiety and Weight Management: Protein helps you feel full longer, which can aid in weight management.

  • Muscle Health: It's crucial for muscle building and repair, especially if you're active or exercising regularly.

  • Overall Health: Adequate protein intake supports various bodily functions, including immune response and metabolism.

How to Incorporate More Protein

  1. Diverse Sources: Include a variety of protein sources like lean meats, dairy, beans, tofu, and nuts in your diet.

  2. Breakfast Matters: Start your day with a protein-rich breakfast to kickstart your metabolism and keep you full.

  3. Snack Wisely: Opt for protein-rich snacks like Greek yogurt or a handful of almonds to keep you satiated between meals.

Remember, the key is balance. While increasing protein intake, it's important to ensure you're still getting a healthy balance of carbohydrates, fats, and other nutrients. This approach to eating not only nourishes your body but also supports sustained energy levels and overall health.


Stocking the Fridge Right: A Fridge Full of Possibilities

A significant shift in my eating habits was the conscious effort to always have my fridge stocked with fresh fish, fruits, and vegetables. This practice is more than just a matter of convenience; it's about creating an environment that supports healthy eating choices every day.


Why a Well-Stocked Fridge Matters

  • Encourages Healthy Choices: Having nutritious foods readily available makes it easier to choose healthy options.

  • Reduces Impulse Eating: When you're hungry, you're more likely to reach for what's immediately available. A fridge full of healthy food means you're more likely to eat healthily.

  • Saves Time and Stress: Knowing what's in your fridge can simplify meal planning and reduce the stress of last-minute decisions.

Tips for Keeping Your Fridge Health-Friendly

  1. Variety is Key: Stock a range of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy snacks.

  2. Visible and Accessible: Keep healthier options at eye level and ready to eat. Pre-cut fruits and veggies or portioned snacks can be a great help.

  3. Regular Inventory Checks: Regularly check what you have and what needs to be restocked, keeping your fridge full of fresh options.


By ensuring that your fridge is always filled with nutritious and appealing options, you set the stage for healthier eating habits. It's a proactive step towards a lifestyle where making healthy choices becomes natural and effortless.


Diversifying Fruits and Vegetables in Your Diet

A Rainbow on Your Plate: The Key to Gut Health and Beyond


An impactful change in my eating habits was diversifying the types of fruits and vegetables I consume. This shift is not just about adding colour to your plate; it's about feeding your body a wide range of nutrients and promoting a healthy gut microbiome, which is essential for overall health.


The Benefits of a Diverse Plant-Based Diet

  • Gut Health: A variety of fruits and vegetables provides different types of fibres and nutrients, which are beneficial for gut health.

  • Boosts Immune System: A diverse diet supports a strong immune system by providing a range of vitamins and minerals.

  • Enhances Overall Nutrition: Different plants offer different health benefits, so variety ensures a more balanced intake of essential nutrients.

How to Incorporate More Variety

  1. Try New Things: Each week, try a fruit or vegetable you've never had before.

  2. Seasonal Eating: Eat seasonally for a natural rotation of different produce throughout the year.

  3. Colour Your Plate: Aim to include as many colours as possible in your meals – each colour represents different nutrients.

Incorporating a wide array of fruits and vegetables into your diet can be a delightful exploration. It's an opportunity to experience new flavours and textures while doing something great for your body.


Keeping Dinner Simple: Simplicity is the Key


Another habit that has significantly improved my relationship with food is simplifying my dinner routine. In the past, I often felt the pressure to create elaborate or themed meals every night. However, I've learned that a simple meal – consisting of a good protein source, vegetables, and my favourite carbohydrates – is just as satisfying and nourishing.


The Benefits of Simple Meals

  • Less Stress: Simplifying meal preparation reduces the stress and time involved in cooking.

  • Balanced Nutrition: A straightforward meal with protein, vegetables, and carbs can provide balanced nutrition.

  • Enjoyment of Food: Simple meals allow you to focus on and enjoy the natural flavours of quality ingredients.

Tips for Simple and Nutritious Dinners

  1. Plan Ahead: Having a basic plan for your meals can make preparation quicker and easier.

  2. Cook in Batches: Prepare larger quantities of staple foods like grains or proteins to use throughout the week.

  3. Keep It Whole: Focus on whole, minimally processed foods for maximum nutrition and flavour.


Embracing the simplicity in meals can be both liberating and beneficial for your health. It's about finding joy and nourishment in the basics, and realising that a delicious and healthy meal doesn’t have to be complicated.



