TEDx: What is a healthy relationship with food?


Rhiannon Lambert - TEDxUniversityofEastAnglia

Most of us are foodies. Food brings us together, and gives us comfort. But have you ever stopped to think whether your relationship with food is healthy?

Harley street nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert is someone I follow closely on social media and the person to turn to when I require nutrition advice or her expert opinion. She promotes a healthy balanced relationship with food and I admire her because she is constantly studying to update and define her existing knowledge. She is all about nutrition, not numbers and shows that food shouldn’t be feared or labelled. Rhiannon is a Registered Associate Nutritionist and a Master Practitioner in Eating Disorders and Obesity.

In Rhiannon’s talk she makes the audience think about their food habits and whether they have a healthy relationship with food. I found Rhiannon’s myth busting talk revitalising; it gives the viewer a lot to think about. Her philosophy and passion really shone through; food should be a positive aspect of life, offering enjoyment, fuel and happiness for both the mind and body.

The talk starts with Rhiannon questioning the audience, making them think. ‘Have you ever calculated the calories in your meal before eating it.’ ‘Have you followed the lasted dietary trend?’ I know I definitely have and I’m pretty confident that so many others will have tinkered with their diet at some point in their lives.

The relationship with food is developed over time; the journey. So many people have unhealthy relationships with food. I now see food as fuel that should be enjoyed! I learnt that it is very difficult to separate what a person should be eating with how they feel about this food. Psychology and nutrition work hand in hand. We all have that inner voice inside our heads. For some, this voice dictates and rules how they choose the food they choose; it essentially tells you what to do.

The most important thing is to learn to separate the voice from what you really want and what you will enjoy that day. Making small changes can have really large results. The scales cannot be a scale for health, in the same way that how you look on the outside cannot reflect how you are feeling and functioning on the inside.

I liked the quote, ‘Everything in moderation, that’s what life should be about.’ We should all eat what we enjoy and be mindful about how we feel. Respecting our bodies allows us to give it a whole variety of foods on a daily basis. Allowing ourselves to have the food we crave, means we are less likely to overeat and binge on these foods we are restricting. A restricted food item then consumes the mind and becomes all a person can think and talk about; the all or nothing mindset. This is where guilt and shame comes in; it can trap people.

As a population, we constantly focus on what we can take out of our diet, rather than what we can add into it. What works for me, will most likely not work for you; we are all unique. The secret to good health is not how you feel days or weeks later, it’s how you feel months or years into the future. If diets work, we would all be doing them.

Rhiannon’s 4 Principals to nourish the mind and body: The 4 R’s

Respect your body

Refuel - food is energy

Rehydrate - the body is 60% water

Recover - allow the body time to rest

The key is to go back to basics and seek expert advice; don’t listen to the latest social media star or celebrities unqualified and untrained advice. Education is empowering.

I am very interested in health, wellness, nutrition and food choices and so I thought the talk was very inspiring. Rhiannon is on a mission to fight diet culture with evidence-based nutrition and build healthy relationships with food free from restriction.