Your Excuse to Eat Whatever You Want

This is your excuse to eat the chocolate covered whatever. 

What if it were healthy to eat chocolate covered peanut butter pretzels? 

When I worked for an eating disorder treatment center, this was a no-brainer. The sickest patients needed to eat.  

The staff encouraged clients to eat caloric snacks and presented them with "fear foods." These "fear foods" included cookie butter, oreos, and chocolate covered peanut butter pretzels. 

These women NEEDED these snacks. 

They needed them because they needed something with lots of protein and fat. They needed them because they needed the calories. They needed them because they needed to have a neutral relationship with food. 

At the eating disorder treatment center, the dietitians often used nutrition to support this. For example, we might explain to a patient that ice cream has calcium.  Butter, too, has some nutritional benefits. 

Food serves several roles in our lives. 

We need nutrients to survive. Protein and fat are two critical macro nutrients. Macro is Greek for large. In other words, it means they are a large part of nutrients we need. (cite sources). 

Calories give our bodies the fuel it needs to do its thing. Calories are just a measure of energy. (cite source). 

We need to feel normal around food. Feeling crazy around food is asking for trouble. We eat food three times a day at least. Would you think it's healthy to feel crazy three times every day? 

We need to eat to re-connect. This is where I get all weird and religious. Going to church as a kid and eating transubstantiated Jesus was about "communion." It's about getting together with your neighbors, hanging out and eating. This can be a spiritual practice if that word doesn't freak you out or it can be social or emotional.

Dieting and eating disorders isolate people. They make it harder to cook a meal for everyone. They make it harder for everyone to eat together. 

 Try to remember that food is something you're supposed to eat. 

I remember when I was a kid, I used to just think all foods were healthy and good for me. I never worried that food was poisoning me. 

My goal as a coach is to make you feel that way again. I want to make you feel like you are safe and able to eat without fear.  

Before you jump in with your rebuttal, I know we live in a post Michael Pollan world. We can't run around and believe that we will get our daily value of magnesium from 24 oz Coke products. But, I think we can find something valuable from anything we might choose to consume. 

Is there any food that you're afraid of? Write it down in the comments. I've got my college nutrition book out and my thinking cap on. I will respond to everything with a reason why it might be healthy to eat it. Extra credit if you have your own reason.

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