Exercise for Joy, Not Just Calories: A Balanced Approach to Physical Activity

One of the most liberating changes I made was shifting my perspective on exercise. Instead of viewing it as a means to 'burn off' the calories from food, I began to see it as a form of self-care and enjoyment. This mindset change transformed my approach to physical activity, making it a joyful part of my life rather than a punitive measure for eating.


The Shift in Exercise Mindset

  • Exercise as Self-Care: Viewing physical activity as a way to care for your body and mind can make it a more enjoyable and sustainable part of your lifestyle.

  • Listening to Your Body: Engaging in exercise based on how you feel, rather than as a reaction to what you've eaten, fosters a healthier relationship with both food and exercise.

  • Variety and Moderation: Incorporating different forms of physical activity that you genuinely enjoy can keep your exercise routine fresh and enjoyable.

Balancing Exercise and Eating

  1. Find Activities You Love: Whether it’s walking, yoga, dancing, or weightlifting, engage in activities that bring you joy.

  2. Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to how your body feels before, during, and after exercise, adjusting your activity accordingly.

  3. Separate Food and Exercise: Avoid thinking of food as something that needs to be 'earned' or 'burned off' through exercise.


By aligning exercise with self-care and enjoyment rather than calorie counting, we can develop a more harmonious relationship with our bodies and our approach to health.


Eating Potatoes: Nutritious and Delicious

Rediscovering the Humble Potato: A Nutrient-Rich Powerhouse

In my journey towards healthier eating, I discovered the underrated nutritional value of potatoes. Often dismissed or feared due to their carbohydrate content, potatoes are, in fact, a nutritious and delicious vegetable that deserves a place in a balanced diet.

The Nutritional Benefits of Potatoes

  • Rich in Nutrients: Potatoes are a good source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, especially when eaten with their skin.

  • Satiety: Their high fiber content can help you feel full longer, aiding in weight management.

  • Versatility: Potatoes can be prepared in various healthy ways – baked, boiled, or steamed – to fit into any meal.

Embracing Potatoes in Your Diet

  1. Cooking Methods Matter: Opt for healthier cooking methods like baking or boiling instead of frying.

  2. Balance Your Plate: Pair potatoes with a good source of protein and plenty of vegetables for a well-rounded meal.

  3. Enjoy in Moderation: Like any food, potatoes are best enjoyed as part of a diverse and balanced diet.

Potatoes are a wonderful example of how foods often labeled as 'unhealthy' can be nutritious. It's about understanding their benefits and incorporating them into your diet in a balanced and enjoyable way.


Saying No Is Not Rude: Empowerment in Food Choices

The Power of Choice: Asserting Your Dietary Preferences

A transformative aspect of my eating habits was learning that saying 'no' to certain foods or drinks is not rude, but an act of personal empowerment. Whether it's declining a slice of cake or a glass of alcohol, the ability to make choices that align with my health and well-being has been a key part of my journey.

The Importance of Assertive Choice in Diet

  • Respecting Your Body: Saying no is a way of honoring your body and its needs.

  • Avoiding Peer Pressure: It’s important to make choices based on your health goals, not based on what others are doing.

  • Empowerment: Making conscious choices about what you eat or drink is empowering and builds confidence in your ability to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Tips for Politely Declining Food or Drink

  1. Be Assertive but Polite: A simple “No, thank you” or “I’m good for now” is often enough.

  2. Offer an Explanation if Comfortable: If you feel the need, a brief explanation can be helpful, but remember you’re not obligated to justify your choices.

  3. Suggest an Alternative: If you don’t want a particular food or drink, suggesting an alternative you are comfortable with can be a good strategy.

Learning to say no is a crucial aspect of developing a healthy relationship with food. It's about making choices that are right for you and understanding that these choices are a form of self-care and respect.


A Journey of Transformation: Embracing a New Relationship with Food

As we reach the end of this exploration into healthier eating habits, it's important to remember that change is a journey, not a destination. The habits I've shared have been pivotal in transforming my relationship with food, leading to a sense of freedom and well-being that extends far beyond the dinner table.


Embracing the Process

Remember, change takes time and patience. There will be days of struggle and temptation, but each step, no matter how small, is a victory in its own right. The key is persistence and self-compassion.

Celebrate Your Progress

Celebrate the small wins, whether it's choosing a healthy snack over junk food, drinking more water, or simply saying no when you're not hungry. These moments add up to a significant shift in your lifestyle and mindset.

You've Got This!

As you embark on your journey to healthier eating habits, remember that you are capable of making positive changes. Be patient with yourself, stay committed, and most importantly, enjoy the journey. You’ve got this!

I wish you all the best in your journey towards a healthier, happier you. If you need more guidance or inspiration, remember to revisit this blog and continue exploring the path to wellness.

Thank you for joining me on this journey. Good luck with your continued journey to better health!

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