Do you ever make poor eating choices and immediately feel like a food failure? Do you get stressed, over-eat, feel guilty, berate yourself then start the cycle all over again? If this sounds at all familiar, it is time to hit a nerve with your inner food goddess! Each and every one of us has an inner food goddess just pleading to come out. A food goddess is a woman who loves real, whole food. She appreciates the sensuous nature of food and enjoying each meal with complete contentment (and the occasional delighted moan!). Though she adores good food she is not about stuffing herself or existing in a gluttonous state, but rather enjoys each bite for its nuance of flavor. She understands exactly what her body needs and knows exactly what type of nutritious food to put on her plate. She sounds awesome, right!?! So why is it that many of us continue to struggle with our food if we’ve got this amazing person right at our fingertips?
In our “get thin quick” society, women are often overwhelmed with the abundance of nutrition and diet information, which causes us to jump into restrictive eating regimes that garner quick and unsustainable results. We allow ourselves to get wrapped up in societal pressures and completely forget to listen to our bodies for guidance. We also struggle to reconcile the distorted body images shown on television and in movies and magazines alongside the food marketed to us. How about a Big Mac to help you into your skinny jeans? It simply does not make any sense! These are the food and body minefields we must navigate and why our inner food goddesses rarely have a chance to emerge.
Now, unleashing your inner food goddess is not an overnight occurrence. However, there are a few easy tips to get you started on the path:
1. Only Whole– A food goddess is all about the taste, quality and unaltered state of her food. Begin by purchasing real whole food that neither comes in a box nor was made in a manufacturing plant. If you have no idea how your food came to be (ie Cheetos and Wheat Thins) put it down and walk away. Letting go of processed foods opens up your plate and palate to a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, beans and organic animal products you’ve never before experienced. The world of whole foods is truly endless and just waiting for the eager food goddess.
2. Chew– Have you ever stuffed yourself with the last 5 cookies in the house just to get rid of them? If you eat them quickly it’s almost like they never existed, right? Wrong! A food goddess acknowledges her food and never eats to make “bad” food disappear. When eating, chew 10-15 times per bite. Chewing aids digestion, which protects your food goddess tummy and increases satisfaction by making your food last longer.
3. Emergency Snacks– To think of yourself as a food goddess you must first treat yourself like one by anticipating your needs. Namely, never leave the house without food on your person. Nuts, seeds, dried fruit or vegetable sticks are a perfect grab-and-go snack that will keep you from getting hungry later in the day and making poor food decisions.
4. Choose Wisely– Just because a food goddess prefers unprocessed whole food does not mean she doesn’t indulge. Choosing indulgences wisely is not about willpower but rather exhibits the innate respect a food goddess has for her body. Stuffing herself at the dessert table only hurts her tummy and leads to a cycle of guilt. No thank you! When choosing your indulgence decide upon the item you will enjoy most and stick to it. Perhaps it’s that scoop of salted caramel ice cream, a piece of homemade holiday fudge or (if you are me!) warm walnut bread smothered in herb goat cheese. Whatever it is, eat it with slow burning satisfaction and make it last. When you fully engage with your indulgence there is simply no need for a second helping.
5. Take each meal on its own merit– Ever felt guilty over an afternoon ice cream cone and decided the day was consequently ruined and proceeded to eat everything in sight? Well, stop it! A food goddess takes each eating opportunity on its own merit. Sure, she is human and sometimes gets caught eating more chocolate than necessary but she does not allow that to tarnish the rest of her eating day. Rather than throwing the entire day out the window with one bad food choice, use your remaining meals to catch up on extra vegetables and whole foods you might have missed during your chocolate romp. Eating each meal on its own merit curbs emotional eating and silences all that ungoddess-like negative self talk.
Unleashing your inner food goddess does not happen instantly but when it does, the ah-ha moment is huge! No longer do you battle with food hang-ups but rather settle into the groove of eating well and creating confidence in your food choices. So, are you ready to strike a chord with your food, your body and your self-care? Start with these 5 easy steps and watch the goddess transformation begin!
Jamie G. Dougherty, CHHC, AADP is the Founder of JamieLiving, Health & Lifestyle Coaching that offers private and corporate nutrition coaching nationwide. She is the author of Spring Forward to the New You: 30 Delicious Recipes for a New Body and is currently enrolling fabulous women in her next Food Goddess Wellness Group. She is passionate about deliciously healthy food and specializes in helping her clients transform their lives through the power of nutrition and self-care.