What is your food-style?
You have so many choices everyday when it comes to which foods goes on your table. You choose brands, resources and sources, both local or not. You can have an opinion about foods you like and don’t like. You can have a conviction about how and what to eat and not. Essentially your choices add up and become your food style. Some choose to be vegan, some choose to eat fish, some raw and some choose to eat it all…meaning meat, fish, egg, dairy, bread, grain, legumes, vegetables…and dessert. Did I forget anything?
The point here is not that you have to fit into anything. We tend to ask…”are you a…”? and then some food choice category follows. How you eat has to work for you it does not have to be called something! Too often we feel judged by our choices and with that we might feel like we have to fit into a group of preference. And you might also recognize that you judge others…?
There is something about eating the same foods that create a bond between eaters, even if rather invisible. The social aspect of sharing a meal tends to become “eat what I eat and we can have fun together”.
For many people with food intolerances or simply just preferences, an illness or condition that means they have to be mindful of in their choices, it can be very difficult to be social. Allergies tend to be easy. People are afraid you are going to end up choking by the table or rushing off to the hospital, so they tend to respect that. I often hear from clients that they have a hard time “sticking to their diet” because of being social. This of course is both because of the desires being triggered when something is in front of us that we would actually love to eat, but it is also the social pressure. Like “taste this” or “why are you not eating that”. I have even heard the…”what is wrong with you” question being asked at dinner tables.
There is nothing more discouraging than being questioned for what you eat, especially if you are already struggling with wanting to eat a certain way and making the changes are still challenging. Some find it even shameful that they are saying no to certain foods. But consider this; if it were a preference based on a choice you have made because it is something you believe in… trust me… the conversation at the dinner table takes a completely different turn. Speak to a vegan about why they will not eat meat for example. So there are two situations here, one is about how you make choices and why. This is one of the big topics in the online program, which help make those more clear but also help shift the self-talk and the perspective that often gets us stuck in old habits.
The other point is to bring some open-mindedness and curiosity to the table next time you share a meal with someone. Let them choose to eat what they want to eat… and ask them to do the same for you. Let’s face it… we all want to be accepted and acknowledge, and what is on the table can be a nice lesson in that.