There are undeniable energy and time spent by most humans around the world every day determining their source of fuel. The most basic reason we consume food is that it gives us the energy we need to survive.
Having just come back from what I think is the gastronomical food capital of the world – France (okay, Italy is right up there too); I took time to reflect on how the food scene in Europe differs from ours here in North America.
The guidelines of nutrition are not elaborate, but people are complicated! With all of the ways to label our eating habits, vegan, keto, carnivore, herbivore, vegetarian, high fat, low fat, etc., it’s not surprising many of our choices become almost a belief system or judgment – “good” or “bad” – a religion of sorts.
While some use food for survival, others use food for emotion. What’s more, our society has turned food, which thousands of years ago was scarce, into a 24-hour-365-showcase.
The French word for food is ‘nourriture’, which can be directly translated into ‘nourishment’. What if you changed your mindset around food to see it as nourishment for your body, mind and soul?
Rarely these days to people stop or slow down enough to think about what they are eating as something as simple as fuel to feed their bodies. At its foundation, food is meant to help you get through your day – like gas in a car. Food is the nourishment we need so that we can live and be productive.
I adopted this way of thinking about food years ago, even before I became a Health Coach. The approach to feeding ourselves, I believe, has to match our values, cultural synergy, and our energy balance needs. Not everyone sees it this way. Most think of “quick fixes” or “short cuts” to reach a certain “look” that is most often unrealistic. You can’t “diet” forever!
Rarely are Parisians using food for anything else but nourishment, socialization and enjoyment. Yes, there is a lot of processing of food there too – McDonald’s even carries Macaroons for goodness sake!
But the take-your-time-and-lets-chill-out-together-over-awesome-fresh-food is still a major part of the French tradition. Food is a celebration, a time to connect and to be savoured over many hours.
Could you try one meal in the next week to be enjoyed like the French – shared together, amongst family or friends and relished over a couple of hours? Thinking of what you are putting in your body as nourishment instead of carbs, proteins, fat, fruits, vegetables or sugar?
Let me know how that goes! Shoot me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and share your story.