I have officially begun mourning the summer months. I absolutely adore the summertime and the activities in the warm sun, the fresh flavors and icy treats, and the feeling of freedom. Even though I’m not in school anymore, I still feel a little lighter and freer from May until August. That being said, this summer felt hotter than most and I’m happy to say goodbye to that.
One of my very favorite meals/snacks in the summertime is acai. I love the variety of textures, flavors, and the aesthetic. Acai bowls are beautiful! I’ve spent too much money this summer at my new favorite acai place partially because it’s so delicious and satisfying and partially because I love the way it looks. It genuinely feels FUN to see the creativity involved in choosing each element of the acai bowl. I know I’m starting to sound a little obsessive, but it genuinely brings me a little jolt of happiness every. single. time.
Lately, I’ve been experimenting at home with creating my own acai bowls. It has been so fun to combine different elements and take time to craft the perfect meal or snack. It’s not just about the taste of the food (although they wouldn’t have the same impact if they weren’t delicious). It’s about the creativity, pleasure, and fun involved in creating the food as well. It’s about sitting down to eat and getting a little rush of excitement.
With many of my clients we talk about the purpose of food. When stuck in disordered eating and diet culture patterns, food is often a means to an end. However, when we are able to break out of that diet mentality, the purpose of food shifts dramatically. Sometimes the purpose of food for me is energy, like that midday snack or eating a nice breakfast before taking a test. Sometimes the purpose of food for me is creativity, like when I experiment with new recipes or perfectly plate a meal. Sometimes the purpose of food is connection, like sharing a holiday meal together or making an old family recipe.
Diet culture tells us that food serves one purpose: to give us control of what our bodies look like. To start, this isn’t accurate, but it also keeps us from experiencing the joy that connecting to our bodies through our enjoyment of food can have. That’s something I am not willing to miss out on. The freedom that comes from putting in the hard work of challenging disordered thoughts about food is absolutely worth it!
So, although kind of a silly way to discuss this topic, as I was enjoying my work of art/breakfast/acai, I felt myself really wanting my clients, family member, friends, etc. who struggle to enjoy food to feel the creativity, calm, and contentment that come from having food freedom. So, if you’re in the thick of things right now and struggling, keep with it!
What are some of the main purposes of food for you? How do you lean into these purposes and reject the diet mentality? How does food having many different purposes keep you grounded?
In case you’re interested, my bowls typically include: acai base, pitaya base, peanut butter granola, yogurt, a few variations of fruit, chocolate peanut butter, homemade chia pudding, and honey. Are you drooling yet? 🙂