I recently read “Food Freedom Forever: Letting Go of Bad Habits, Guilt and Anxiety Around Food” by Melissa Hartwig, the co-creator or the Whole30. The title alone really spoke to me as this is truly what this journey has been for me: finding my own food freedom.
Wether you are counting macros, eating paleo or living a vegan lifestyle this book is a great read. Ultimately, my goal as a nutrition coach is to guide my clients towards a healthier relationship with food. It is much more than just macros. My goal is for you to find a balanced and sustainable way to eat, one that nourishes you and leaves you feeling confident and happy in your skin. Eliminate guilt and shame from your food vocabulary for good.
Counting macros may or may not be a part of your food freedom forever. This program may just be a stepping stone on your way to learn more about what your body needs and proper portion control. It may be a tool to help fuel your performance and achieve big goals you set for yourself. Or something you revisit in times of needs.
What I hope to do is leave everyone more in control. Our food choices are not successes nor failures, they are just choices. Learn to make choices for yourself and regain your own control.
“There are no cheat days when you are enjoying food freedom, because if everything is careful, conscious decision, there is absolutely nothing to cheat on.” page.99
That is a big reason there are no “cheat days” on PowerUpNutrition. We are all adults here, we can make decisions for ourselves. If you choose to indulge, it’s a choice and in the right context it has a place.
The book goes on to give practical strategies to find your own food freedom:
- Doing a reset.
- Adopting a growth mindset. (You must add Carol Dweck’s book, “Mindset the New Psychology of Success” to your reading list too)
- Boost Willpower.
- Manage Stress.
Adopting new habits can be hard to integrate in your existing relationship. Not everyone around you will be supportive. How you move past this can be tricky.
“In our relationships, food is love, acceptance, bonding and comfort. It’s a shared indulgence, a way to let off steam, guilty pleasure made less guilty by the participation of others. Food is sometimes the only you can connect with certain people in your life.”p.178
For me, there is a warmth and love in the process of cooking and sharing food. I have found that now more than ever I enjoy cooking and meal prepping for the beauty and the artistry of it. Sharing food that is both nourishing my soul, supporting my goals and tastes delicious has been my way of including them in the process.
You will not find your own food freedom overnight. For most of us it is a lifelong journey. Start the process by paying attention, reflecting on your choices and raising your own level of awareness. Reading this book is a good step in that direction.
Get a book, find a good reading nook and go be free!