Food Rules: The Origin of Our Relationship with Food

She is a powerful leader and passionate advocate for building nourishing new narratives for us, that don’t include depriving ourselves of the cultural foods we grew up eating. She’s been featured and quoted in Well+Good, NY Times, and Harvard’s TH Chan School of Public Health Podcast. Check out her work and learn more here.

Food Rules: The Origin of Our Relationship with Food

One of the best ways to start understanding your relationship with food is to go back to the beginning, back to the first food rule you can remember.

Eating is often a social experience. It’s something we often do with other people, particularly during our formative years. From a young age, in our most impressionable years, we learn not just how to eat but also what to eat. Additionally, we develop an understanding of how to think about the food we consume. As we grow, we adopt “food rules” and opinions from influential figures like parents, teachers, friends, and family members. We trust them; consequently, their guidance on how to eat profoundly influences us.

Food and people

By becoming aware of this association between food and people – and asking how these early experiences with food and food rules have shaped what you eat – you can become more aware of the impact this first food rule has on many, if not all, of the decisions you make around what to eat.

Feeling compelled to finish your plate may lead to guilt if you don’t consume everything. This may occur even when it involves overriding your body’s cues and signals of fullness.

Alternatively, prioritize consuming greens and veggies before enjoying the rest of your meal. You might associate this practice with your body feeling better or feeling more positive about your body.

Getting in touch with this food rule is very powerful. It gives you an opportunity for discernment, for choice. It gives you an opportunity for freedom. You can now consciously decide if you want to let this food rule influence how you eat. This is foundational to the mindset shifts you’ll explore throughout your time in Way, and that’s why it’s the very first session in Way.

To read more about foods rules and how they differ from food preferences, check out this Blog Post from Street Smart Nutrition.