A Dietitian's Take on Building a Joyous and Peaceful Relationship with Food

With social media being more saturated than ever with false information, or fear mongering posts around food and nutrition, we believe that there is high importance in combatting this information with valuable, fact-focused content that promote a more balanced and joyous relationship with food, whilst instilling the importance of nutrition.   

 

At Kurami, not only are our nutritiously delicious meals nutritionist-approved, all of our food-related content also undergoes approval by our nutritionist, to ensure that we are providing our audiences with positive, evidence-backed posts that encourage a balanced view on food. This holds great importance to us, as food is such an important part of all of our lives, therefore maintaining a peaceful relationship with food is something that everyone should be practicing. 

 

We are grateful to have had the lovely Isabelle Fry, registered dietitian, join us on an Instagram Live with our social media manager, Stefanie, to discuss the importance of building a joyous and peaceful relationship with food. Isabelle, otherwise known as Positive Mindset Dietitian on Instagram, was able to beautifully discuss her passion for food and nutrition, why advocating against the restriction of foods is important for our wellbeing, and how we can avoid the common restrictive habits that she sees in order to build a joyous and peaceful relationship with food.

 

Stef (S): We love the content that you post, Isabelle! You are a dietitian, what initially drew you in to pursue this profession?


When the time came to choosing my studies, I knew that I loved science and I was fascinated by the human body, and I knew that I had always wanted to evolve into the medical scene. I also had a love for food, especially as I grew up in a food-loving family. I am really glad that I chose to go down the dietetic root, and I love what I do. I have worked for the NHS for many years in various settings, and at the end of last year I decided to go fully freelance.



S: What is it about nutrition and dietetics that you are most passionate about?


I am passionate about food. Food is a source of pleasure, a source of fuel, and a source of nutrients. It is important that we see food in these three ways rather than just focusing on one of these aspects, as when we solely focus on only one of these aspects is when our relationship with food starts to deteriorate. It is so important to have a balanced view of food. 


Also, I love the fact that by making changes to ones diet you can really optimise your health, manage certain symptoms, and achieve certain health goals.

 
S: At Kurami, we provide nutritionist-approved meals and content! Do you believe that this should be something that more food-focused businesses should be practicing?

Absolutely, it is fantastic. Kurami’s meal options look absolutely mouth-watering. It is so valuable that all of your meals are registered nutritionist-approved, and your nutritionist provides help in making sure all aspects of food are included; the pleasure aspect, the nutrition aspect, and the fuel aspect. It would be amazing if all food businesses had a registered nutritionist to help in ensuring that their food not only tastes good, but it also provides the nourishment that everyone needs.


S: You regularly discuss food restriction on your account, and how to break out of it. We love that! Why is this topic something that you choose to focus on? 


I do talk a lot about it and I am really passionate about this topic! When you focus on the restriction of certain foods, it is not a good way to optimise your health. Rather than looking at taking foods out, you should instead be looking toward introducing more of the nourishing food into your diet. 


Restriction can often be the cause to an unhealthy relationship with food. More often than not, with restriction, you can begin to feel guilt when consuming foods, leading into a guilt-despair cycle. Food is such an integral part of our wellbeing and our health, therefore we need to promote building a healthy relationship with food as much as possible to avoid this. 


S: What are the most common restrictive habits with food that you notice as a nutritionist, both online and through your work? 


A quite common habit that I have seen is the restriction of carbohydrates. From what I have seen and the impact that it has, it can promote constipation due to the restriction of whole grains and fibre, and cause low energy levels leading to the need for high sugar foods to increase these energy levels. These foods can then peak your sugar levels, leading to a rapid crash, resulting in craving even more high sugar foods. It is important that we are consuming balanced meals that include complex carbohydrates, protein, and fats to improve our blood sugar level controls.


There is also the avoidance of certain foods that people feel are unhealthy perhaps such as gluten or dairy. There are definitely people who suffer with intolerances, however avoiding these foods can become unhealthy when they are avoided with no real reason behind it. 


And lastly, of course, is the total avoidance of fun foods! Again, that leads to the craving of these foods, and it goes straight back to the binge and despair cycle.


S: What are a few of the major causing factors of these habits? 


I think that the media has got a big role to play in it, and also that we are born into a world where there are constant conflicting opinions. 
The main causes that I see at the moment are scare mongering online. That is why me and other dieticians work to debunk these myths and instead promote science-based information, as there is so much false information out there.


S: At Kurami, we deliver chef-crafted, nutritionist-approved meals to doors around London! Would you say that balanced meal services like ours can work as an option to release stressful thoughts around food? 


Absolutely! For people who are time poor, or for people who do not enjoy cooking their meals, it is really valuable. There is a huge value in the service that you offer in reducing stress around food choices.


S: How can we collectively break away from a restrictive mindset, and rebuild a positive relationship with food? 


This is one of my missions on a daily basis! The first thing that I would encourage people to do is to stop looking at food as good or bad, and to remove those labels that might instigate shame or stress or guilt. Additionally, I would encourage people to avoid cutting out certain food groups; all food groups are nutritious in one way or another. 


S: What are the top tips that you can share with our followers and customers in building a joyous and peaceful relationship with food? 


Something that is really important is listening to your body and listening to your signals. If you are drinking more water to delay your hunger, or simply avoiding hunger signals, this will only lead you to over compensate later on in the day.  

It is not only important that you listen to your hunger signals, but it is also important to listen to your fullness signals. This can be practiced by eating more slowly, or taking the time to eat more mindfully and appreciating your food. Through doing this, when you are full, you are able to stop eating.

 

Overall, Isabelle’s passion for both food and her career as a dietitian came across so seamlessly in our live. She was able to gracefully champion the importance of building a positively balanced relationship with food, whilst discussing how this is important for our overall wellbeing.

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