Sunday, November 7, 2010

Should Eating Be Fun?

Vegan German Chocolate Cupcakes from

Last week I published a new ad to local email lists.  I personally thought the ad was a brilliant bit of copy-writing.  In the ad I used my delicious wit to describe my view of a healthy food as more than just the sum of it's calories, points, and macro-nutrients, but rather one that gives us pleasure on many levels.  I said that sometimes even mom's apple pie might be the healthiest thing in the world if it's made for you with love and enjoyed by you with happiness and free of guilt.

The ad totally tanked.  I didn't get even one click.

It got me thinking about how often I feel like I'm fighting an uphill battle:

  • I tell clients to stop dieting and start learning to eat and they tell me I'm nuts.

  • I say "Here are the keys to diet jail, free yourselves!"and they toss the keys back and lock themselves back in.

  • I tell new clients, let's ADD IN healthy foods before we even think about taking away the unhealthy ones.  They say "That's too easy, that will never work." and don't even give it a try.

  • I teach simple, doable sustainable changes, but some folks want the hardest strictest meal plan they can cling to until their white knuckles get numb and they fall into the sugar bowl.


OK, so if you don't want to listen to me, here are the words of a few of my clients who are un-dieting their way to permanent, sustainable weight loss:

"Dear Emily, 
I don't know where to begin.  You have taught me to listen to my body.  You have guided me towards healthful habits and smarter choices.  I feel as if I have a renewed lease on life.  I feel great and I am full of energy.  And it is fun to learn how to put different ingredients together to create a meal. I have to admit I never understood how food effects the body.  I guess I didn't want to know.  But it really does - you are what you eat!  Saying thank you isn't enough but I'm saying it anyway.  Words cannot express how much you have helped me and how you helped me to help myself.  I am so grateful for your wisdom, knowledge and kindness."                   -Anne G.

"Working with you, Emily, has been about the positive things, not deprivation.  I enjoy fresh healthy food more since meeting you and I feel better.  I see that this endlessly rich palette of food and the new recipes you have provided add freshness and excitement.  Most importantly, I reclaimed myself as a priority though this lesson about food which is really about so much more.  My life is better for having met you."  - Susan M.

(Both of those ladies have lost significant amounts of weight by the way).

Food is Fun.  Eating is a Pleasure.  There is no reason why losing weight and keeping it off should mean 100% abstention from your favorite foods for ever and ever.  Who can do that?  I certainly won't!
Cinnamon-Sesame Oats & Chai with Rice Milk

But healthy food is also fun and eating in moderation and for hunger, rather than for emotional reasons, is an even greater pleasure.  Getting appropriate physical exercise is one of the greatest pleasures of all!

BBQ Lentils & Eggplant and yes, that's a piece of challah and yes I ate it

Please don't think it's all or nothing - It's balance.

Please believe that you can make the simple changes that will greatly improve the quality of your life. - You can.

Please make peace with food. - It's not the enemy.

Please make peace with yourself. - It's not worth all this struggle and pain.

Macaroni with Garlic, Peas, Chickpeas, Sun Dried Tomatoes & Rosemary
No recipe there, just saute all in olive oil and toss together.  (It's gold because of the sunset)

1 comment:

  1. It's been three days since you last blogged. I'm starting to have withdrawals!