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7 Ways To Have a Healthier Relationship with Food

Having a healthy relationship with food is a vital mindset if you want to experience lifelong emotional and physical wellbeing.

There is much truth to the term, "you are what you eat", particularly due to the impact that food has on how your body performs and how you feel.

Whilst food can be a form of connection and celebration and should be savoured and enjoyed, the trick is to remember that food's main purpose is to nourish you.  

This means its important to be consciously aware of the role that food plays in your life so that you control "it" rather than allowing food to control you.

A wholesome diet should be a lifestyle, not a temporary measure that you cycle in and out of as this can lead to periods of bingeing and deprivation.

Instead, its far better to have a holistic and balanced approach in terms of what you eat, so that you will always have a healthy relationship with food.  

Here, we discuss seven key ways you can achieve this so that healthy eating becomes a way of life for you rather than something that you struggle to stick with over the long term.

1. Learn Your "False" Hunger Triggers

Learning how to eat healthfully starts with being conscious of your hunger triggers.  Instinctively, when we are young we understand this: we generally only want to eat when we’re hungry.

But as we get older, we begin to eat out of habit, for comfort and for social connection, even to escape emotionally from the outside world. 

We mostly eat just because it's "time" to eat, rather than because we're genuinely hungry.  And this leads to an unhealthy dependancy on food that is difficult to unwind the longer this becomes subconscious habit.

It's important to realise that 3 square meals per day is only a fairly recent phenomenon which is actually not how humans are primally designed to eat.

The habit of eating just because it is time to eat is what deprives us of an instinctual connection to food for nourishment rather than satisfaction, which often leads to an unhealthy relationship with food.

Emotional addictions to food can be formed as a way of dealing with stress, trauma and a lack of self esteem.  By familiarising yourself with the triggers that cause you to subconsciously reach for food (even when you're not really hungry), is an essential first step in repairing an unhealthy relationship with food.

Keep in mind that over the course of a year - if you eat on average of three times per day - your body will be called upon to process well over 1,000 meals.  So, anytime you can avoid eating when you're really not hungry is good for giving your digestive system the breathing space it needs to reset and repair, which your overall health and energy will love you for.

The bottom line is; your body is intelligent.  Listen to it and if you’re not hungry, consider not eating. Choose another activity in place of eating to bring you emotional fulfilment rather than just eating for the sake of eating.  This one step alone is one of the best things you can do for your long term health and for maintaining a healthy relationship with food. 

2. Don't Ignore Genuine Hunger

On the flip side of recognising your 'false' hunger triggers, you should not ignore your genuine hunger triggers.

You are meant to eat and your body craves nourishment to function, so don't suppress hunger when you are genuinely hungry.

Genuine hunger is a call for food that nourishes you rather than any old food-less food you can get your hands on.  It is your body's natural, biological process wanting to be satiated with nutrient rich food.

When you feed your body wholesome ingredients, you'll nourish and satisfy your cells and you'll want to eat less.  The key is to make smart choices centred around fresh seasonal produce, whole foods, good fats and unprocessed food.

When you build your diet around these types of foods, you will not only appreciate food as nourishment, but you'll get very connected to the taste of "real" food and you'll avoid the vicious cycle of overeating as a result.

3. Satisfy Your Cravings Differently

We all know what it's like to have a sugar or fast food craving from time to time. There's nothing wrong with this unless it becomes something you can't control.

One of the keys to making better choices when you have cravings, is to have a selection of wholesome options at the ready as substitutes for the 'less healthy' foods you may be craving.

For example:  If you feel like a sugary chocolate or candy bar, try some raw dark chocolate, raw almond butter with honey, or dried mango instead. 

Alternatively, add a handful of raw macadamia nuts or walnuts to a bowl of organic yogurt and drizzle with honey for a wonderfully nourishing, sweet and satisfying snack.  Another option is to make a cacao smoothie with coconut milk, frozen banana, medjool dates (or honey to sweeten) and a scoop of raw cacao powder.

