5 Food Rules Post Eating Disorder

We all have stories that we surround ourselves with in terms of the foods we will and will not eat. As someone who spent a large part of their life struggling with an eating disorder, the stories I've told myself throughout my life have been both bogus, and disturbing. I consider myself mostly recovered from that part of my life, and now live by several rules that a previous version of myself would likely never allow.

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1) Full fat dairy, always. I believe in full fat dairy for several reasons. One, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Huston conducted a research study in which they found no correlation between consuming full fat dairy products and an increase risk of heart attack or stroke. Two, it just tastes better (that's opinion not science). Third, low-fat dairy products go through extra processing that full-fat dairy doesn't and is often loaded with sugar to compensate for taste, or worse, pumped full of zero calorie artificial sweeteners that don't do anything great for our bodies (coming from someone who loves Coke Zero, but I do realize it's doing nothing good for me...) And lastly, many vegetables contain vitamins A, D, E, and K, which need fat to metabolize and provide benefit for our bodies. Consuming these vegetables with full fat dairy and salad dressings helps your body to absorb these nutrients. 

2) Taste trumps everything. I believe in health and the benefits that certain foods can have for my body, but I can also gladly admit that whole wheat pasta and tortillas do not taste good, and I will pick the white options of those every time. That being said, I love whole wheat bread, these bran muffins that will change your life, and plenty of other healthy things, but I don't let health get in the way of taste. Food needs to be enjoyed, and wasting time eating food that does not taste good is not a priority to me. 

3) I believe organic is best, although I don't always choose it. We've made a big shift in our home this year to purchase more organic foods in an attempt to reduce the amount of artificial chemicals that we're consuming. That being said, buying all organic isn't always financially practical, or the organic options simply don't taste good (I'm looking at you cardboard tasting cereal). One thing we've really tried to do though is purchase strictly organic when it comes to meat and dairy products. If there is room in the budget we'll add more into our grocery purchases. This is what works for us right now. 

4) Carbs aren't bad. The keto diet is everything right now, and it just seems so bizarre to me. I know how it works and I get why people do it, but as an endurance runner, I need carbs to perform. 60% of my daily intake right now are carbohydrates, and I don't intend to change that anytime soon. Food is fuel, and if your fuel works for you thats great. I love carbs, they fuel me, and I hope we live a long and happy life together. 

5) Food is not good or bad. I don't believe that there are good foods and bad foods. Each food does different things for our bodies, and some are more nutritionally valuable than others, but I don't put labels on things, especially around our kids. I never tell my kids that something is "bad for them", and never tell them that their vegetables are "good for them." Do I tell my kids that eating their vegetables will help them grow big? Yes. Do I tell them eating their chicken will help them grow muscles? Yes. But I don't use labels of "good" and "bad" because I find that they can be damaging, especially for young children. I also don't withhold treats from my kids. Do I make them eat their more nutritionally dense food first? Yes. But nothing in our home is "off limits", and I want my children to grow up having a healthy relationship with all foods. 

Do you have food rules that you live by? Do any of my "rules" seem outlandish to you? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below!

2 comments

  1. Excellent post. I had an unhealthy relationship wi th food in college - perhaps it was more binge eating? I don’t know how to label it but luckily I am beyond it now as an adult. It’s so freeing. Your food rules are similar to mine but I avoid low-fat or low-cal ANYTHING because of the processed additives used as replacements. My biggest focus is cutting out as much processed food as possible. I have three toddlers but still prioritize food from scratch - bread, baked goods, etc. I read the book Pandora’s Lunchbox and it was eye opening for me. (I never thought of cereal as processed food!) I don’t limit what kind of food we eat but I strive to at least make it from scratch, and that is the single biggest factor that helps keep my weight in check.

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    1. Yes, totally agree! After writing this I thought, "I could have written at least three more rules..." We definitely cook from scratch as much as possible, and we don't do any, "sugar free, low calorie... blah blah...." anything in our home. We would much rather eat the real thing than the processed version from the store, but do also bring home cookies and chips on occasion (it's all such a balance!)

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