Was it good for you?

I'm curious to know what your thoughts are around "good food" vs. "bad food".

I'll list a few foods, and you simply note your gut reaction (good or bad, negative or positive, etc):

  • potatoes

  • rice

  • Kit Kats

  • peanut butter

  • celery

  • watermelon

  • ground beef

  • pizza

  • sweet potatoes

  • brownies

  • gluten free pizza

  • brown rice

  • wine

  • kombucha

  • water

  • coffee

  • butter

  • avocados

  • bananas

  • beer

  • kale

  • acai

  • flaxseed

  • cashews

  • grilled chicken

  • egg whites

  • coconut oil

Did you feel in your gut that some of these foods are "bad" and some are "good"?  Which foods did you categorize as good and which did you categorize as bad?

We are taught by society to count calories, count nutritional information, and look at our weight in numbers. This is all left brain thinking. This is the "right" way or the "good" way to move through a "health" journey. However, the voice we hear in our heads that whispers sweet cravings... the one that tells us what tastes good, what textures we like, and the side of the brain that experiences flavor, colors, etc... this is from the right side of the brain. The creative side. This is what makes food pleasurable; the "emotional" way to eat. The "wrong" way. The "bad" way.

Dear soul, we are all emotional eaters. We eat with our hearts, our taste buds, our eyes. It isn't wrong, and it isn't bad. Words like "wrong", "right", "good", and "bad" imply that something is either morally positive or morally negative. When it comes down to it, though, food doesn't possess moral qualities. It's just... food.

You may be feeling the pressure to do this “health” thing perfectly.  The problem with trying to be perfect is that as soon as you have one tiny set back, the temptation is to say “eff this, I’m never going to get this right, so why even do it?” You may even experience an urge to do it so perfectly that you’re rigid and controlling. That urge is strong.  

The way I move through my health journey and encourage those I work with to move through theirs is to keep happiness at the heart of healthfulness.  With each decision you make as you walk this road, it’s important to ask yourself the following:

Is this pleasurable?  Am I finding joy, or am I feeling misery?

It’s most certainly NOT about being perfect.

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I struggled with an eating disorder.  It’s a central part of my experience and a very large "why" behind the work that I do.

An estimated eight million Americans live with an eating disorder. One in 200 American women suffers from anorexia while 2-3 out of 10 American women suffer from bulimia. Nearly half of all Americans personally know someone with an eating disorder.

These statistics were shockingly high to me the first time I encountered them.

I’m not going to talk about the reasons why I think these statistics are so high, nor am I going to criticize this trend.  This mental disorder is cruel, and for anyone suffering with it, the pain is very real, as is the guilt and shame associated on many levels.

Eating disorders are prevalent because they are so nuanced.  What begins as a whisper, a drive to be better or more “perfect," quickly evolves into an obsession.

Disorder is defined as a state of confusion that disrupts systemic functioning.

Keep in mind that there is no perfect diet.  YOUR perfect diet is the one that leaves you feeling fulfilled, physically, emotionally, and soulfully. Your perfect diet is the one that keeps your bod's systematic functioning rolling along.

In the book I'm currently penning (from which some of this post is quoted) , I walk the reader through some common foods that have made the headlines in recent years for being either food GODS or food DEMONS.

Food GOD = The latest superfood is that has been selected by “Them” as the food that needs to be marketed; it's the newest kale/quinoa/bee pollen/coconut oil being lifted high on a pedestal (surely to be torn down like its fellows who've come before).

The shelves become stocked with it, but unfortunately supply can’t meet up with the demand for the hot item, so the shelves are quickly laid bare with nothing but a lonely tag proclaiming its golden spot.  OR, you see shelves lined with an item that was once a hot ticket, but has since lost some glimmer as a new study has come out to blast the once “solution to all of your problems” as a BAD FOOD.

This is how a food GOD can fall to food DEMON.

My challenge to you is to live with the following self inquiry:

What if food wasn’t good?  Or bad?  What if food was simply... food?

Brittany KrigerComment