Growing up, there was always a home cooked meal on the stove available for anyone who stopped by for a Sunday visit after church. Whatever meal my mother cooked that day served as the welcoming committee. Food was also the nurse when we were sick. Homemade soup was a part of the prescription along with a concoction that involved onion juice my grandmother would create or cod liver oil. When someone passed away, food was the comforter; cooked and provided to the bereaved. Food became love and quality time when my dad took us out to eat as a treat at some local diner on payday. The local pancake house was the tradition on our birthdays. These events (along with many others) shaped my feelings about food. As a result, food to me means love, family, community, togetherness, nourishment, sharing, happiness and good health.
These memories definitely contributed to my desire to become a Nutritionist. I truly believe, food can soothe and heal the body, mind and spirit. Helping people leverage the power food has to improve their health and wellbeing is my passion. While my memories of food are all good; others may not have had the same experiences or memories. Food may have been scarce, didn’t taste good, used as punishment, led to feelings of illness due to food sensitivities or allergies or contributed to feelings of loneliness or sadness.
Our current feelings about food are driven by our memories about food. How many people have you heard say they don’t eat a particular food because it made them sick? How many were given a “treat” as a child when we were sad and now food has become a coping mechanism as an adult? If food was scarce as a child, could this be why overeating is an issue? Whatever the memory, negative feelings about food can be the roadblock to better health.
What are YOUR food memories? Could negative memories be hindering your progress in achieving your weight loss goals or improving a health condition? Consider working with an integrative nutritionist to identify any connections. Creating healthier more positive food memories can be key to gaining better health.