Castlewood Eating Disorder Treatment Center Blog

Tuesdays With Tammy: Balancing Nourishment and Pleasure

At Castlewood, we believe that balancing nourishment and pleasure respects both health and taste. Respecting your health embraces fueling the body with a variety of food that provides carbohydrate energy, protein building blocks, and foundation fats. Respecting your taste embraces enjoyment of food as equally valuable and important. Perfection is not necessary or required to respect your health and nourish your body because our bodies have an amazing capability of balancing. Example: If we do not put enough water from the outside in, our body will balance by holding more fluids from the inside out.  Another example: If we eat more cholesterol from the outside in, our body will balance by making less cholesterol from the inside out. The goal of balance is achieved over time within all our body’s metabolic systems.  Likewise, the goal of balance from the foods we choose is achieved over time, not in a single meal or snack. Balancing nourishment and pleasure gives both health and taste a welcomed place at the table. Pleasure can be discovered in both choices of warm brownies just out of the oven or fresh-picked strawberries just picked from the field, and nourishment can be discovered in both crispy vegetables dipped in homemade hummus or tortilla chips dipped in hot cheese sauce at the ballpark. Meal planning is not either/or – it is learning to honor your body with balanced fuel choices as you simultaneously honor your mind with freedom to enjoy all foods without judgment or shame. At Castlewood, our ultimate goal for you in recovery is to eat intuitively based on your ability to recognize and trust your body’s hunger and fullness signals. However, in the early stages of recovery, this is very difficult. Science tells us that an eating disorder distorts and confuses the brain and gut’s ability to communicate, limiting and even temporarily shutting down your body’s ability to accurately read hunger and fullness. As your brain and gut heal during recovery, your body can relearn how to communicate clearly, but this takes time, patience and consistency.
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