You’d think food-gawking would be taboo but food shaming is going strong. I’ve been sensitive to it since I was a young girl when my dad would say things like – are you sure you want to eat that?
He was referring to anything on my plate that wasn’t “dietetic” (a made up word with made up foods to protect you from fat). My dad believed the most important virtue in life was to be thin & beautiful. Add this to a child-born battle with weight and you get some crazy food rules.
In a nut shell, the rules in my house were:
- fat is the enemy
- red meat will kill ya
- you only deserve to eat if you’ve exercised hard
- fish is the only food to eat guilt free (that and crackers & jelly??)
- sorbet is a pass, ice cream is NOT
- and fat is BAD (mentioned twice for emphasis)
Today at my local health food store’s Oatmeal Bar, I wasn’t ashamed of being seen with oatmeal (Paleo peeps don’t scare me). I wasn’t afraid to fill my cup to the brim (I don’t hide my portion sizes). What I didn’t want anyone to see was… how much butter (FAT) I put in my oatmeal.
The fear of FAT is steeped in our psyche.
And although I’ve healed most of my fat shame – FAT saved me from incessant food cravings, anxiety & depression, roller coaster hormones and a boring diet – my fear is what other people will think of how much fat I eat. Being a “nutritionist,” I don’t want to scare people away!
Are you judging the fat on YOUR plate?
Luckily, the door’s been opened by the media for a more fat-friendly relationship. But, won’t fat kill ya? And, WILL THE FAT YOU EAT MAKE YOU FAT?
No! I have to shout because this is important.
Fat is your friend. Fat from pasture-raised animals not given antibiotics, growth hormones or toxic waste is a “superfood.” It’s also a macro-nutrient, which means you MUST consume it (you’re body doesn’t produce it) in order to supply your body proper nutrition required for LIFE.
Weight gain is caused by undernourished hormones, stress & insomnia and DIETING. The fat on your body is NOT caused by the fat you eat.
Fat is a digestive aid! It helps break down carbohydrates. Why do you think the French love their fatty sauces? Because in most cultures, meals are designed for digestibility. Fat, like fermented food, is intentionally included because they’re both high in enzymes which break down carbohydrates so your body can assimilate nutrition with ease.
Like bread was designed for butter, chicken breasts were designed to eat with chicken skin (the tasty stuff)!
If you’ve taken animal protein out of your diet, you’re likely deficient in fat.
Grains need to have fat added. Like my oatmeal at Alfalfa’s Oatmeal Bar. I tucked 2 pads of Organic Valley Butter into the center to get it melted and took this photo. Then I added one more for good measure. I could have added a fourth packet (another 1/2 Tablespoon) but not in public!
The measure of whether I added the right amount of fat is – how I feel. I wasn’t hungry or snack’y until 4 hours later. Feeling satisfied is a sign of a balanced meal and sufficient fat.
There’s no reason to be ashamed of eating large portions of fat. In fact, you can use people’s reactions as a measure: if jaws drop, you’ve added the right amount. And when it happens, send them to me.
If you want to optimize your fat digestion, drink bone broth regularly. Click and you’ll be notified of my next #30DayBoneBrothChallenge. It’s a fun & easy way to get broth’ing.
Until then, try increasing the amount of fat in your diet at a slow & steady pace. That’s wise with any dietary change. Choose organic butter or ghee, extra virgin olive oil and animal fats.
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