As I am not a huge breakfast eater, I am not a big lunch fan either. As I mentioned in ‘My Health Story – My Teenage Years’ my eating habits in the past have been whack and I’m having to rebuild my relationship with food. I spent most of my teenage life feeling out of control with my eating habits. I’d yoyo – binge, eat nothing at all, eat away my emotions again, and then feed myself some nourishing food while telling myself how “gross” it was and how much “better” a burger would be.
It is clear to me now how turbulent and negative my relationship was with both my body, and my food. Your body cannot give you what you need when it is constantly battling, your body takes on all the negative banter and self doubt and manifests it into stress. It cannot function optimally. Here are my top tips for healing your relationship with food:
1. Stop punishing yourself for what you ate yesterday.
It’s not serving you or your body! In fact, your body listens to this negative clutter, which creates unwanted stress within the body! Stress is the number one health killer.
2. Practice mindful eating: sit, chew, and breathe!
Actually look at it. Taste it. Smell it. Use your senses! Appreciate what is on the plate. This way your brain will signal “satiety” and you’ll be less likely to overeat. Plus, it aids digestion!
3. Have gratitude for your food!
I hate to sound like another airy-fairy health preacher, but this word gratitude can change your life. Stop and think about how this food got to your plate and how lucky you are to have access to it. It is a gift: about to nourish your body with so much goodness. Your heart, hormones, brain, and cells need the nutrients to function for you.
4. Enjoy your food.
Do not cloud your eating experience with negative thoughts like, “I should not be eating this” or “I’m a failure, I can’t control what I eat” or “This is yuck, I really don’t want to be eating this.” Your body will manifest those thoughts into bodily stress! Hello, cortisol!!! Goodbye optimal digestion! Please, be at peace with your plate.
5. Stop the vicious cycle of all-or-nothing.
If you make a bad food choice, try to let it go! Your body listens to what you do most of the time, not sometimes! Most of us think “well I ate that donut so I may as well just keep going” this usually turns into what is known as a ‘food binge’. Now see that’s where the problem arises… your body does not mind the donut so much but it will start to mind all the rest that you fill it with. It simply does not know what to do with it all at once.
6. Practice positive affirmations.
Affirmations are powerful tools to reverse negative thoughts and reprogramme your beliefs, behaviours and actions. They can change the way you see the world and are most definitely helping me improve my relationship with my body. Practice statements like:
- This plate of food is so good for me.
- My body knows how to use this food.
- My cells are about to be not nourished with so much goodness.
7. Let go of the need to be and eat perfectly.
I promise you, no one eats perfectly. Perfect does not exist! Try release that need and remember you are good enough.
8. Stop comparing!
Your body and nutritional needs are different from those of your friends, your sister and your mother! Their relationship with food has nothing to do with you. They have an entirely separate and complex body mechanism. You cannot take their relationship with their food personally.
9. Don’t be difficult with food.
It’s important not to let your healthy lifestyle get in the way of your social life. If you’re out with family and friends, do not worry about the food options. It’s not important. Simply choose the best available to you. Otherwise, you will only complicate your relationship with food.
10. If you’re reaching for food when you’re not hungry then something emotional is going on.
I invite you to stop and ask yourself what it could be. Why are you reaching for that comfort? Just identify it. If you realize you’re not actually hungry, I encourage you to then do something else that’s pleasurable!
Go for a walk, massage, hot bath, paint your nails, be intimate with your partner, watch your favorite TV show with a cuppa, have a chat to your bestie or go stalk some health blogs and write down your fave recipes! Anything!
11. Remember: this is it. One life. One body! Treasure it. Look after it.
Feed it because it needs the nutrients. Your body is depending on you for the love and care in order to function and proceed with all its biochemical actions! It works so damn hard!! I think it deserves our respect.
Love your body, it can’t wait to love you back!
…And what better way to follow than with recipes that will effortlessly cloud your mind with positive affirmations. I’m a sucker for eating leftovers for lunch, breakfast or dinner and will often eat a buckwheat, millet or amaranth porridge for lunch. Find what works for you, many of you will want something you can prepare the night before or quickly in the morning. These meals are delish and each one contains ingredients that will nourish your mind, body and soul. Enjoy!
Egg Crepe with Smashed Avocado:
This is a quick and easy meal if you are looking for something high in protein and flavour. The avocado provides a good dose of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that will keep you feeling full until your next meal.
You will need:
- 4 organic eggs
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1 spring onion, sliced
- 1 avocado
- 1/4 cup fresh coriander, finely diced
- Squeeze of lemon juice
- Handful of cherry tomatoes, halved and chives to garnish
Beat eggs and water together in a bowl.
Heat coconut oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Gently fry spring onion for a few minutes. Add half the egg mixture to the pan and turn the heat down to low. Cook for one minute, then flip the crepe over in the pan. Cook for a further 30sec and transfer to a plate. Cook the second crepe the same way.
Mash avocado and mix with coriander and place on top of the crepes.
Add a squeeze of lemon juice, garnish with tomatoes and chives, and serve straight away.
Serves: 2 Time: 15 min GF DF WF V RSF
This is a fresh, tasty and colourful salad that can be prepared mostly in advance.
You will need:
- ½ cup shredded coconut
- 1 cup raw cashew nuts
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 2 tbsp oil
- 4 carrots
- ¼ cup lemon dressing (see below)
- 3 tbsp honey or date puree
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- ½ cup coriander (cilantro) freshly chopped
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1 clove garlic finely diced
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
Place in a blender and mix well. This can be stored in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to a week.
In a bowl combine coconut, cashews, ground coriander and oil and mix. Pour onto an oven tray and bake at 150°C (300°F) for 10 minutes or until just brown (but not burned). This can be stored in a ziplock bag in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
To serve 4, grate carrots and combine with the ingredients in a bowl and mix gently.
To serve 1 for a week, each day grate a fresh carrot and combine with some of the cashew mix and lemon dressing and mix gently.
Serves: 4 Time: 15 min GF DF WF V RSF
Broccoli, Almond and Bacon Salad:
Another yummy salad that is a quick lunchtime snack!
You will need:
- 8 pieces of broccoli
- 2 pinches of sea salt
- 3 tbsp activated almond slivers
- 1/3 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- 2 pieces of streaky bacon
- ½ cup soy milk
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp whole grain mustard
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 cups oil
- ½ to 1 cup room temperature water
Place all ingredients except water and oil in a blender and mix well. Slowly add the oil and add the water until you have reached your desired consistency. This can be stored in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to a week.
Cook your bacon as preferred. I like to cook mine on a George Foreman, but use what you have.
Lightly wilt the broccoli by dropping in boiling water for 30 seconds. Cool the broccoli pieces under a cold running tap. Mix with the activated almonds, tomatoes, bacon and a tbsp of aioli dressing.
Serves: 1 Time: 15 min GF DF WF V RSF