11

votes

Food as Fuel or Food as Fun? Or both?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created April 12, 2011 at 10:02 PM

How do you view food?

Has you viewpoint changed since going 'paleo'?

I am interested in why and what you think about the way you view food

E4faef53346e45f644ef905ab99ccb28

(83)

on April 21, 2012
at 07:58 PM

Exactly. Food is fuel, but that doesn't mean we also can't enjoy fueling our bodies.

74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on April 20, 2012
at 02:55 AM

I'm glad to hear that, Mzrdnan! =)

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on April 19, 2012
at 11:00 PM

liberated ftw!!!

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on April 19, 2012
at 11:00 PM

yes Kaz I completely agree!! I am so much more in tune with my body now and I actually really enjoy all aspects of food from preparation to eating. It used to be more of a make something as quick as possible and scoff it and then have seconds and thirds and never truly appreciate how incredible and fun whole foods could be!

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on April 13, 2011
at 01:51 AM

Happy Dance for Food! /o/ \o/ \o\ /o\ *\o/*

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 13, 2011
at 12:45 AM

i think this is such a great question, and i almost asked it myself (though not as succinctly and well put) because you see so many different relationships with food here. Some of these relationships are really foreign to me, so I find them fascinating. Anyways, thanks for asking!

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18 Answers

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5
74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on April 13, 2011
at 12:53 AM

Omigosh, fun FTW!

Okay, yes, it's fuel -- I love feeling healthy and nourished, and for once in my life, I feel like I am in tune with my body and the signals it is sending me. It feels amazing!

But again, for the first time in my life, I'm excited about grocery shopping, or cooking new meals, or sitting down to something that is not only healthful, but delicious...eating is enjoyable again! I can trust that the food I am about to eat isn't going to hurt me. I don't feel restricted; I feel liberated!

-does a happy dance for food- :D

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on April 13, 2011
at 01:51 AM

Happy Dance for Food! /o/ \o/ \o\ /o\ *\o/*

74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on April 20, 2012
at 02:55 AM

I'm glad to hear that, Mzrdnan! =)

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on April 19, 2012
at 11:00 PM

yes Kaz I completely agree!! I am so much more in tune with my body now and I actually really enjoy all aspects of food from preparation to eating. It used to be more of a make something as quick as possible and scoff it and then have seconds and thirds and never truly appreciate how incredible and fun whole foods could be!

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on April 19, 2012
at 11:00 PM

liberated ftw!!!

5
Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on April 12, 2011
at 11:02 PM

food is so much fun!!! ive always been like that though. my mother, for better or for worse, is an absolutely phenomenal and adventurous cook and thats how i grew up. we never ate anything from a package. i adore cooking and its always been fun and relaxing for me. being paleo now affords me more opportunity to play in the kitchen in a different way since i never used to eat meat very often and was vegan/vegetarian for a long time. im always sort of sad for people who dont play with their food! Yeah, food is fuel like music is a sound but it can be so much more if youre open.

3
6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on April 13, 2011
at 01:09 AM

Both. Modern food separates "fun" from "fuel", but if you reject the modern food, they realign. If you eat the stuff your body is designed to take in, fun IS fuel and fuel IS fun. It's only in the crazy modern world that they separate.

E4faef53346e45f644ef905ab99ccb28

(83)

on April 21, 2012
at 07:58 PM

Exactly. Food is fuel, but that doesn't mean we also can't enjoy fueling our bodies.

2
0266737ea1782946902fd3f8e60fa0b9

(2504)

on April 20, 2012
at 08:41 PM

Wow. I think I'm the only one who does not see it as fun. I don't really like meat much, and honestly, if I could take a pill for my fueling needs, I think I'd be relieved. The few items I can eat/drink that I enjoy are not good for me, so I try to avoid/limit. Whenever I find something I really enjoy, I eat as much as I can of it, so that it's not such a chore. But one of the reasons I haven't fully given up Diet Coke and dark chocolate is because I have nothing else that I enjoy when it comes to eating and drinking.

I'm glad to hear so many of you love food, and I hope someday to catch up with you.

2
B1d3dfe470ba901b2b107545b923b024

(184)

on April 20, 2012
at 02:34 PM

i think there is a difference between eating food as a source of energy and eating food as a source of fun/socialising.

With day to day meals I believe it is important to remember that we're essentially fuelling up our bodies and as such the best quality fuels will provide us with the best energy.

In saying that, I believe that following this to the detriment of enjoying the food you eat is unfulfilling (pardon the pun) and in the end unsustainable. you may be able to stick to the steamed chicken breast and boiled cabbage for a while but you will ultimately rebel, often with foods that are less then optimal for your health. variety is the spice of life and you need to mix things up (a variety of foods also offer a variety of nutrients). Choosing 'fun' foods wisely that both taste good & offer health benefits are a way of bring another way of enjoyment to your life.

