How to Redefine and Enhance your Connection with Food

Your connection to food is something you will carry with you through the rest of your life. The foods we choose to eat and how they make us feel have such an impact on our lives. Improving our connection to food is something we can all commit to and strive for.  It is always evolving as we encounter new situations and gain new knowledge and understanding of ourselves and our world.

Although we live at a time like no other in our food history, when there has never been such an array of food products available and food transportation around the globe has never been so limitless, there simultaneously exists such a disconnection between ourselves and the foods we eat. A disconnection that is detrimental to our health and natural state of being. How do we rebuild our food connectivity?

Food_and_Connection_Picture 4

First, there is the question of how do we become disconnected with food? So many factors shape our lives and our identities. One would think in this age of incredible interconnectivity across the globe we would be more connected. However, when you consider the vast amounts of boxed, packaged, prepared and “ready in 90 second” meal options out there it is easy to lose sight of and connection to what exactly “real food” is. A lack of connection is noticeable if you learn how to look for and observe it.

Our assumptions about food are another factor that contribute to this disconnect. Assumption are our taken for granted beliefs that something is real, when it may not be. Assumptions influence our actions and behaviours–sometimes without us even realizing it. How about “Eating healthy takes too much time” or “Eating healthy costs too much”. Our assumptions can hold us back and impede living authentically and finding the solutions we need to live our best lives.

Food_and_Connection_Picture 2

Here are some ideas on how to find a new perspective and create a new level of connection with food.

  • The most important thing you can do is gain awareness. Realize what you are eating and why you are eating. What foods do you purchase and where do you shop? You will gain tremendous insight from taking a moment to reflect, pause and examine the interwoven connections of where food comes from and how it got to your table.

 

  • Following this is being honest. And this is the hard one. Be honest with how you feel towards the food you eat and how the foods you eat affect you. If something is not serving you can you be honest enough to acknowledge that and let it go.

 

  • Eat Real by enjoying food in its purest form – as nature intended and gifted it to us. Real food is a natural source of energy and nutrients which is more sustainable and empowering than processed alternatives. Change takes time so start gradually by making more and more wholesome, natural food choices when you can. It might not always be possible, and we need some flexibility in our lives, but it will amaze you at the shifts you see in your eating habits and how you feel.

 

  • Try something new! It’s exciting and refreshing to try a new food or a new recipe. When you are interested and excited about what you are about to eat you naturally will feel more connected to it.

 

  • Visit a local farmers’ market or find sources for local food options. Eating locally and meeting the people who grow your food builds bridges and connections.

 

  • Eat mindfully and be grateful to maximize your satisfaction and satiation with your food. The simplest act of respecting and being grateful for the food you have to eat compounds your connection with food. How can you show more gratitude and appreciation for the foods you eat? The practice of saying grace is eternal, it only takes a few words at the beginning of your meal to cultivate the feeling of compassion for yourself and the food you are about to eat.

 

  • Notice and build awareness of assumptions and the ways these influence actions and behaviours and, if necessary, change them. Doing so can help you become more in aligned with what is real and authentic. You will gain tremendous insight from examining the interwoven connections of where food comes from and how it got to your table. We often form assumptions. What assumptions do you make about food?

Food_and_Connection_Picture 3

Especially around holidays, we have the time to connect with one another and be grateful for and celebrate the food that we have. But in reality fueling your connection to food is something that will take more practice and persistence. At the end of the day deep down we all want to eat and feel good and building a healthy connection with food supports this. What are some ways you will nourish and improve your food connection?

Food_and_Connection

What’s Your Food Story?

Food (i.e. a source of nutrition) is the common denominator for all forms of life on the earth. Since time immortal, there has been a fascination with food. It has the incredible power to bring people together. And it has been the fall of civilizations – ripping cultures and people apart. It’s undeniable that we all have a relationship with food in some way or another. As individual as we are from one another so are our likes, dislikes and beliefs about food. Time, history, geographical location and life experience all contribute to these conceptions about what we should and should not eat.

Many traditional medicinal practices believe in the power of certain foods to heal or to harm the body. For instance, Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of healing; the Four Humours of the Hippocratic Medicine system; even the Traditional Chinese Medicine system all shared a common belief in how eating certain foods and not others affected the balance and thereby the overall health and vitality of the body. It is certain that there has been a higher reverence placed on food than is currently seen in much of society’s relationship to food today. Could this be due to the limited supplies and lack of those times, compared to the overproduction and overconsumption of today?

Food and culture are intertwined. Think of how certain foods are integrated into a culture’s heritage and traditions, or in other cases where foods are excluded. What dishes are considered special and why? Consider the turkey at Thanksgiving; chocolate on Valentine’s Day; even the Birthday Cake … all are relevant examples. These beliefs and associations come via a process of socialization and the society in which we are raised.

birthday-cake-380178_1920

What about your family meals and traditions? Where do they come from? Do your beliefs serve and support? How do certain foods make you feel and why? After identifying what your beliefs are about foods you can then reflect on how they impact your overall relationship with food.

We all have our own ideas about food and nutrition. Some of those may have been learned and passed down, others we develop y experiences we have in our individual life situation. However your story is not over. Remember as you can always re-write pages to improve the story’s content and direction, so too can you make changes to improve the quality of your diet and nutrition.

So what’s your food story and how do you want it to read?