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Eating a healthy meal every time hunger reoccurs isn’t easy.  In fact it’s a problem.  Think of the factors that play into what will be eaten next: What is close by?  What ingredients were used?  How was the meal prepared?  Is the choice enjoyable?  Not only are the answers to these questions not easily found but the message behind food’s intent is often times foggy.  With the marketing channels food companies use, hungry people find themselves in crossfire of interference when trying to choose a nourishing meal.  Despite the confusion, some things have gotten easier. “Where to get full” is a dilemma of the past.  With convenience stores and drive thru’s on every major street and snack machines stocked in every office building lobby, eaters can get full with little effort or knowledge.  “How to eat right” seems like a question that’s been conveniently answered for us as well.  Food companies and diet programs claim to have the road map to optimal health.  From paleo, low-carb and low-fat diets to gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan philosophies, (although these concepts each have their merits) it seems there’s a food philosophy for just about anyone.  But the hooks that food and diet companies use have people paying attention to which celebrity is skinny while distancing society further from what’s actually on the lunch plate.  In the midst of finally making a sound food choice, one thing stands clear: there’s a difference between being full and being well-fed.  In the spirit being well-fed, we offer four sustainable philosophies to enjoying your food, building your relationship with food and improving your overall health:

1.       Eat Only The Food You Love.  Forcing a switch from eating foods someone loves to “diet foods” can only distance a person further from their desired state.  As long as the foods you love are nutritious (use common sense for this) you should stick to your gut on this one.  One fast and easy rule for making nutritious choices is to choose food in its natural state and avoid food in cans, boxes, bars and bags. Processed foods will always offer less of what you want and more of what you don’t want.  Dinner plates heavy in vegetables and fruits should always compete for your palate.  The greener the vegetables the better while fruits that don’t grow in the tropics offer the least sugar and the most nutrition, fiber and antioxidants.  In making these choices, opt for variety – eat great foods while eating many different types.  If you’re stuck in “eater’s block” try eating seasonally.  You can easily research which foods grow in each season while changing with the times becomes natural.  Food is an experience to be enjoyed.  From smell, sight, taste and texture, each meal should be enjoyed.  Once your palate adjusts to nutrient-dense meals, the body begins craving foods with the nutritional quality your body needs.  Once this state is obtained, one really can see with their stomach.

2.       Choose Foods With The Very Best Ingredients.   Not all food is created equal.  And to eat well is to eat food raised and grown in the most natural state possible.  One of the best parts of eating for nourishment is to find food suppliers who raise crops and animals with nourishment.  Food is energy you put into your body and no food is better than those coming from plants and animals that were grown and raised with the same philosophy.  When animals are left to forage and roam, they produce the best tasting and most nourishing diary and meat ingredients imaginable.  Chickens raised in pastures with the freedom to peck and eat insects in pasture produce eggs with dark orange, nutrient-dense yolks, firm whites and rich taste.  Beef from a free-range herd produce a steak so strong with natural aroma and a deep taste that can only come from a forging animal with a healthy gut flora and naturally high in omega-3 acids.  Raising animals with the husbandry that allows them to carry out their normal life behaviors and consume a natural diet will always create the best energy sources for people.

3.       Match Portioning with Appetite.  Equally important to the quality of a meal eaten is consistently choosing the right size of your healthy meal.  After fasting or exercise, a larger portion is often warranted.  When eating throughout a day of rest, small portions will nicely suffice without the storage of excess energy in the body.  The key is to consciously select quantities of foods and after routinely practicing your guesswork on matching hunger with portion size, choosing the right size meal becomes second nature.  One necessary skill to master is the 20-minute pause.  When strong hunger pangs set in, select a meal that seems to be the right size for nourishment.  After eating, it’s natural to still feel hungry.  An eater won’t know if his portion guess turned out to be correct for about 20 minutes after the meals is eaten.  Only after this pause does the brain recognize the body has been nourished and equilibrium is restored replacing the deficient feeling of malnourishment.  Begin to manage this hungry-full mirage and become a master of controlling portions.  Over time this self-awareness empowers almost anyone to control their body weight in a consciously-aware and sustainable fashion.

5.       Get help where needed. Consistently eating healthy, properly-portioned meals can be a challenge.  If you do your own cooking, set aside blocks of time each week to prepare larger amounts of healthy ingredients to be used throughout the week to build healthy meals.  For many people with busy lives and high health priorities, enlisting the help of meal delivery service or a cook can be essential.  If you have help from a personal chef or a meal delivery service, be sure to give direction and order meals that make sense for your nutritional profile and appetite.  

4.       See a specialist for individual conditions.  Many people have specific dietary needs.  We can discover these personal conditions about ourselves instantly from allergic or digestive reactions or other ways our bodies signal to us what we must consume and avoid.  When we see any hints of our bodies telling us about a condition, it’s best to seek the guidance of a specialist.  After the condition is identified, it’s best to continue the practices of proper nourishment while knowing the condition will cause detours.  Special requirements and deficiencies in dietary needs should never stop a person from pursuing their healthiest body and most enjoyable food experiences.

Every meal presents a choice – an opportunity to better your health.  With each chance to try new foods comes more awareness about the enjoyment food can bring.  Building a relationship with food and knowing how to nourish your body is a practice that can be used to create a foundation of sound health forever.  Continue to understand your likes and keep refining your palate.  Once a connection is developed between quality food and feeling good, finding your way to nourishing meals through society’s misnomers and food confusion will no longer be a challenge.

© 2012 The Foodery.  Each healthy meal produced at The Foodery is balanced between quality, enjoyment and nourishment.  Meals are crafted with sustainably-raised, organic ingredients and calorie-controlled for convenient portioning.  Please visit our website to read more about the company’s Quality Standards for each meal.