The Myth: Food is Not Your Friend

We have all heard the saying – food is not your friend. We are advised to see food as fuel for the body and not as a cherished friend or an anecdote to boredom or stress. But, what if that advice is wrong? What if food is our friend?

Let’s review how we currently interact with our food:

  • We see a plate of cookies and we think, “ugh! Get it away from me before I eat the whole thing.”

  • We use the drive through window at a fast food chain, impatiently waiting to yell our order into the crackly speaker and start eating before we’ve even pulled back out onto the highway.

  • We scroll through our phones while stuffing bites in our mouths.

  • We watch TV and never look at our food

  • We eat in 10 minutes so we can use the rest of our break to run errands

  • When we are the main cook or menu planner we stress over WHAT to make and choose based on what we had last week, making meals another CHORE or task we must complete.

Now what if we substituted Friend for food in those scenarios:

  1. We see our friend standing in the kitchen and we think, “Ugh! Get her away from me.”

  2. We wait to speak to our friend and impatiently yell what we want and then walk off still talking.

  3. We scroll through our phones the whole time we are with our friend and never look at or interact with her.

  4. We meet our friend for 10 rushed minutes and then run off to do more important things.

  5. We view spending time with our friend as another task or chore and a complete drag/drain on our energy.

If we treated our friends the way we treat food we wouldn’t have any friends. No wonder we struggle with food. No wonder we gain weight, develop allergies, and have digestive issues. Food is offended and probably dislikes us in equal proportion to how we treat and think about it.

What if we took a page from Marie Kondo’s book, The Art of Tidying Up, but substituted food for objects and clothes? Marie suggests that we really feel into whether the article of clothing brings us joy and if it does not, we should thank it for the service it provided us and then let it go.

What if we paid attention to food and really thanked it, valued it, and honored it for providing us nourishment? We should thank our food for always being there for us, for being our friend.

We could look at our food, smell and savor our food. We could put our phones away, turn off the TV and computer and really pay attention to our meal.

We could take a moment to appreciate our food, tell it how great it is, how yummy it tastes and thank it for keeping us healthy and strong.

Friendships require nurturing. We spend time with friends because we want to and because interacting with them makes us feel good and happy. Make friends with your food. Treat your meals with respect. Have fun eating. Really look at your plate, notice the colors; chew slowly, savor your time together.

It is a friendship that will last a lifetime.

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