The practice of nourishment is about intimacy. It’s knowing how to nourish your whole body with what and how you eat. It’s about cultivating a healthy relationship with food that goes beyond satisfying your physical hunger to supporting your overall life motivation.
“If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health.” ~ Hippocrates
- Several studies have shown that eating a healthy diet can help you live longer and reduce disease incidence.
- Research has shown that the right foods can protect against diseases such as cancer, diabetes, obesity and heart disease and boost your overall immunity.
- Healthy snacks and fiber rich foods will help you regulate your blood sugars and improve your energy levels.
- Eating whole foods may help slow down the aging process and leave you feeling and looking younger.
- A 2008 study found a positive correlation between cognitive function and nutritional intake.
- One study showed that eating a whole food diet increased productivity while those who ate a less healthy diet were 66% more likely to experience a loss in productivity.
- Some preliminary research on self-compassion shows that people who practice self-compassion make better food choices and may even be more successful in their weight loss efforts.
How To Start Practicing
Plan for Success – Start small and choose changes that you have a high likelihood of achieving. Set yourself up for success.
Set Goals – Make a long-term goal and then create small steps to get there. Give yourself plenty of time and self-compassion.
Find Support – Work with a nutritionist or health coach.
Build a Relationship – Think of food as a friend and practice cultivating a relationship with it – make it friendly, fun and intimate.
Other Assessment Strategies
Your relationship with food will be influenced by your relationship with your kitchen. Spend some time assessing your kitchen space to determine what modifications can support you in your practice of nourishment.
- Do you have an adequate amount of space in your kitchen? If not, can you create more space by eliminating unneeded items or reorganizing?
- Are your kitchen tools organized in a way that makes your time in the kitchen efficient?
- Which items do you no longer use and you could donate or sell?
- What kitchen tools or appliances would make food prep easier?
- Assess your pantry: what foods can you compost or donate to the food bank? These are the foods (spices, sweeteners, snacks, flours, cereals, etc) you wish to eliminate from your diet. This list may change periodically so revisit your pantry as needed.
Food Prep Assessment
Having a whole foods diet requires you spend some time in the kitchen. Grocery shopping, food prep, and kitchen cleanup all require time. Having a food prep strategy can dramatically decrease the amount of time you spend in the kitchen and increase the overall pleasure of eating well.
- How often do you shop for food during the week? Do you make one large trip or several smaller ones?
- Do you make a shopping list?
- How often do you eat out? What are the reasons you eat out? Would you eat at home more often if you had food to prepare or food prepared in advance?
- Do you prepare food each day or do you pick a day for food prep and make meals for the week?
- Do you have your kitchen organized for efficiency and do you have the tools you need?
- Do you have storage containers to keep food fresh or to take pre-made meals to the office or school?
- Do you have a handful of recipes or foods you enjoy that are quick and easy to prepare?