The two beautiful women behind the page @moodfooddiary have shared their own stories and connection with food & nutrition. #yourstory
We really enjoy and relate to a lot of what @allthingswomanshare stands for, so when she asked us to write a guest blog post about food and wellbeing we both jumped at the chance to share our thoughts. Food and wellbeing go hand in hand for us both. We discussed this and we both agree on most things relating to this topic however, our journeys are different, so here’s an insight into each of them.
So many people are guilty of using food as a measure to punish themselves with.
What I mean by this is we use food to comfort ourselves, but we also use it as a measure of how we feel and look. We live in a world full of calorie counting, various diets, fasting and regimes. We’ve begun to plan our meals dependent on the way we want to look – we’re all guilty of it i.e. “I need to fit into a dress for a wedding and I can only do it if I eat less!”
We should be using food to nourish our bodies and for it to make you feel better is so much more important than what it looks like on a plate and so much more important than needing to lose weight for that dress!
Personally, I used to struggle with the fact that I was “too skinny” – I saw a dietician, I was given supplements, told to eat full fat foods. Not once did anyone say it’s ok to be the way you are. I’ve loved food my whole life, I’d say I have a good relationship with it – but others will judge me for how much I eat (I have a big appetite) I was constantly told how “lucky” I was to not put weight on but eat so much! I didn’t feel very lucky, I was made to feel like I shouldn’t be eating as much as I want – really not justified is it?
First step to feeling better about food – don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for what you eat, how much you eat, why you want to eat what you eat. If your body wants it, serve it…
Feed your soul and body for what it wants and needs. Have a balanced diet and indulge when you want to! Exercise is important, but this doesn’t mean run to the gym every time you eat a cupcake.
I love exercise- yoga, strength etc. Cardio is not my fave but when I get started I LOVE it. I don’t do it because I need to lose the calories I ingested. I do it because my body feels better for it.
Recognise what works for you ! It’s so important to understand how your body feels and reacts to food – not to peoples comments! I know I can’t eat fried food much, it causes awful stomach pains which then results in a lower mood. It’s important to understand how your physical feelings can affect your wellbeing too! I know to moderate the amount I eat. I maintain the fact that I was craving something and served myself the delight of being able to have some, but I also know too much of anything will go too much the other way! I don’t want to be in pain which results in moodiness because I can’t enjoy what I want!
I recently completed a food and nutrition course which aids me when planning meals – i would really recommend it!
Education is so important! People’s comments can make you feel guilty and lousy but education can empower you and give you the strength to do what’s right for your mind body and soul!
For me, feeling healthy both physically and mentally rely heavily on food and exercise. There are lots of other factors of course; home life, work, family etc but healthy eating and exercise specifically are things only I have control of. Some people might see that as quite a daunting fact, and it is however, it’s how you view and manage it that makes the real difference.
I’ve become more conscious of this the older I’ve become and it’s because I’m becoming more and more aware of how different foods and habits make me feel (hence Mood Food). There are so many diets and an incredible amount of advice out there, so it can be overwhelming, especially when much of it is conflicting!
Knowing what works for you and realising that these diets aren’t a ‘one size fits all’ fix is so important. Don’t get me wrong I’m definitely no expert (have you seen my cookie obsession lately?) but I have been through my own journey, (still going actually) of changing my lifestyle when it comes to healthy eating and exercise. For me this is the only way to incorporate it into my life rather than a crazy diet that’s not sustainable. That doesn’t mean you have to become a gym lover, because just like food not everyone is going to enjoy that. Find what you enjoy and build on that, I love walking and recently lots of YouTube workout videos.
The best advice I can give is not to quit, if you feel like you’ve had a ‘bad food day’ enjoy it for what it was and then get back on track. Throw away the scales and take progress pictures instead or keep that dress that’s a little tight and use that as motivation. The most important of all is that your journey is going to look different to everyone else’s, so don’t get hung up on the fact that Sandra lost more than you in the weigh in this week because we’re all different, do it in your own way, at your own pace and feel good while doing it!
Neither of us are experts in food, life or even have everything together all the time, but we’re always able to self-reflect and adjust our habits; and mindset if something isn’t making you happy. It’s not easy but if you’re willing to put the time in, you’d be surprised at how much you can do for yourself. We love food and we’ll never stop being passionate about it because it makes us happy and ultimately, that’s the main goal…right?