This also means that time to time you may find yourself eating foods that are not necessarily 100% paleo. If you enjoy them or in a situation where by you objectively weigh up the pro's and con's of eating & enjoying the food and come to the conclusion that your eating the non-paleo fuel is of greater benefit, (and the majority of the time it isn't) ENJOY IT! there is no point in feeling guilty the entire period of eating and after as you have not savoured the experience. Just know at the end of the day the net result may be less then positive.(obviously if you are allergic to certain foods then you would take this into consideration)

food is a fuel. However, the fact that some foods taste freaking awesome is a great bonus, using this when considering different food choices is important for wise decisions for the body, mind & spirit

2
0905a0f8cd1e48f6d39fe625a65b6ef1

(2890)

on April 20, 2012
at 01:43 PM

My first memory of food is of my dad peeling a navel orange. I remember the scent of it, the sweet spray of citrus against my skin. He handed me the bellybutton, I lifted it to my lips, my mouth exploded. This isn't just my first memory of eating; it's my oldest memory, period.

Our entire lives are spent in the constant pursuit of prey. We take job, collect pay, all so that we can rope jars of honey, cellophane-wrapped ribs, bags of Florida wonder as delicate as my childhood memory. Everything we do is based on survival. But we no longer carry the water, start the fires, cut down the trees required to fuel our lives. We barely participate in anything real. Our life is our minds, is the internet, the 9-5 grind, the race to make bank before the check hits the machine. Our power comes through wires thanks to people we will never meet. But our bodies still live in a wilderness filled with fawn and feral pig, still wander in a land we can't see because we're staring at Reddit and YouTube. We are a duality. We are problem children, with one eye on life, and one on survival.

Food is our salvation and our Grim Reaper. Food sustains us, fuels our ever-increasing thought, gives us energy to seduce a potential genetic donor. We are hairy animals trapped in a reality show.

Food is more than fun. Food is more than fuel. Food is more than the synthesis of Food and Fun. Scrape a few skin cells from your arm. Stare at them, consider them. They are made from the food you have eaten, from the sun that made your forehead sweat, from the filtered water in plastic bottles you buy at Wal-Mart. We are food. We eat. We are eaten.

When I was a child, I thought I was a princess. Until one day when my Gramma got tired of my tantrums and held a mirror in front of my face. She told me to stick out my tongue.

"Look at it. Look at it." I stared at the pink slice, at the tiny raised bumps that signaled YAY to my mind, my body.

"Twinkletoes, you are an animal. Get used to it."

2
Bfa1c9eacfc94a1b62f3a39b574480c6

(3700)

on April 19, 2012
at 09:51 PM

Depends on your definition of "fun." All that crap advertised nowadays are designed to punch all your reward buttons at one time. Pass.

What's fun is to discover new and exciting culinary experiences involving the freshest ingredients and loads of innovation. I'm a food snob, I know.

It takes quite alot to impress me. But it's fun to get out and see whos got the nads' to do it.

2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 13, 2011
at 12:17 AM

food is a liability - i always have to make a conscious effort not to succumb to cookies and snickers bars: but you have to choose: it is either abs or cookies...

2
6481788df76f391ba2746d9f1ad1e8f1

on April 12, 2011
at 10:27 PM

I think this is a great question. With regards to the majority of my food, I've been able to transition without huge setbacks with the exception of one--ALCOHOL! What I've realized is that I've set up my social life around alcohol--cocktails, drinks, meet up at the bar, etc. So any social situation becomes a major trigger for me to want a drink. I'm fairly certain that my degree of alcohol consumption is sabotaging my weight loss efforts.

To test that, I've put myself on a weight loss challenge with a co-worker. So I will now be forced to face my emotional/social attachment to alcohol and get past it for the next 30 days or so.

I am definitely a "food as fun" person. Even when I'm working with my Paleo/Primal guidelines, I want what I eat to be fun. I feel like things would be easier for me if I were a "food as fuel" person, but I just don't see myself ever reaching that point.

1
9bd33dab06ad6696b1b6a06aed818f05

on April 21, 2012
at 10:27 AM

Fuel during the week. Fun on weekends. Works for me.

1
7d01d86c539003eed77cf901bf037412

(1076)

on April 21, 2012
at 06:38 AM

I am a foodie. Food has always been fun. I was probably always going to find paleo easy to accept because I have always enjoyed meat-based cuisine and I was raised in the 70s in a household where we grew almost all our own fruit and vegetables, ate a lot of cheap meat and never bought processed food. I find classic Euro peasant food easy to adapt and it's what I would eat for preference anyway.

Paleo has made me a bit more anxious about the composition of food I haven't made myself, and I don't like that -- making all my own food is a burden I don't want to bear, and scrutinising every label on every processed product is onerous. Luckily, I belong to the school of "a little of what you fancy does you good" so I will occasionally eat cake or ice cream or a piece of fudge as a treat and not feel bad about it. But it is occasional, and I know if I have a lot at once I'll feel sick shortly after, and if I have some every day, I'll start to feel run down.

