19 August 2017 · posted in food
When I started healing from my eating disorder a few years ago I realized quite quickly that the way back to health would not include restricting, dieting or counting calories. Yes, I still need to lose some extra kilograms (or replace fat with muscle) for health purposes and body confidence. Yes, I want to look good and be able to easily wear clothes I like without having to worry about them not falling right on my body. But no matter how much I'd like a quick crash diet fix to make me lean, strong and fit, I just cannot let myself fall into the trap of obsessive and destructive thinking about food again. Plus we all know fad diets don't work in the long run anyway.
So these past few years I've really tried to educate myself about all things food so at least I have all the right information when it comes to properly nourishing myself. And what I've found out is actually amazingly simple: the only thing you need to do to be healthy is move regularly and eat a wide variety of clean whole foods in moderation (this means listening to your body when it comes to being hungry, full or thirsty rather than having 3 meals a day and cleaning your plate). Although this knowledge is simple and really life-changing once applied, that last part is easier said than done for me. Variety means searching for and coming up with new recipes with new ingredients and preferably eating in season vegetables. Moderation means balancing portion sizes differently than we're used to with more vegetables, less meat and less carbs (for nutrition purposes). Clean whole foods means even more fridge organization with expiry dates and when to eat what in combination with what before it goes bad.
It might sound silly to some, but on a lot of days, I cannot deal with thinking about food like that, mostly because I'm exhausted and still have work to do at home after hours but also because it somehow triggers my eating disorder perfectionism and the accompanying cravings and urges. To cope with all that, I just fall back to what I know, cook the same 4 or 5 dishes over and over again and don't really enjoy food that much because it's only routine. Something that has to be done. And the busier we are in our daily lives, the less we appreciate and celebrate our food and that is exactly what I need on this path of recovery. I need to love and celebrate food without judgement for myself, without restrictions. Yes, I need to eat a nutritious and balanced diet but I also just need to eat what feels good and learn to listen to my body.
And that's where the food box comes in. I don't need to go grocery shopping (which is still a dangerous activity even after all this time because I might just get tempted to buy crisps and more crisps and hide them in a cupboard somewhere). I don't need to spend times researching in season vegetables and recipes that go with them. I don't need to figure out how many potatoes would be a good nutritional balance in a particular meal. I don't need to figure out how much meat would be healthy. I don't need to make a weekly or monthly meal plan to see if there are gaps in our nutrition. The only thing I do need to do is choose which box we want every week (more details on that in a future post!), choose which meal to prepare on which day and enjoy the food. And that is amazing.
Even though Ruben and me, we're quite picky eaters, especially with things we're not familiar with, I have really been loving the new recipes. Preparing these dishes pushes me out of my comfort zone a little to eat different vegetables than we're used to (yesterday it was celery and we didn't really love the taste yet but I could get why it was a good addition in that particular dish). Having this variety of nourishing, whole foods, with recipes ready to be cooked, delivered at your door every week, it's making me so excited about food again. Some friends and family members have told me they think a food box is way too expensive but I'll gladly pay a little extra for the service if it means mental freedom from thinking about food obsessively and getting to enjoy food again, because I just really need that right now.