Posts tagged intuitive eating as a vegan
Relationship with Food Series Part 5: Emotional Eating, Self Soothing and Meeting the Change Triangle

We’re back with part 5 of our relationship with food series, and today I’ll be sharing some amazing resources that will be so helpful on your journey to a better place with food, especially when it comes to emotional eating. We’ll be talking about how normal it is to see food as part of our coping tools (eating for reasons other than hunger is a part of normal eating and emotions play a part in this), and what can help when it has become the only coping tool. I’ll share a resource that has been enormously helpful in understanding emotions and anxiety, and we’ll talk about how there isn’t just one side of us running the show when it comes to our eating, and how we can begin to nourish the different sides of us, with and without food.

It’s not uncommon that from a very early age, those of us who have had a hard time dealing with difficult emotions, have also found our way to using food as a coping mechanism. For many of us food was associated with early rewards, or it was used to help us deal with tough emotions such as sadness, grief, anxiety or worry. For some of us the restriction of food was used as punishment, or perhaps fun foods were only permitted when we had been “good”. For some of us (myself included), food became a great way to momentarily escape situations we were not prepared to face or weren’t old enough to face. For many of us it was the way family members showed love and affection, for others it was a door to a calm space, away from difficult circumstances. For some food was where you turned to when you’d had a bad day, or perhaps it was the way your culture expressed its sense of community and enjoyment. Whatever our origin, most of us have learned from pretty early on that food is a point of connection, of celebration, of reward, and it can be a way to cope with difficult situations or emotions.

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Relationship with Food Series Part 4: Saying Goodbye to Restriction + What Do you Like to Eat?

We’re back with part 4 of our relationship with food series in which we’re going to dive in a bit deeper into the role restriction can play in our relationship with food, how saying goodbye to restriction might be a huge help, and how being vegan, or making other dietary choices for ethics, religious beliefs, etc., fits into this.

As you know, in this series of shorter episodes and posts I’m guiding you through a little journey towards the resources, tools and general mindset we can access to help us improve our relationship with food. For me it was a journey of many ups and downs, navigating emotional eating, overeating, occasional binges, and even more frequent dieting and restricting. Then came an over-obsession on eating “healthy”, “clean” and “pure” foods. It took me a long time to find the resources and amazing experts that would finally give me the tools that helped, but my hope is that I can be here to present them to you, so that you can go through this process with the guiding hand of the incredible pros and qualified experts that helped me so much.

The Pitcher of Water

When I got started on my journey, through all the different steps and stages I’ve been telling you about in this series, I soon realized that restricting foods was like a pitcher of water that was holding me inside. It gave me the false sense that my issues with food were contained and under control. The thing is though, that restriction and dieting are also like a water tap that can’t be turned off, countless rules and regulations that keep getting piled up on top of each other until you can’t hold them any longer. Eventually, there’s just too much water in the pitcher and it overflows and makes a mess in the kitchen.

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Relationship with Food Series Part 2: Riding our Bikes Through our Food Stories

I’m so excited to bring you part 2 of our relationship with food series. Last week we talked about getting started on this journey by digging in deep, and noticing where were are when it comes to our relationship with food. I shared what really changed when I decided to look into these issues, and I talked about how every year this is a process of self discovery in which I get to see different sides to it and I continue to heal and make peace with food.

Today’s topic will be a bit shorter than last week’s because most of the work is going to be done by you, at home. Yes, there will be a bit of homework for you, as we’ll probably have in most of the episodes and posts in this series.

One fun little fact about the topic at hand today is that my whole process of healing my relationship with food began with looking into my food stories to share them with you. It was all in an old blog I used to have, and sadly I hadn’t realized (and wouldn’t realize for a while), that those stories were going to mark the beginning of a journey for me.

In fact when I dug into these stories the first time, I could only see the instances in which I was overeating, emotionally eating, sometimes bingeing, and was looking through them as a way to find how on Earth I was going to restrict and eliminate those behaviors through weight loss attempts. I had not yet seen what I told you about last week, that my stories of restricting foods and dieting had been the source of the problem, yet I had ignored them and focused on what I thought the “bad” habits with food were. I hadn’t seen what I know now, that my past history with dieting and restriction had been the cause, not the aftermath of so many of my issues with food. Back then I also hadn’t seen how my stories with body image and feelings toward my body had in many cases preceded my efforts to diet and restrict.

This is why looking at our stories with food and body image, exercise, dieting, emotional eating, etc., are so important when it comes to healing our relationship with food. It’s why today I’m going to ask you to get on a bike and ride next to your food stories and see what you discover.

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Relationship with Food Series Part 1: Acceptance of Who We are and Where We are

As promised a few weeks ago, we’re about to embark upon an adventure through our food stories, exploring our relationship with food. It took me a while to understand that in my own journey with food and cooking, there was another side to my interest in preparing delicious meals. I became a student of cooking when I was around 15 or 16, when I would gobble up all the cooking shows, and watched my uncle (the best cook I’ve ever known) deglaze pans to make elegant French sauces without any pretentious vibes whatsoever. I would study his techniques on everything from making a simple sandwich to the perfect artichokes with hollandaise sauce. I became obsessed. I began collecting recipes, filling up notebook after notebook as I watched The Food Network and when I finally found my chance (especially after I had Carlos to charm and impress), and started spending every bit of free time in the kitchen. What I didn’t know back then was that this thirst for culinary knowledge was also my way of dealing with something I wasn’t aware of at the time: my relationship with food had been tumultuous, it was in pain, and it needed a little support and help. Looking back I know that my interest in food was my way of looking into my relationship with food “without looking into it”, but thank goodness there came a day in which I couldn’t avoid shining a spotlight on it any longer. That was the day things really started to change.

As you probably know if you’re one of our My Brownble members, or you’ve taken any of our cooking courses, my interest in food and cooking never went away, and it’s still one of my favorite parts of the day, but along with developing the skills for tossing onions in a skillet, this has gone hand in hand with looking into and healing my relationship with food. It’s why neither side of this equation is ever missing in our content. One goes along for the ride with the other. We can’t talk about food and cooking without inherently dealing with our relationship with food, and we can’t talk about our relationship with food without talking about the act of eating and the food itself.

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Food Life Lessons: What Cheese and Bread Making can Teach us about Going Vegan or Starting Something New

After our previous episode and post all about the gratitude we can feel for the plate in front of us, I found myself thinking about food in and of itself. Since food and our relationship with it is at the core of what we help you through here at Brownble, sometimes I forget all about the big lessons making specific foods has taught me. Whether you’re here because you want to improve the way you relate to food, or you’re beginning a practice of mindful eating, making more vegan choices or learning how to trust your inner signals of hunger and fullness, or you’re simply here to find community, support or simply to learn how to cook vegan, so many of the lessons cooking has brought my way can help in many of these areas. It’s like I always say, the way we do one thing, is a reflection of the way we do most things, whether that’s how mindfully or mindlessly we eat, or making a layer cake.

Looking back to my past, I can now see that I probably got interested in cooking as a teen because it was such an escape from anxiety for me. In a way, I could step out of the anxious turmoil going on in my mind and I could walk into the kitchen, open up a recipe book and immerse myself in the process. Cooking was an escape, but now, looking back, it’s also a powerful way of practicing little life lessons whether consciously or not.

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