Nutrition: Having Fun With Your Food, by Jacquie Robertson
When Was the Last Time You Had Fun With Your Food?
Gluten-free, veganism, dairy-free, vegetarianism, soy-free and the list goes on! I’m sure you’ve heard them all by now. The latest food fads, trends and holistic diets are being marketed in your face on the daily.
With our ever growing conscious awareness of the correlation between what we put into our body and our state of health and how we feel, it’s no wonder why so many people these days are choosing an alternative way to healthy eating.
The New Face of Healthy Eating
Let’s face it. The traditional Canada Food Guide for most just doesn’t cut it anymore when it come to wholesome foods. We are gradually being awakened to the ill effects of things like too much dairy or wheat in our daily diets and as a result, are opting for things like dairy-free and gluten-free lifestyles.
And if you know anything about me as a Holistic Nutritionist, you will know I am all about going dairy and gluten free. I truly believe that almost anyone can benefit from this. In fact, I’ve been living without dairy for years and highly committed to gluten-free for the last three years and my body has seriously thanked me for this amazing gift.
More Rules, Less Fun
But here’s the problem. Alongside with removing dairy and gluten (not to mention soy and refined sugar) from my diet, I started to realize over the years that I had also removed all of the fun. Sure, I had eliminated many of the uncomfortable side effects associated with these foods such as my chronic wheat belly and digestive pains, but preparing food and making a meal had become robotic and mundane at best.
My restricted food list and eating “rules” had become sky high. It came to my attention one morning while I was having a total meltdown in a Tim Hortons lineup over what the heck I could order that did not contain gluten, that there was no more fun or playfulness in my eating. For the individual who chooses an “alternative” way of healthy eating, it’s very easy to take all the fun and play out of one of the most enjoyable experiences in life- eating.
Putting the “Play” Back in Food
It’s time for us alternative healthy food junkies to change our relationship with food. Instead of viewing food as the enemy, what if we saw it as a way to bring more spirit and play into our lives? What if we started to consider what we could put back into our food, rather than take out?
As children we once had so much fun enjoying a meal, like when we used to play with our food before we ate it. Eating healthfully through an alternative diet does not have to equal boring, but we must be creative.
The next time you go to prepare a meal, even if you’re rolling solo, tap into your inner child wisdom of playful fun by spicing it up. Something as simple as adding a swirly straw in your favourite colour to your breakfast smoothie or drawing a silly face with maple syrup on your gluten-free banana pancakes can make the world of difference when it comes to enjoying our healthy alternative foods.
Why not host a vegan potluck where the theme is to dress up as your favourite vegetable, put on some dance music the next time you bake or entertain a finger food night once a week, no utensils allowed. It can be these simple, yet quirky little things that can put the “play” back into healthy eating. Just because we say no to gluten, dairy and soy these days doesn’t mean we have to turn off the fun.
Jacquie Robertson, RNCP, ROHP, is a Certified Nutritionist practicing clinical nutrition, specializing in hormone imbalance, PMS, digestive health and depression. Her mission is to educate, empower and inspire women to heal themselves naturally through the use of food as medicine, hormone balancing, emotional wellness and self-love.
Health is not just about the food we eat, how much we exercise or simply showing up for our annual doctor visits. Our health is a compilation of our beliefs, relationships, environment, work, life purpose, creativity, sexuality and our nutritional, emotional and physical well-being.
Jacquie offers both in person and online 1-on-1 nutritional coaching and women’s health workshops through her private practice. Jacquie holds a BA (Honours) from McMaster University, diploma from Centennial College’s Workplace Wellness & Health Promotion program and is a graduate from the Institute of Holistic Nutrition.