woman enjoying ice cream

We hear it all too often, “Diet starts Monday.” For so many, it means that come Monday, they will no longer be able to eat “all the things”.

It may mean cutting out carbs, sweets, meat, eggs, coffee, or something else that you actually enjoy eating. If you find yourself stuck in this mentality of always being on a diet, you might eventually feel like all you can do is drink water and eat vicariously through others in order to adhere to your diet.

This is ridiculous! But I’ve been there many times.

Additionally, I don’t know about you, but the moment I’m told I can’t have something, I want it EVEN MORE. Therefore, anticipating the day when I won’t be able to eat all the things ensures that I will binge on all the things that “aren’t good for me”.

Not exactly my idea of a good time.

It took me many years of struggle to break free of the “diet starts Monday” mentality, but once I did, the most amazing thing happened: I was actually able to pay attention to how certain foods made me physically feel and decide what to eat based on what gave me the energy to feel my best. It’s an amazing positive feedback loop that changed my relationship with food forever.

To get into this fantastic body feedback loop, start changing your mindset about food with these do’s and don’ts.

DON’T Think of Food as Your Enemy

Are some foods more beneficial for you than others, of course! But that still doesn’t make them an enemy. This is an important one to remember especially if you happen to be a serial dieter or detoxer (like I once was) because if you see any kind of food as “the enemy” and you get sucked into the “you shouldn’t eat that” mentality. You’ll end up feeling like the only thing you should have is water.


How many times have we heard that a certain food is “bad” for you, only to then see more research that it’s actually good for you? One great example of this is eggs. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve read one study stating that eggs are bad for you, then another says they are good for you. The key to remember is that more is not more. They have benefits, but you don’t get more benefits by eating a ton of them. Focus on moderation and you’ll be just fine. 

DON’T Use Food to Fill Emotional Voids (it just fills your stomach)

Emotional eating can be really tough to navigate. I understand that it’s easy to tie food to emotions because it stimulates so many of our senses. You may find comfort in eating certain foods because they bring up pleasant memories and can seem to ease the sting of some kind of pain you may be feeling. But here’s the thing to remember: there are many other ways to ease the sting of emotional pains that have nothing to do with food AND they are more effective. 

But the first step is to take notice of when you may be eating because of emotions instead of actual hunger. If you notice that this is occurring, ask yourself, “Am I really hungry?” If the answer is no, then try to do something else to take your mind off of what is stressing you. Go for a walk, write down your thoughts in a journal, take a shower, call a friend… the possibilities are endless.

DON’T Use Food as Reward or Punishment

This can be another real tough mindset to reset. When you were a kid, did you ever hear “If you’re good, you can have a cookie, or ice cream” or some kind of “treat” that you didn’t have regularly? Yeah, me too. Or how about, “you’re not being good, so no dessert.” I understand that these instances were not being controlled by you back then, they were likely being controlled by your parents or other caregivers. But how does this possibly carry over into adulthood?

It can sound like “I had a salad yesterday, so I can have whatever I want today” or “I had a donut yesterday, so I have to eat salad today.” Does any of this sound familiar? Well, let’s throw that mindset out the window right now. What you ate yesterday has nothing to do with what you’re about to eat today. Additionally, what you eat today shouldn’t be decided by what you anticipate eating tomorrow. Food isn’t a reward or punishment. 

Now that you know what food is not, let’s talk about the beautiful things that it is! These next three empowering mindsets will make it significantly easier to reverse some of the “don’ts” mentioned above.

DO Think of Food As Energy

I’m not just talking about scientific caloric energy, I’m talking about real-life energy. Food has the power to boost your energy or zap it. No doubt you’ve felt the energy effects of what you’ve eaten in the past. Foods that boost your energy are foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. And if you think about it, all of these foods were alive and growing before you ate them. They literally contain their own energy and when you eat them, you take that energy into yourself. It’s amazing how Mother Nature takes care of us and our energy needs!

I often say to myself and others, “Remember to choose your energy wisely”. This is a reminder that selecting which food to eat is one way (in addition to your words and thoughts) in which you have a direct choice that affects your energy levels and overall wellness. 

DO Think of Food as Information Your Body Needs to Heal Itself

This is an important one to know because we often think that when studies come out saying that a certain food can help alleviate a certain symptom or ailment, we think that it’s the food that does the work. In fact, it’s the food that is just working with your body’s own natural ability to heal itself.

By eating various foods, you are not only taking in the energy they carry, but also the information that comes along with them. So think of things like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and things like that as pieces of information that you are taking in. Your body was made to take in these various bits of information in order to function at its best.

DO think of Food as Essential Nourishment for your Mind and Body

Remember, food is 100% essential to your survival. There’s no living without it. But you’re not here on Earth just to survive, you are here to thrive! By learning to listen to your body’s needs for food that provides it with boundless energy and healing information, you are nourishing your mind and body with every single bite you take. So go ahead and enjoy the wonderful food that mother nature has to offer because it’s meant to support your amazing mind and body.

Before you go, I want to quickly address “junk food” or heavily processed foods. In relation to the context of what you just read above, these are foods that don’t contain essential energy or healing information. But let me be clear that if you want to eat the cookie, chips, ice cream, or whatever your thing is… just eat it, enjoy it, and move on with your life! Remember, food is not a reward or punishment, nor is it the enemy.

Ultimately, it’s up to you what kind of energy and information you want to give to your body. What’s most important is to pay attention to what makes you feel your best and go with that! Sometimes that might look like a salad and other times it might look like a burger. Maybe today it’s a handful of blueberries and tomorrow it’s a handful of chips.

As I always say, “Wellness looks different for every woman.”