Eat food to nourish your body most of the time.

Eat food for pleasure some of the time.

Enjoy everything you eat all of the time, in order to live a happy, healthy lifestyle.

Enjoy Your Food

Rule number two for living a happy, healhty lifestyle is to eat food to nourish your body most of the time, eat food for pleasure some of the time, enjoy everything you eat all of the time.

I spent so many years trying to stick to diets of foods I didn’t enjoy as well as eating foods I thought I enjoyed but were actually making me feel awful– physically, mentally, and/or emotionally. Now that I practice rule number 2 for living a happy, healthy lifestyle, I am able to enjoy ALL of the food I eat, all of the time.

The body has five basic needs in order to survive, food being one of them. Food is not something to fear, food is necessary, and food should be enjoyed as part of your happy, healthy, I’mperfect Life lifestyle!

When we think about enjoying our food, we tend to think only about taste, but there’s more to enjoying food than just liking the way it affects our taste buds.

While part of enjoying the foods we eat should definitely include enjoying the way it tastes, another aspect of true enjoyment comes from how the foods we eat make us feel—physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Enjoying food physically:

Food should taste good. Eating foods that don’t taste good just because they are “healthy” will only set you up for feelings of deprivation. Deprivation causes cravings, and often binge eating foods we’re trying to avoid in the first place—which can lead to feelings of failure.

If you don’t like peppers, don’t make yourself eat peppers. If you do like broccoli, eat broccoli. Don’t like fish, pork chops, kale or bananas? Don’t try to make yourself eat them just for the sake of eating them. Stick to the foods you actually like. (Don’t tell my husband I said any of this!)

Food should provide energy, allowing you to participate in life. Part of enjoying food physically, is to make sure that you’re eating foods that don’t leave you feeling bloated or lethargic.

Food should be eaten in a way that doesn’t make you feel sick, stuffed, or uncomfortable. Eating to the point of discomfort is not part of truly enjoying food. Push the food away when you are satisfied and walk away knowing you had a great meal.

Enjoying food mentally:

Eating food should provide a sense of pride in knowing that you made a decision to fuel your body– even when the foods are less nutrient-dense and are more for pure pleasure, like cheesecake! Do so mindfully, staying present, thoroughly enjoying every bite, knowing that you are in control. Eating mindlessly, scarfing it down while distracted, or hiding food out of shame, does not qualify as enjoying your food.

Enjoying food emotionally:

When food choices cause feelings of guilt, shame, and remorse we are not enjoying what we eat. Like I said above, eating cheesecake is totally fine, but part of eating it is doing so without guilt, shame, or remorse.

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Sometimes we make impulsive decisions to eat foods that we don’t actually enjoy whether it’s mindlessly, out of habit, or as an emotional response to a situation, but that doesn’t mean we should allow ourselves to feel guilty, shameful, or remorseful. In fact, there’s still time to enjoy that impulse by practicing rule number one for living a happy, healthy, I’mperfect Life…

Always forgive yourself when you don’t meet your expectations.

Although we live crazy busy hectic lives, try to do your best to make eating an experience whether you’re enjoying food with friends and family or enjoying food alone. Look at your food, smell it, taste it, and savor it, whether it’s a crispy salad, decadent piece of chocolate cake, a perfectly grilled chicken breast, a greasy slice of pizza or a handful of BBQ chips. When we take the time to experience the joy in the foods we eat, we have the potential to change our lives.

Follow all the rules for living a happy, healthy I’mperfect Life: The Rules