How I Healed My Relationship With Food
Is your relationship with food a love-hate relationship? Keep watching… Hello, it’s Ann from Veggie Magnifique — your go-to for vegan lifestyle and holistic wellness. And today we’re going to talk about a very serious topic one that I’ve wanted to make a video about for a really long time… And that is how I healed my relationship with food. So a little bit of backstory here… thank God, I never had an “eating disorder,” but I didn’t have a very healthy relationship with food in my 20s. So what that meant is eating way too much sugar and, especially in the afternoon, when I had that like energy slump. Not being able to stop eating when I was feeling really full just keeping eating because the food was good. I also had an unhealthy dynamic with guilt — so for example if I indulged in something, then afterward I would feel super guilty for eating something that I “shouldn’t,” …and so then I would feel like the day was botched and then I would to see more crap, because the day it was, you know, not a good one. And then I also had the kind of “indulge and then punished myself later” dynamic — where I would eat something super rich and then afterward I would feel like crap, and so then as a result the next morning I would “punish” myself by going on a crazy intense run — now there’s nothing wrong with jogging but my “self talk” during those runs was not healthy or kind. It was always some sort of punishment for my sins of indulgence, and I shouldn’t have eaten those things. It was just kind of auto-flaggellatory, and not a positive, happy jog. So all these kind of aspects of my early 20s especially meant that I really didn’t have a healthy relationship with food. I saw it as kind of like an evil in my life so to speak. So why am I telling you this? Well, because, my hope is that in sharing how I healed my relationship with food, it may help some of you who perhaps have a sort of love-hate relationship with food. So here’s what I did to heal my relationship with food: So number one — probably the most important thing is my relationship with food started to shift when I removed animal products. So animal “foods” often have addictive compounds so say, for example, milk and cheese… So milk is designed to get the calf to drink more and to fatten up and so the cow is very much compelled to drink more of its mother’s milk. Now cheese is kind of like a compound addictive — it’s caso-morphines that are in cheese, and that is an addictive substance. Suggested reading — you can read Dr. Neal Barnard’s book, “The Cheese Trap,” It’s fascinating, I’ll link it below. But suffice it to say that the caso-morphines in cheese are an addictive substance, so when we eat it, we crave more of it, and since it’s not a healthy food that doesn’t help us any. Of course it’s no secret that animal flesh, or meat, is detrimental to our bodies you know… without speaking about the antibiotics and all the other stuff, it’s a slow to digest substance which makes us feel sluggish which then kind of like creates a vicious cycle of feeling tired and then eating more. So as I became more and more plant-based what happened gradually is that my system started to recalibrate, and I started to be able to kind of hear my body’s signals and signs more easily but also I became more and more incapable of overeating, because I was legitimately full. Now… the next thing that’s important to talk about is I started adding in more fruits and vegetables. So the fruits and vegetables really helped my system to recalibrate because what happens is, as you know if you’ve been watching Veggie Magnifique for a while, fruits and vegetables are very healing foods, so it’s so much easier to know when you’re full when you’re eating real food. It sounds over simplistic but it’s very true so it’s not enough to just omit all the animal products, it’s also really important to fill your diet with whole foods because the whole foods are what’s gonna help your system to start to recalibrate, and that’s a huge factor. It’s a gradual process — it doesn’t happen overnight. So anyway as I included more whole food plant-based foods, I really started to feel a difference in my satiation, and my ability to know when I was full, and to also actually not have those energy slumps because it was more sustained energy, and calories, which is of course what you get with plant foods. So next up is I studied holistic nutrition at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, called IIN. I learned so many things studying holistic nutrition, but one thing I want to share here that really helped me to heal my relationship with food, was this concept of primary food. So, in essence, primary food is that which nourishes you as a human that isn’t actually food. So it could be your relationships, or your career, your exercise, your sleep, etc. And so sometimes we eat because, you know, chemically we might be, say, craving fatty foods or craving sugary foods, and that’s like a kind of a chemical thing, but other times we eat because of emotions. We eat because we’re sad. We eat because we’re lonely. We eat because we’re angry… and so what I learned at IIN is to kind of deconstruct the craving, and start to ask myself, “Okay why do I want to eat this?” or “Why do I feel compelled to overeat or overindulge?” or whatever… And so I started to be able to kind of correct course when I would see to self-sabotage with something that