I don't really understand people who don't enjoy food. Eating is a fundamental drive that your body rewards you for by making you feel good when you do it right, like sex and sleep and play.

The only way in which I see food as fuel is that I enjoy life, and I want to keep enjoying it at a high level of quality, and so eating well in a nutritional sense enables that. But I have to eat well in a hedonic sense as part of my enjoyment of life -- mechanically eating for nutrients alone, like exercise that isn't fun, seems like wasting your life to me.

1
F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on April 21, 2012
at 05:17 AM

Honestly, for most of my life, I have realized that food was really a drug. I associated it with fun, but it consumed my life. A lot of the "fun" surrounding food was more of a justification for how much time I spent thinking about it. (i.e. pouring over gourmet magazines and planning lavish meals for my friends was a socially acceptable way to spend so much time thinking about what I'd be eating).

Now that I'm on a fairly strict diet with extra restrictions (low histamine, GAPS-type, lots of home-made broth and fermented foods) I spend a lot of time preparing food for myself. And I don't hate it, but I don't love it either. It's more of a chore that I willingly do because I need the resulting fuel. I honestly wish I could spend a little less time on it, but the result has been worth the effort.

However, a lot of my social life still revolves around eating in restaurants and meeting up for drinks. To me, that is fun, and I enjoy not having to prepare food for myself (I'm very lucky to have some good restaurants nearby that I can trust to make a reasonable meal). But I know that when I do this, I'm still exposing myself to things that I need to minimize (alcohol, spices, small bits of nightshades or dairy). So I need to strike a balance.

I haven't worked it all out entirely, but to lose that drug-like connection to food has been the most wonderful part of my paleo experience.

1
Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on April 20, 2012
at 11:46 AM

Interesting question. I always knew that food was fuel, that's kind of a given, but before changing my ways to primal eating, I didn't really understand the truly nefarious effects of the so-called "fun" foods I ate on a regular basis - sugar, wheat, pufas (I was a cookie monster) ... those foods are all tied up with emotional reward for me, so in many ways it has been quite "unfun" letting them go. Rewiring that emotional reward to other things - activities or healthier foods - takes time and patience. I don't have tons of either.

On the other hand, I feel like letting the "fun" go has been a kind of holistic thing. For the first time ever, I appreciate my body for the magnificent biochemical miracle that it is, and I am really motivated to keep it running optimally - out of respect. In the process, I have learned to appreciate the taste of many more whole foods and to notice the effects that various foods and activities (sleep, exercise, meditation, etc) have on my body. So for me, right now, food is both fuel and fun, but also so much more than that - it's a way of getting in tune with myself at a deeper level.

1
85178e006119b00322a2401c494dd3a4

on April 19, 2012
at 11:41 PM

Right now food is kind of a pain, as sad as it makes me to say that. I was enjoying eating paleo at first and felt much better about the foods I was eating. However, I ended up losing too much weight. I wasn't actually intending to lose any weight, but it seems that healthy foods tend to be a lot less calorie dense than the standard SAD fare, and I don't have a very big appetite to begin with. So now I'm working to pack in extra calories each day, and it's a chore.

1
Medium avatar

(2338)

on April 19, 2012
at 11:20 PM

definitely both... people always ask me if i feel restricted with how i eat and it always makes me laugh. eating paleo makes you more creative with your food because you can't fill your bowl with pasta and tomato sauce and call it a meal. you have to try new vegetables, cuts of meats, spices, etc. and that is one of my favorite aspects of eating this way, it broadens your horizons and it truly makes food new and exciting again. on top of all that you experience true health because your eating real food. its funny, when i first started paleo i would make a lot of my own food with high quality ingredients and then my parents tried some of my food an started realizing how good real food actually tastes and they've since started buying pastured pork and chicken, grass fed beef and more organic vegetables which i couldn't be happier about. with paleo you get the best of both worlds, the best tasting food and the fuel for you to experience life at a level of health that most people don't even know is possible. it doesn't get much better than that in my book.

1
3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on April 19, 2012
at 11:01 PM

Liberation to enjoy so many foods and love every moment of it makes food fun!

1
04c4db15202a19a0d49cdf446282ad9c

on April 13, 2011
at 12:05 AM

Food as FUN for me and a fuel...I hear a lot of people in the paleo community (and very much so in the paleo-crossfit community) say that they only see food as fuel now. While food IS fuel and that is something we cannot get around, I think if you look at food as just a fuel, it tends to put your mindset in the "diet" mode. To me thats like the concept of introducing "cheat meals". I understand having something that might not be wonderful for you every once in awhile...out on the road, at a friends, but to purposfully introduce something that we all claim is toxic into our systems...thats just something I have never understood about our community.

1
Eedf46c82d0356d1d46dda5f9782ef36

(4464)

on April 13, 2011
at 12:04 AM

Big fun! I tend to eat what looks good at the store that day. If something doesn't seem fun to eat I usually go find something else.

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