Food is indeed glorious. Sumptuous sushi, delectable desserts, wondrous waffles and Southern fried chicken all have the ability to make us weak in the knees. Americans are fatter than ever in part because we love our food. Obesity is an epidemic and a health crisis. As I once heard a Rastafarian at a poetry reading in Queens say, “People are losing their lives over tastebuds.”
The pursuit of good food is a national indulgence and pastime. Between the recipe blogs, food columns and cooking shows, food is everywhere. Mayor Michael Bloomberg in New York City is currently advocating controversial laws that would restrict the sizes of high-sugar beverages that are sold in public establishments. It’s time for all of us to exercise a little personal responsibility.
So how you you know whether you are a foodie or a food addict?
According to the dictionary, food addiction is “compulsive overeating characterized by an obsessive/compulsive relationship to food.” The same dictionary defines a foodie as “a person devoted to refined sensuous enjoyment” of food. Clearly, there is a thin line here.
Here are 3 ways to insure that your relationship to food remains healthy:
1. Eat without distraction.
We are always on the go. We eat at our desks, in our cars or while talking to our friends. Even when we eat alone, there’s often a television, music or a computer going. Maybe you’re talking or texting on your smartphone. All of these things distract you from the meal that you’re eating. You can’t be aware of how much you’re consuming if you’re not paying attention. That’s why many of us just eat until the plate is empty rather than until we’re full.
2. Make eating a sensual experience.
Pay attention to your food. The visual of what’s in front of you combined with the smell and the taste should be an epicurean experience. You won’t feel as prone to overeat if you appreciate every bite. Chew slowly and taste every spice and texture in your meal. Your belly will thank you for it. Yum!
3. Eat foods that nourish the body.
Healthy eating is not about shame. Eat foods that feel good in your body. If a meal is making you feel guilty, eat something else. When we eat whole, real foods we become fuller faster. Your body deserves to be treated well. After all, you only have one temple. Take good care with every scrumptious bite.
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