This Principle may strike you in one of two ways; either it’s a glorious liberation from all the dieting restrictions, or it’s a terrifying free-for-all with no life-saving rules to cling to.
Here’s where Tuning In helps us to discover what it is we actually do want to eat. Eating what we want, means that there is no hierarchy of foods any more – all foods are created equal and we no longer consider some as off limits for whatever reason.*
Therefore in a life Beyond Chocolate, lettuce is no more valuable than linguini with cream and mushroom sauce. Carrots are no more valuable than rich dark chocolate with a hint of chilli. Tuning in can help us to pinpoint which of the variety of choices available to us is the one (or more!) that our bodies want/need in this moment and we can decide whether to use that information or eat something else instead.
This means, in effect, that all foods, ALL FOODS are de-mystified, on the table, ‘legalised’, you have ‘total food rights’, however you want to phrase it to yourself.
If you want to eat roast potatoes for breakfast, cream eggs for lunch and cucumber and radishes with salad cream for supper, it’s entirely up to you and your body.
Tuning in can help us to work out what it is that our body really wants right now and we can decide to eat that or not (sometimes the food we want just isn’t available right now – so we tune in again to find something else that might just as satisfying.
Let’s consider some of those phrases I used above.
Diet Culture does make a big fuss about which foods are ‘good’ and which are ‘bad’, and therefore which we can eat and which we can’t... ever again. These value judgements on food are unhelpful to say the least. Food isn’t good or bad, it’s just food and re-framing it as food with value placed instead on whether we like to eat it or not goes a long way to de-mystifying food and returning it to a more enriching place in our life.
It may help to think that Beyond Chocolate helps us to ‘legalise’ food, to remove it from the ‘banned’ or ‘illegal’ list – it’s not naughty, it’s not a sin, it’s just food. Accepting this, legalising all foods, ALL foods, not just those we have been told are ‘healthy’, helps us to start re-balancing our attitudes towards food and our eating.
Total Food Rights
I love this description. Allowing ourselves to choose from the full range of foods is like being given the franchise in a democracy – we now have total food rights to choose anything we like and are not restricted any more to the foods that our latest diet allows or the latest diet guru tells us we should eat.
It's about choice
To sum up; this is a powerful Principle that is about opening up our food choices again after the restrictions of dieting and lifestyle programs. It’s about coming to realise that all foods are created equal and that all foods - that we like to eat - have an equal place in our lives and that none are privileged over others because someone else has decided that they are better for us. What we want to eat is the right thing for us to eat and tuning in can help us find out what this is.
* I acknowledge that some people can’t, for health or other reasons, eat some foods and I will be looking at how this might work for you in a later blog.