If we’re going to partner with our bodies for whole body healing, we need to understand that the way we choose to talk to our bodies about our choices of nourishment impacts the way we digest and utilize nutrients. A body in stress won’t digest! Our thoughts pave the way for everything that happens on an intercellular level. If we are stressed about our food choices, it alters the way we digest.
Does what you put into your body impact your health? Of course! But what you tell yourself about your food and your body determines if you can access “rest and digest,” which is important for healing and restoration.
During a meal, we want to be relaxed, filled with gratitude, and completely present in our bodies to load our senses with the pleasure-filled experience of eating.
I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again. Food is not just fuel. Food is comfort, healing, information, and nourishment on so many levels.
These are the popular phrases that need to make a quick exit from your vocabulary file:
Cheat meal/ cheat meal: This implies you are being deceptive/sneaky with your body. You are on the same team!
It’s not on my plan; I can’t: These statements take the ownership of what you choose to support your body with into someone else’s hands. You get to choose what’s best for you. You also can choose to say no for yourself, not for whatever the plan says.
Guilt-free dessert: Choosing to eat dessert and find pleasure from food is not a moral failing, so all desserts by design should be guilt-free. We were not given fruit and honey in order to deprive ourselves of sweetness. However, choosing to numb emotional pain with any substance can have deeper internal consequences.
Good food/bad food: Different types of food will perform different functions in your body and will be received differently. Some food will make you feel better than other food. But that doesn’t make it an issue of morality, and it doesn’t make you a good or bad person depending on the choice you make.
I already blew it today: This is a sweeping judgment based on one food choice, at one point in the day. The negativity itself can alter digestion and bring unwanted distress throughout the body and create more unnecessary stress, leading to more unwanted decisions.
I encourage you to take a non-judgmental approach with your body. Release the negative word choices; be observational. Notice how your food choices affect your digestion and mood after you consume them. Notice how the mindset you are in while eating impacts how your food settles. Are you rushed, impatient, frustrated, or barely taking time to taste what you’re consuming? It will change the digestion process.
If we really want to support our gut health in order to improve mental health, we must change the way we talk about our food!