In the U.S. obesity, health issues, and poor eating habits are an ongoing problem. Elegant eating isn’t really prioritized. It’s no secret that many Americans have an unhealthy relationship with food and don’t eat well. There are many reasons for this, busy schedules and post inflation prices to name a few.
As easy is it is to make excuses for the poor eating habits, why not change them?
If you read my blog and emails regularly, you may have heard me say that becoming an elegant woman came with many ‘side effects‘ that I never thought about before.
Changing my diet & my relationship to food was one of them.
I was raised on junk food. In the 90’s, fast food was the hottest thing on the planet and that’s where I spent a lot of time as a kid.
I consumed a lot of snacks, ramen, and soda as a child and I was never properly educated on the way food works.
When I ate vegetables, it was because I was forced to eat them. I remember crying at the table because I simply didn’t like the texture or taste of certain vegetables, but of course I wasn’t allowed leave the table until my plate was clean.
This was very common for 90’s parents. Their approach to eating was ‘eat what I make for you or starve’
These habits carried into my adult life because I simply continued living the way I was raised.
I didn’t start cooking from scratch until my late 20’s. That was when I started leveling up my life and became obsessed with homemaking, slow living, and cooking beautiful meals for my family.
I’ve been working non stop to change my relationship to food and I’ve learned a lot. Get cozy, because I’m going to share my tips on how to change your relationship to food and eat like a goddess.
What is elegant eating?
Elegant eating has little to do with table manners and proper etiquette. It has everything to do with eating to nourish your body and promote good health.
Elegant eating is being respectful to you body by eating things that will give your energy, make you feel good, but also taste incredible.
It’s about mindfulness, and creating a beautiful dining experience as well.
Most importantly, elegant eating is about creating a healthy and beautiful relationship to food.
What not to do…don’t make this elegant eating mistake
Do NOT start a diet, or search the internet for healthy recipes.
When I made the decision to start eating better, I did what everyone else would do. I turned to the internet.
I found myself trapped in endless rabbit holes about dieting and healthy. Keto, Paleo, cleansing, fasting, etc. Then I searched pinterest for ‘healthy meal ideas’
I was frustrated when the meal ideas that were suggested didn’t look appetizing to me at all. I knew there was no way that I would realistically eat these meals.
One thing I wasn’t going to do was to start eating foods that I didn’t like just to say I’m eating healthier. I enjoy food because of the flavors, and I wasn’t willing to let that go.
I ended up trying a couple of recipes that I found on pinterest.
I went to the grocery store, purchased all of the ingredients, tried the food and I absolutely hated it.
This happened several times before I got tired of wasting money, time, and food.
I gave up on elegant eating for a while after this. I didn’t really know what to do if I wasn’t liking the healthy food suggestions that I found online.
What to do instead… Eat your way around the world.
Think of this as a journey. A goal that will take time to accomplish, because the way I changed my relationship with food took a long time, but I’m happy I did it this way.
It started off as a way for my friends and I to spend time together over the winter without running out of places to go.
We decided to try a different cuisine once per month.
What started out as something to give us some time away from home quickly turned into an important part of my food journey. Luckily, I live in a town with so many different types of cuisines and we had plenty of options.
So far we’ve tried
- Authentic Mexican
There are probably some that I’m forgetting, but we’ve tried a lot of food together.
We also each order different dishes and appetizers and then we share everything so we all get to taste a variety of foods.
This is very affordable since we are all paying for just ourselves but getting to try it all.
Trying different kinds of food has helped me step outside my comfort zone and I’ve discovered unbelievably delicious foods.
Growing up, I only ate American food. I don’t really know why my parents didn’t eat other types of foods, but I never tried other restaurants so all of these foods were new to me.
Trying a variety of new foods has inspired me to learn to cook these recipes at home so that I can incorporate them into my daily life.
Eat less processed foods.
Perhaps the most difficult part of changing your eating habits is trying to not eat processed foods. It seems like everything is processed these days, so I’ve been working hard to make more things from scratch.
The challenge is that when you make fresh foods, you have to eat them before they go bad so they don’t go to waste. Often times they can’t be reheated as easily as processed foods can, and they simply take longer to prepare.
One of the first meals that I tried to make from scratch was shrimp ravioli.
I made it all from scratch, even the pasta. The first time I made it, I was cooking for 2 and a half hours just for my family to eat it in 10 minutes.
It was delicious, it was fresh, but it was a lot of work.
My girls and I made proper ramen bowls last week…it took us an hour and 25 minutes. It tasted so good, but it took us a very long time to make it.
Sometimes I love spending time in the kitchen with a good playlist or audiobook making something tasty and healthy, but other times I simply do not have the time for it.
Changing your relationship to food means understanding that real, fresh meals may take a while to prepare. Cooking is an art an it’s a lot of fun.
Try fancy restaurants.
This is something that I recommend for women who are trying to level up their life, regardless if they are working on their diet or not.
Typically though, fancy restaurants serve better quality foods. You can try farm to table restaurants and places where dishes are made in house rather than restaurants that just heat up pre-prepared foods.
You will pay more money, but you will get a taste of fresh foods.
One of my favorite fancier restaurants is a fondue chain restaurant called The Melting Pot. The food is delicious and the prices aren’t out of control. You can get a 4 course meal for a little less than $50 per person.
You cook the entrée yourself and It’s a lot of fun. I recommend looking it up on social media because there are a lot of videos that take you through the experience.
Get a food app
Food apps can be tricky. I’ve download and deleted them multiple times. I struggled with constantly tracking meals and snacks.
I also didn’t want to pay for an app that I knew I wasn’t going to use properly. For the longest time I went without any kind of food app.
Then one day I got to thinking…
I have an app for pretty much every other aspect of my life. Why don’t I have one to help with diet and nutrition?
That is when I decided to download Foodvisor. This is not sponsored, but I have come to love Foodvisor. I love this app because I can add meals and it gives me smiley faces that tell me if I’m eating well or not. Green means good, orange, and red (which means I could be doing better).
Here’s what my app looks like
I love how the app rates my meals and gives me motivation to be in the green for the whole day. I can also track my workouts and other things as well.
This app has been a fantastic tool for helping me change my eating habits for good. At $20 per month, it doesn’t come cheap. But health is wealth and right now I’m making health my top priority.
Eat less junk food.
Salt and sugar aren’t the best for our bodies, but many foods we consume are high in sodium or high in sugar. Taking some time to try and reduce your salt and sugar intake is a great way to start eating like an elegant woman.
Most junk food is high in fat, sugar and salt. It’s not good for our bodies and eating too much junk food is not elegant. Even the healthiest people have cheat days from time to time, so don’t cut those things completely. Everyone deserves a little cake now and then.
The bottom line
Trying new foods, limiting junk foods and being mindful of what you put in your body is the best way to eat like an elegant woman. I heard a quote that I resonated with me. “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.