So it’s that time of the year again. Resolution time. Do you make resolutions? As a student nutritionist, I often hear people making resolutions to ‘do better’ with food, to eat healthier, to ‘be good’. These resolutions often come with a huge side of guilt. Guilt and shame.
Let’s stop all of this.
These boom-bust, famine-feast attitudes towards food are robbing us of the pleasure of eating.
There are no ‘bad’ foods. There are foods that are better than others, absolutely. And this will vary for each person. For every person that can eat a slice of cake in ‘moderation’, there’s another person that cannot.
The only thing that’s bad, is a guilty attitude around food that undercuts the true pleasure you can get from eating. This pleasure can come from biting into a crisp piece of celery with creamy peanut butter, to the umami taste in a steaming bowl of ramen. I love the pleasure of really savouring food, enjoying the taste, smell, look, mouthfeel and of course, that lovely warm feeling at the end of a meal when I know I’ve really enjoyed what I’ve eaten.
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: the pleasure of eating should ideally last from the moment of anticipation when you first put the food into your mouth through to the lovely feeling of satiety when you’ve finished the meal. If there’s a disconnect, then the pleasure becomes bittersweet, doesn’t it? I love eating ice cream, but it’s just not worth the hours I’ll spend afterwards running back and forth to the loo.
So ditch the short-term resolutions and start thinking about a long-term change in attitude toward food and eating instead.
And get rid of the guilt. Enjoy the food you do eat and find pleasure in the making and eating of your meals.