wasn’t healthy, that I knew who I didn’t really want. And if you want to learn more about studying holistic nutrition, I made a whole video all about that so I’ll link that, so that you can check it out if that interests you. So another thing that I started to do more and more was I started to eat slowly and more mindfully. So that meant that I started chewing a bit more, that meant that I started to enjoy my food and not feel guilty about it but really relish the experience. Two things helped me to learn this… Number one was my nutrition studies — we talked a lot about mindful eating and, number two was actually living in France, and this kind of respect for meal time and this enjoying your food and taking the time not just scarfing it down — because of course when you scarf things down, your digestive system it’s like.. feed, feed, feed, and 10 minutes later, “oh my gosh I am so full.” Whereas when you eat slowly, obviously, your digestive system can start to give you the signs that you’re full, and so that you can stop when you get to, let’s hope, 80% or so, instead of cramming all that food in and then realizing in 10-15 minutes oh my gosh I’m so full. And again I started to chew a lot more. In the beginning it’s kind of strange, right? Because you’re just chewing and chewing and chewing, and you’re like, “I do not need to chew this much,” and yet there’s a whole science on chewing, and how it starts the digestive process, and it gets your body ready to digest. But also so many people don’t chew enough, so it’s like these big chunks are going into our digestive tract and it’s just not helping any. So the next thing I did was I started to replace my negative self-talk with more positive self-talk. Now, again, like all of these tips this is a process — this is a big process. And so many of our thoughts are totally involuntary — they’re just rapid fire… going a mile a minute. So what I did, and I suggest, is to start deliberately planting positive thoughts in order to start to have fewer negative thoughts about yourself. So that could be in a form of affirmations, I really believe in affirmations. It’s a slow process, however, the more deliberate you are about implanting positive thoughts, the fewer negative thoughts there are. But it does take time for your neural pathways to start to adapt. So you have to think about what positive affirmations would work for you. You could write some down and you could read them to yourself before meal time, for example. You can be even like type them on your phone and then just pull your phone and read your affirmations before you start eating, to remind yourself how you’re creating new habits, creating new pathways, and starting to improve your relationship with food, and also with yourself, right, through positive self-talk. So here’s some examples of some positive affirmations: “I’m taking better and better care of myself by eating healthy foods.” “I’m starting to love eating fruits and vegetables and they love me back.” “Healthy foods nourish my body and soul and I deserve to be nourished.” So again you need to find something that’s gonna resonate for you, so maybe take a moment, and write down some affirmations that apply to some of the struggles that you’re having, so you can kind of hijack the negative thoughts with carefully chosen positive thoughts that you want to start thinking. And lastly the thing that really helped me to heal my relationship with food was daily exercise. Short exercise — let me be precise because when it’s a big old workout… it just never happens. It’s so difficult to maintain. So with short workouts, what ends up happening — it’s magic it’s totally magic… it’s like… you do, say, 10 or 15 or 20 minutes, and it’s quite easy to slip in, right? Then you start to feel so much better about yourself. So this is physiological, you’re exercising, you’re getting the endorphins running, but then that’s also very very mental because then you feel better — you started out your day with a quick exercise… so as a result that makes you make different choices during the day. So you have the physiological fat-burning thing, but then you also have… and this is also, I think, even more important — is you feel good. You feel good about yourself. You know you did your bit of exercise and so as a result you really are different. You make different choices because you’re like, “I exercised this morning! I’m on I’m on a good path, I started the day out well.” And it does not have to be long — it can be a short 15 minute yoga video, I swear, from YouTube. Anyway I have found that short exercise but daily — do less more often — has been just so powerful in my life so I really recommend it. So those are the top ways that I healed my relationship with food. Now, I’m not perfect and obviously not every day is quote unquote “perfect” — if it were then I probably have some sort of other disorder… but I feel free. I feel free. I feel like I can enjoy my life and I stop when I’m full and if I have a treat I’m not riddled with guilt, and that is just amazing. And so I hope that this video has been helpful for you, and that you have found some some tips that will help you if you’re struggling with this, So just to recap, my tips were: removing animal products, ie addictive substances, eating more fruits and vegetables, studying holistic nutrition, eating more slowly and mindfully, healing one’s self-talk, and getting a little bit of exercise in every single day. So thank you guys so much for watching. Greetings from my porch in my Balinese Airbnb. Feel free to leave me a comment and let me know if a) you agree with these tips and, b) if you have healed your relationship with food I would love to hear your tips, and I think other viewers would as well. So leave those in the comments down below. And if you haven’t subscribed yet, please do click the little red button, so that you don’t miss out on future content, and if you like these more holistic health videos, make sure to “like” this video so that I know that it’s something that you’re interested in. So thank you guys so much for watching and I will see you next week on Veggie Magnifique TV. Bye!