Friday, July 9, 2010

You are what you eat!

Those are some sweet buns.

"You are what you eat"
If that saying was really true you think I would be as sweet and dark as the chocolate I like to eat...

The last couple of weeks I have been spending my time trying to develop an in-depth posting based on the metabolism, how it works and how to make it work right for our bodies. Biologically the body is designed to recognize food as an energy source. But after doing research I have come to the understanding that over the last 100 years people have developed a more emotional relationship with food. So I thought I would focus this blog on how to think about food more holistically and to eat according to our bodies needs and not on emotional desires.

About a month ago my sister and I were having a conversation on food and she brought up the idea of comfort food, and how when people are upset, stressed, depressed, and even happy that they will eat a food that they know will bring them satisfaction and well-being. She instantly knew what her comfort foods were, Mac N'Cheese and Pizza, and pressed me to know what mine was. At the time I literally could not think of a single food item that I could consistently turn to for comfort. My sister couldn't believe it, and then finally after a couple weeks of thinking on it I came to the realization that my comfort food was soup. For me soup always has a nostalgic feeling because as kid my mom would always prepare canned soup and grilled cheese after a long, tiring day. Even as I got older it was always a treat when we visited San Francisco to get clam chowder in a bread bowl.

However, people's relationship with food can lead to eating disorders on both sides of the spectrum. For instance someone with anorexia has as much as an emotional relationship with food as a compulsive eater. Both individuals don't eat based on their bodies needs. Furthermore, now in food processing chemicals are added to packaged foods to enhance flavor, yet have side affects that block our bodies natural hormonal system telling us we are full. (Such as high fructose corn syrup, MSG)

Which got me thinking on the question, do we know the true feeling of hunger?
Do we eat based off physical or emotional hunger?

A book by Geneen Roth, "Women Food and God" outlines basic rules to eat by:

1. Eat when you are hungry.
2. Eat sitting down in a calm environment.
3. Eat without distractions.
4. Eat what your body wants.
5. Eat until you're satisfied.
6. Eat in full view of others.
7. Eat with enjoyment.

These are pretty basic rules, but are really the fundamentals to not only eating right, but living healthy.

For me #5 is the hardest rule to live by, Eat until your satisfied, because I secretly like the feeling of being full, but hate being stuffed. I still go to buffets and get one plate too many. Most of the time, when I get hungry, I am already HUNGRY!(panic) and want to eat everything in sight to make that terrible feeling go away. So in order to really think about this rule I eat slow and try to take longer to eat than the time it took prepare that meal. The best way really is to finish a bite and swallow before I even stab my fork into the next one.

I think the best way to eat holistically and healthy is to detach our thoughts about food and instead listen to the body's needs.

I want to hear back! I want to know how other people feel about food. I don't have a strong emotional relationship with it, so tell me which of those guidelines would be the hardest to follow.

1 comment:

  1. The hardest rule for me would be to combine eating in full view of other people and to eat without distractions, unless I was with someone. If I am eating alone, at home, I can eat without distractions. But in a restaurant, surrounded by people and I am alone, I NEED a distraction. I always have a book with me because I just feel awkward eating by myself in a public place with nothing to do.