Food—Both Important and Unimportant

By Linda Spangle, RN, MA

The day is filled with questions! Shall we have lunch at that snazzy new restaurant? What’s your secret for that delectable salmon on the grill? Who made that wonderful carrot cake? Do you think I can I get the recipe?

Just picture it—succulent crab cakes, fresh asparagus with hollandaise and a piece of chocolate swirl cheesecake. Food is so wonderful! In our society, it’s the king of entertaining, celebrating and connecting. It gives you a way to display your fabulous kitchen or to show off your culinary skills. But what about your diet? Somehow, you need a way to enjoy and appreciate food without sabotaging your weight or your health. And you can, by simply putting food in its proper place.

Let food be unimportant

When you get into your car, you don’t expect every trip to be inspiring or memorable. Sometimes you just need to go to the store or visit your mother. In the same way, eating doesn’t always have to be fun or exciting. Lots of times, food will be quite mundane, but since it’s providing fuel, you eat it anyway. Instead of fretting about boring food, just label it as “unimportant.”

Now picture a vacation where you catch a phenomenal sunset or discover a new road with beautiful mountain scenery. On this kind of trip, your drive takes on more status and importance. In the same way, a surprise birthday party or an exotic new restaurant can suddenly change your view of food. When this happens, you simply choose to let food be “important.”

Just like the drive where you slow down and appreciate the scenery, you can do the same thing with food. Go ahead and give it your full attention and allow yourself to enjoy it. Appreciate the taste, delight in the eating experience and ask for the recipe.

Get picky about when it’s important

You can’t make food special all the time, so before you label it as important, think carefully about your goals. Are you enjoying the exquisite creations of a new chef? Or are you hoping to connect and communicate better with someone? In that case, focus on having a meaningful conversation and on showing love and appreciation.

In your day-to-day life, food doesn’t always have to be the center of attention. So just like getting into your car, decide when you want to make food important and when to let it be routine.

About the Author:
Linda Spangle, RN, MA, is a weight-loss coach specializing in emotional eating, and the author of 100 Days of Weight Loss, a book of daily lessons that helps people stay committed to their diet and exercise plans. Her website is

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