JOY OF EATING
Joy of eating. Some people may read that and wonder, what is that? For many individuals and families the joy has been lost. Eating instead is followed by guilt or it's a forceful effort or rather it's a battle ground at the table! Joy of eating in many people, may be non-existent. So how do we bring the joy back into eating? How do we remove the guilt? How do we make dinnertime a time for bonding and connecting, and turn meal planning into a pleasure rather than a chore?
Learn to be a Competent and Intuitive Eater
We teach principles that encourage you to be a competent eater. What does that mean? It means that you have no fear, guilt or shame around foods. A meal can be placed in front of you and it does not conjure up any negative feelings inside of you. Instead you are intrigued, excited and grateful to have such delicious food to nourish their body. Being a competent eater also means that you're willing to try new food flavours, combinations and experiences. You do not label foods as 'good' versus 'bad' and you do not restrict yourself from eating certain foods (unless there's a medical reason for doing so). The competent eater does not have any strict food rules, nor do they place any strict food rules on their children. How is this even possible? It is - believe me. It's possible because a Competent Eater is also an Intuitive Eater.
We also teach principles of Intuitive eating. What does that mean? It means you will learn how to be "in sync" with your body. You body needs fluid and fuel, and you listen and match your body needs. When you listen to your body, your body will dictate when to eat, how much to eat and when to stop eating. No longer do you need to calculate or calorie count your food intake - you body tells you all of this. It may sound harder than it really is. You were born with these Intuitive eating skills and even if they seem very foreign to you now, you can, with plenty of practice, regain these skills.
Family time around the dinner table
Research tells us that children and teenagers who grow up with eating dinner with their family around the dinner table, rather than in front of the TV or in separate rooms, grow up to be more well balanced adults. They are less likely to have eating disorders, less likely to be rebellious, less likely to have mental health problems and less likely to take uncharted risks such as illicit drugs or gambling. Parents play a huge part in shaping children and teenagers into well-rounded adults.
You must be born with the genetic predisposition to develop coeliac disease. The most important genes associated with susceptibility to coeliac disease are HLA DQ2 and HLA DQ8. You can get these tested via a blood test through your GP. Coeliac disease is usually confirmed through the presence of antibodies IgG and IgA (also found through a blood test), as well as a biopsy of the small intestines.
A condition of gluten sensitivity/intolerance can occur in individuals too. Gluten is one of the most complex proteins we consume. It is a very large molecule relative to other food molecules and, for this reason it is difficult for the human digestive system to break down. The current understanding of gluten sensitivity is that the body views gluten as an invading substance and fights it with inflammation both inside and outside the digestive tract, and perforation of the lining of the gut occurs, creating a condition called Leaky Gut Syndrome. This allows foreign particles (whatever is in the gut, including bacteria) into the bloodstream which sets the body's immune system on 'high alert', resulting in a wide range of symptoms.
Why is it a problem?
Anyone diagnosed with coeliac disease or gluten intolerance/sensitivity would benefit from seeing a Dietitian for our expertise on:
What to eat and how to avoid gluten-containing foods,
How to read food labels and interpret the ingredients list to avoid the less obvious gluten-containing ingredients,
Safe food handling and avoid cross-contamination,
How to eat out safely and what to buy
Unfortunately, gluten-free foods are not necessarily nutrient-rich foods, so being educated on how to choose healthy gluten-free foods is paramount for a healthy body.
It is also important to restore nutrients that may have been lost prior to diagnosis, and our dietitians can assist in this too.