I love when people ask my mom what I was like as a child.

“She was great if she was well fed and napped.”

Maybe it’s because I have the soul of a world champion eater.

Maybe it’s because I’m wise beyond my years and know how great food is for my body.

Regardless the reason, I love food.

Always have. Always will.

BUT, my love for food hasn’t always been healthy.

If I’m being truthful, it probably wasn’t my love for food that’s had a history of being unhealthy, but more so the love I had for myself.

I’m a high stress person who is incredibly hard on herself, and that doesn’t always correlate to an abundance of self-love.

When I’m stressed and down on myself, the first thing I have a tendency to do is turn to food. It’s there where my love of food makes up for my lack of self-love.

You and I both know that’s not healthy.

I’m not sure when in my life I realized I needed to change that, but I’ve worked tirelessly to improve the love I show for myself and to build awareness about how that influences my love for food.

I am definitely not perfect, and I’m not sure I ever will be, but something I have learned in my journey is just how great food actually is for us. Those are the things I want to share with you today because whether you need more self-love or a deeper love for food, these 8 things can help to improve both.

#1 Food gives you sustenance.

You need food to live.

I think that’s one of those things that we all know, but kind of forget.

However, it’s something I’ve tried to maintain an appreciation for because I literally could not live without it.

Can you imagine not eating?

I get hangry after a few hours and that doesn’t even touch true hunger. I’m incredibly grateful that’s not something I have to worry about.

Before diving down that rabbit hole, you and I need food to live. It nourishes our bodies., provides our muscles with fuel, and offers nutrients to each of our bodily systems.

#2 Food brings people and cultures together.

Food is cultural.

Food is special and unique to all of us

It’s an opportunity to share your heritage and traditions.

Because food is at the root of all survival, sharing it with others is an opportunity to express diversity and share your cultural traditions. It’s one of the most communal and binding events in almost every place in the world.

We learn from our parents or generations before us. It’s an age-old tradition learned by almost everyone. Within our families, it’s an opportunity to carry on a legacy and traditions.

Outside of the family, it’s an opportunity to share culture and learn from those with different backgrounds. Worldwide it’s at the center of family gatherings, business ventures, and deepening of relationships.

The preparation and sharing of meals is a means for pushing us out of our comfort zones to connect with others who hold differences from our own practices and traditions.

#3 Food is an opportunity for connection.

Think about every holiday.

Think about dates.

Think about parties.

Think about get togethers with friends.

What’s the common denominator?

Yes, people.

But also food!

Food is such a social thing. It has been since seemingly the beginning of time. Look around at different cultures and they use food to celebrate, gather, and connect with family members and friends.

We talk, laugh, fight, cry, celebrate, and fall in love over food.

Food is a beautiful opportunity for life-changing connection, yet unfortunately, our fast-paced world has led us to hurry through meals and neglect this opportunity for connection.

Slow down and enjoy the company of the person sitting across from you, be grateful for the room filled with people around you sharing in this meal, and bring food to share and nourish others.

#4 Food encourages travel and experience.

The advancement in this world has allowed cultures to share their traditions and dishes with others around the world, but it’s just not the same…

Spaghetti is different in the U.S. than in Italy.

Tacos aren’t quite the same outside of Latin or Hispanic based countries.

Even within countries and states, we travel to different parts for specific dishes and flavors.

It’s incredible that despite the ease of bringing dishes or foods from across the world into our own homes, we’re still eager to travel to get the authentic version.

As you travel, challenge yourself to try new dishes and experience new foods. Push yourself out of your comfort zone and truly embody the travel experience.

#5 Food can promote relaxation.

Some people just love to be in the kitchen.

The rest of us get stressed out by the idea of cooking a new dish or preparing meals for the entire week.

Food doesn’t need to be stressful. In fact, food and its preparation can be quite relaxing.

If you’re a part of the population that gets stressed by cooking, challenge yourself to think about what this food is doing for your body. Look at each food item and see it for

its nutrients and the fuel it is about to provide for your body.

Keep that in mind as you go through the preparation process. Stay mindful as you wash, cut, and cook each item. Each step or cut is the beginning and addition to something new.

When you’re done preparing, relax and enjoy it. Quit thinking about hurrying up to clean or move onto your next activity. You’ll digest and FEEL better for the remainder of your day.

#6 Food is an art.

Growing up art was one of my hardest classes. Not only was it hard to produce something more than blobs on paper, unless I was copying something, it was hard for me to even CREATE an idea.

I was not blessed with artistic creativity.

Truthfully, I didn’t think I had a creative bone in my body until a few years ago.

A few years ago, I began working at a gym and cleaning up my own diet. That’s where I discovered my creative skills.

If you want to know more about the creative masterpieces I can create in the gym, CLICK HERE and I would love to show you.

When it comes to the kitchen, my creativity showed in my ability to piece together dishes that fit my 5-year old picky eater preferences.

My creativity also came to light in my ability to take some of my favorite dishes and substitute for healthier options.

As I grew more confident, my culinary creativity came to life.

Food is truly an art.

The preparation of each component, the combination of ingredients, and the ability to build an entire dish is truly a masterpiece.

Food doesn’t have to look like the pictures on Instagram or Pinterest to be an art form.

It’s all in how you view the process and see things come together.

It’s an opportunity to let your unique creativity shine.

#7 Food is medicine and promotes recovery.

Way back before we had CVS and Walgreens, we had plants and natural resources to remedy our bodies.

Food is the original medicine.

Food provides us with the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients we need to maintain or restore our health.

During my time in graduate school, I learned a lot about the different natural food sources that can help our bodies stay healthy.

Food offers more natural, readily used resources than any drug or supplement can offer.

It has the potential to fight off diseases, strengthen your defense, and repair from damage in a more natural and friendly way.

Allow your food to do the work by taking in nutrient-dense foods and not only will you find yourself stopping at the drug store less but you’ll find yourself living a healthier lifestyle overall.

#8 Food makes us happy.

When you use food in all the ways listed above, food provides more than health and wellness. It provides joy and happiness.

Food nourishes us and gives us life. That’s something to celebrate.

Food brings people from the same and different cultures together for connection. It gives us the relationships we need to find joy in life.

Food takes us to places on a state, national, and global level. It gives us experience, makes us well-rounded, and teaches us new things.

Food is an opportunity to express your creativity and emotions. Regardless the emotion, it’s an opportunity to express yourself and move to a place of peace and good standing with your emotions.

Food repairs and relaxes the body.

Food is life-changing for so many reasons that it’s something worth loving. Love your relationship with food, appreciate what it does for you, and utilize it to help you live as the happiest and healthiest version of yourself.

About The Author

Jordan Davies is the Co-Owner of Complete Performance. Jordan has her B.S. in Exercise Science and Psychology, and her M.A. in Holistic Health Studies. She is a CSCS certified strength and conditioning coach, and a PN-1 and NCI-1 certified nutrition coach. She loves to study how the human body needs to be moved and nourished and making that fit to your unique lifestyle. Click Here Now to Apply for Coaching with Jordan.