Photo by Julia Caesar
It seems that most people these days have rules that they use to help them navigate their day to day food choices. No wheat. No eating after 8pm. No wine during the week. The busier our lives get, the more these food rules help make a complex area seem simpler and easier to control.
Control is the key word, especially for women. Food is the one area of our lives that we tend to have absolute control over, especially after you start living on your own or with flatmates / a partner. Most women use their personal food rules to navigate food choices through busy, complicated lives.
A recent book called Simple Rules: How to Thrive In A Complex World says that the best way to succeed is to establish a set of simple rules. These rules are shortcut strategies that save time and effort by focusing our attention and simplifying the way in which we process information.
So it seems that there is something to the idea of having food rules, however the key is to make them as simple and realistic as possible in order not to self-sabotage. A rule like no wheat might not work if you don’t cook for yourself and your partner loves making pasta and bread based meals. It’s all about knowing limits and setting rules within these limits.
One of my major food rules is no snacking. This gives me much more control of what I eat and makes more aware of how hungry I actually am. Another rule is no drinking during the week. I love red wine and if I limit myself to just drinking a few glasses on the weekend, I get much more pleasure out of it, compared to using it as a stress release during the week.
Sometimes my food rules get me into a bit of a frenzy, so I’ve learned to keep it simple.
I wrote this post when I was on holiday in Greece a few months ago and it really typifies how stressful I find too many food rules.
Like many of you, I have food rules that I use to navigate my day to day life. Food rules like no snacking unless absolutely necessary, avoid eating wheat, dairy and sugar to prevent breakouts, joint inflammation (especially my left index finger!), bloating & a bad stomach and chew my food as much as possible (remember – there are no teeth in your stomach!). But then I go on holiday and I see loads of amazing, fresh local food that I need to try! So it becomes a case of making choices that my body won't necessarily thank me for later, but just enjoying the moment while it lasts! Which brings me to this amazing seafood platter with fresh Cretan squid, octopus, swordfish, sardines and perch – so much goodness that in that moment I chose to overlook the batter on the squid and just enjoy the food and the beautiful Greek sunshine and hospitality! #realtalk #holidayvibes #notapaleoperfectionist #paleoish
What are your food rules? Do you have any?