We may not be able to control what’s going on around us, but we can control our food choices through intuitive eating... even when it feels likes we may have a food shortage.
In a time when ignorance and/or exaggeration sparks our inner fears and ramps up our feelings of unknown, I want to keep it straight for you in regards to your nourishment.
Food scarcity can be such a scary feeling. This may even jolt you back to a time when you actually experienced food scarcity... maybe due to financial struggles or other life events. But it’s ok! You will be ok! You do have enough food. And you will continue to have enough food. So take a deep breath and let’a chew on this a bit deeper together.
We need now, more than ever to focus on nourishment. You may have heard me talk about this before but it’s something that i remind myself of on the daily (especially now), so i think it’s worth mentioning again. Nourishment is more than just what foods we are eating. It includes healthful mindset, self-care, body movement, relationships, rest/sleep, and love. Ultimately it's an expression of living our life through a continuum of healthful choices that fuel our mind, body, and/or soul. It's having joy with our food and respect with our body that lead to loving our food, loving our bodies, and ultimately loving our life. To read more about this click here.
With that said, our food choices and how we think about our food choices are imperative right now. Because of fear we are currently in a self induced food shortage appearance. But here is the thing... I guarantee you that we have ENOUGH food to go around, especially if we are thoughtful and mindful of what we need and what we choose. (Oh and the few or many peeps that loaded extra share if it comes to it).
Here is the reality.... eating is something we do everyday and we do need food. However, with about every situation, I like to take a step back and evaluate what this can teach us and find gratitude. I appreciate how this current historical time brings us together more than anything else. We are truly all connected and the impact of one person's choices is clearly demonstrated (with the many graphs we've seen). We are given an opportunity, an opportunity to really dial back to what is important, one of which is family meals. We are challenged with the requirement of more thoughtfulness around where we will get our foods from and just exactly what do we need through the closing and/or limitations of restaurants and limited supplies at the stores.
This is challenging us to really think... what do I need, what does my family need, will we have enough vs mindlessly stopping at the local drive thru. With this in mind, I challenge you to take it a step further and ask yourself....
What does my body, mind, and soul need? If you’re having feelings of uncertainty, look for something that is certain... love and gratitude. Once you connect to love and gratitude for what’s in front of you, then start to ask yourself...
Am I hungry? If yes, ask yourself, what foods will most satisfy me right now? Do I want something crunchy, soft, cold, warm, savory, sweet, or etc. Or do you need a comfort food? Comfort foods are not only completely and totally understandable, but also completely soul food. Those foods are OK! With the caveat... eat them when you are hungry and stop when you are full...don't mindless eat them out of hope of that food taking care of your worry, stress, anxious feelings, etc. Because they won't. You'll likely just feel physically awful (with a side of emotional guilt and shame) and the feelings will still be there.
To help listen to your inner wisdom cues of when you are full...be sure to turn off the tv (especially the news) and other screens, and just enjoy that food and either the quite around you or the chatter of who is around you. This will help you to be able to tune into the cues of when you’re full (even if you didn’t eat it all). Eating intuitively can help us lower our overall intake which in turn lowers our total cumulative food intake (aka saving food, saving ourselves).
Another challenge i have been hearing from my clients is that so many of the perishable food items they’ve bought are “bad” for them (or so they believe) so they feel like intuitive eating or any other form of healthful food nourishment just Isn't possible right now. But here is the thing... there are no bad or good foods. Let me repeat and scream it from the mountain top....THERE ARE NO BAD OR GOOD FOODS! Food is food. Food is amazing. Food is so important! With that said... I do recommend practicing gentle nutrition but overall I turn back to gratitude and I am so thankful that we have some foods that are shelf stable, I am thankful for the freedom to be able to go to the store, I am grateful to not only those that are currently working but all the people who helped get that food to us. When we take a minute to stop and think about how far that food traveled to get to us, it has a tendency to be even more delicious and savory.
So take the chains off around the food police and practice gentle nutrition while being gentle for yourself. IF and I mean IF we come to a point where we have no food left and are left to savage what we have in our cupboards or start hunting, at that point you will shift to feeding your body with anything available out of pure respect for your body and it's need for fuel. But we are FAR from that. So take a breath, find gratitude and lessons, and intuitively listen to your inner wisdom on your food choices. When life feels out of control, it can help to take control of our thoughts and choices around food. This not only in turn helps to heathfully nourish our bodies, but it will also help to calm our central nervous system when it could so easily be on flare right now.
P.S. If you are struggling with huge feelings or feel lonely and are looking for food to keep you company, try these things as an alternative to food:
- Call or facetime a friend or inspiring family member.
- Take a walk
- Contact your physician or mental health therapist (or consider online counseling).