The food we eat, the methods we use, and how we eat illustrates just one of the myriad of ways one may experience their own health and evaluate their relationship with food. Food is a basic need. Accessibility to food however can be a privilege, but with great privilege comes great responsibility. A fundamental responsibility each and every one of us has is to listen and tend to our bodies. Rather than seeing it as a burden, it serves as an opportunity to manage our own happiness via managing our health and well-being. In a world where so much is out of our control, if accessible, let us control what we can. First stop, preventative care by means of nourishment.
Nourish- nurture; to promote the growth of; to furnish or sustain with nutriment; feed; maintain, support (Merriam Webster).
Nourish- provide with the food or other substances necessary for growth, health, and good condition (Dictionary.com).
Notice that neither definition of “nourish” states anything about nutrients. The closest we get is “nutriment” which translates to sustenance. What does it look like to eat in a way that’s good for the body AND good the soul? Mary Catherine Bateson said, “Human beings do not eat nutrients. They eat food.” Your body (and soul) deserves love by the way of food- brilliantly colored and distinctively textured, bold aromatic pleasures to the nose and unparalleled tastes to the tongue.
Below is a list of fun and simple tips to encourage you to get more in touch with your community and your body through food. These are non-strict guidelines to propel you to develop intuitive skills in order to manage these things no matter where you’re at in your food journey or healing relationship with food.
· Go to your local farmer’s market and commit to buying the freshest produce, herbs, dairy, and meats. Interact with whomever is selling your food; ask questions like: “Where was this grown?”
“How do I store this?”
“What’s your favorite way to prepare this in a dish?”
“Do you spray with herbs or pesticides?”
· Eat seasonally for rhythm and ritual
· Think nutrient-rich, whole foods and fresh herbs
· Be hands-on: touch your produce, smell it, examine it
· Eat local when possible- whether it be checking out neighborhood farmers markets, dining in the town, supporting home-dwelling artisans, or foraging wild foods.
· Try new foods when traveling to connect with the culture. Notice preferences, restrictions and limitations; does this affect your ability to connect with people or even even aspects of yourself?
· Pick your own fruit at a U-Pick Farm for a small fee
· Demand transparency à Read your labels and count ingredients over calories
· Look for grass-fed, Pasteur-raised, and organic when it comes to meat, poultry, and eggs. If you're already buying like this at a grocery store, shorten the distance between you what's happening on the land by buying animal products at a farmer's market. Already doing that? Visit the farm!
· Use cooking as a gateway to manage your relationship with food. How often do you cook? Do you tend to use the microwave for most of your meals? Is there a balance between home-cooked meals and dining out? Are you cooking the same thing repeatedly or do you spice it up?
· Use the oven and stove top more and microwave less
· Utilize fresh herbs and dried spices to enhance flavor of dishes, consume more vitamins, and make nutrients more readily available