For many of us, food is loaded with shame, anxiety, and self-loathing. We use food in self-destructive ways, to punish ourselves and to medicate feelings we can’t deal with. Food is a tough subject for many of us, we understand! In fact, childhood trauma is also linked to obesity and explains why, for a subset of obese people, nutrition and diet often do not have the impact we desire. Protecting and improving our health (and possibly losing weight), therefore, has to focus on healing our nervous system, reducing inflammation, and healing our brain.
We want to start thinking about shifting our thoughts around food so that it represents the nourishment our body needs and deserves. Remember, healing is all about compassion, self-love, and self-care. And indeed, good food is healing!
Research has shown that gut health (the good bacteria that inhabit our digestive tract) is directly related to our overall health. A healthy gut can affect those of us struggling with depression, anxiety, autoimmune disorders, and/or obesity. So, our goal is to develop a way of nourishment that heals our gut, replenishes healthy bacteria, and reduces inflammation.
Most likely, you’ve heard that nourishing meals are centered around whole, unprocessed foods, but in a culture where we’re inundated with fast food and junk food, making changes isn’t easy. Start where you are: make one (additional) healthy choice a day, like substituting a processed food for a whole food. Here’s a simple strategy for sticking to whole foods: stay away from packaged foods. Avoid foods that have ingredients you can’t pronounce. There are many nutritious meals that are easy and quick to make. (We also recommend reducing or eliminating alcohol and sugar.) Check out our blog posts for more information on an anti-inflammation diet and recipes for beginners!
We want you to stay healthy so that you can stick around and be there for yourselves and your families. Once you learn about nutrition for yourself, you can begin to share health tips with your kids. Remember, kids reflect our behavior. If they see how we take care of ourselves, they will learn how to care for themselves.
Another part of healing can include our mindfulness and our inner peace. In the next section, we’ll take a look at how to use our thoughts FOR healing, instead of AGAINST it.