Don't beat yourself up, just make a healthier choice that does the same job but that won't causing you to crash and burn.

Also, when you have savoury or salty cravings some great alternative options to fast food include, think raw nuts, ripe avocados, hummus, raw vegetables and nut butters as quick and easy, healthy snack alternatives.

The earlier you respond to your cravings, the quicker you can cut them off at the pass and not sell out to poor snack choices.

However, if you ignore those initial hunger signals and allow them to manifest further, chances are you'll make the wrong choices and maybe overeat and feel uncomfortable.

    Remember, unhealthy cravings can be dealt with easily when you are armed with some easy wholesome alternative choices nearby, so it pays to always have these at the ready at work, at home and when you're on the go. 

    If you're looking for super healthy, convenient options without any guesswork whatsoever, keep in mind our flagship whole food snack products Pulse Sacred Meal or Cornucopia Epicurean Snack available in our store at

    4. Always Savour Your Food

    It takes time for your stomach to tell your brain you’ve eaten enough, so when you eat, be sure to eat slowly and savour your food.

    This helps you recognise your gradual feelings of satiety, but it will also help you really enjoy food and greatly improve digestion.

    Savouring your foods will help you nurture an appreciation of the complex flavours, textures and smells of what you're eating. 

    One way to help you eat slowly is to increase your mindfulness. Mindfulness is a term that gets thrown around a lot but not normally in relation to food.

    It simply means connecting with your food and being very tuned in to what you're eating and interpreting the sensations of how you feel whilst you're eating without judgment.

    Pay attention to the colours and flavours of the food, but also, to your body’s internal cues for being satisfied.  This is a very powerful mechanism for developing a healthy relationship with food.

    5. Understand What It Means to Be Satisfied

    There is a difference between eating to excess and being satisfied and intuitively knowing that you've eaten enough.

    Of course, of cause there's nothing wrong with overeating from time to time as part of a celebration or simply enjoying yourself.  But if this becomes a regular daily habit, you'll likely suffer from health challenges such as bloating, indigestion and even more serious conditions down the road.

    When you are satisfied from your meal, you shouldn't feel heavy, weighed down or like you've entered a food coma, particularly if you've eaten the right combination of wholesome foods.  You should feel satisfied, content and even a little energised.

    A good way to gauge your fullness is to stop eating when you’re a quarter way done with your meal, and then again when you’re half. Taking this pause will help you assess your feelings and let your brain catch up with cues coming from your stomach, which is a great way to ensure you don't overeat.

    6. Embrace The Colours Of The Rainbow

    The wonderful thing about foods from nature's table is that they cover all of the colours of the rainbow spectrum - red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.

    A simple visit to your local weekend farmer's market will allow you to see all of these beautiful colours on display, it will help you to see food through a different set of eyes and raise your vibrational connection to whole food.

    This is in stark comparison to most processed and packaged food you'll find in your super market, which unless it is laden with food colourings and preservatives, is typically brown, white or gold, inflammatory and devoid of vibration and high quality nutrients.

    When you shop for food, just think "fresh" and just think "colour".  You don't need to know every vitamin, mineral and enzyme contained in the food.  Just be conscious of the variety of colours and foods available, embrace as many as you can and you'll get all of the nutrients you need.

    7. Love & Respect Your Body

    Even though what you eat can greatly impact the health of your body, try not to judge your body in a negative way.

    Like your mind and your spirit, your body requires love, stimulation and nourishment to thrive.  So stop viewing your body as something to fight against and instead, treat it as the blessing that it is and simply give it the nourishment it deserves.  

    Many people who don't respect themselves or their body gravitate to harmful processed food, which unfortunately only manifests emotional imbalances and physical dis-ease due to a vicious cycle that is tough to break.

    So, be thankful for your body, respect it, feed it well and your body will reward you in return.

    Finally, building a healthier relationship with food may not happen overnight, but so long as you're taking baby steps and heading in the right direction, you'll go a long way to raising your consciousness about what you eat and how it impacts your body and emotions...and this is a very good thing.

    Tolman Self Care.


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