• Elizabeth | Dietitian Nutritionist

Blog : How to Avoid a Food Slip while in Food Freedom

Updated: Mar 12

By : Elizabeth Ray MS RDN LD

I like how Melissa Urban, co-creator of the Whole30 describes a food mistake. She refers to it as a slip.

Physics tells us that in order for a slip to occur, one has to reduce friction. On the other hand, to prevent a slip, friction has to increase.

So now that we’ve had a delightful detour to science town, let’s get back to applying it to food.

When my clients have completed their Whole30 and are about to move into Food Freedom, I get the same questions. The questions are about different foods and different situations, but the questions are still the same. How do I manage food without Whole30 rules?

My answer is always the same : create friction to avoid the slip.

Sweet tea is a staple in my culture. We serve it to guests and drink it to unwind. It's a way of life.

For instance, I enjoy “half sweet/half unsweet/no ice” tea from Chickfila. Before Whole30, I would consume 1-2 large teas everyday. My Whole30 experience has taught me that life is great without sugar but I was nervous that my habit would return with a vengeance to cause an avalanche-worthy slip!

I wrestled with this fear, until I learned how to apply friction so to avoid a ’slip.’

When it comes to my tea habit, friction looks like this for me…

Increased Distance/Time : I have to drive at least 20 minutes and wait in line for another 5-10 before getting a tea. It’s cheaper to purchase a gallon for home use, but I chose to create distance between me and tea.

Increased Effort : I have to purposely drive to the restaurant or purposely drive by the restaurant. Fortunately, my hometown has one Chickfila location and this location is far from my home; thus, it takes much effort to go.

Increased Price : I have to want to pay the extra money for a tea versus getting a water for free (their water is good too; and actually I received an email from Chickfila that indicated that ‘water’ was my most ordered item of 2020).

Increased Boundaries : I have to order 1-2 large waters with 1 large tea, and I have to drink at least 1 large water before drinking the tea.

I’ve been practicing as a Dietitian Nutritionist for almost 20 years, and let me tell you, I’m still working on my Food Freedom. I shared this with you not to dash your hope for Food Freedom nirvana, but to let you know you are not alone in your food struggles and food slips.

Learning to apply friction is helping me to navigate my Food Freedom and overall health goals. It’s a process that is not easy at times, nonetheless, I’m embracing the reality that I am worth it and my goals are worth it too!

CHALLENGE : How can you apply friction to avoid a food slip?

1. Identify a particular food or beverage that has your feeling uneasy when moving into Food Freedom.

2. Write 4 ways that you could increase friction so to avoid a food slip.

3. Practice applying your friction plan for at least 1-3 months.

4. Keep track of your progress of what worked and didn’t work. AND continue to evolve your friction plan as needed.

5. MOST IMPORTANT : The Whole30 teaches us that eating real food is nutritious and delicious. And when we choose to embrace eating real food past our 30 day food experiment, this is an act of self care and self appreciation. So remember, when making a change, please do so from a place of compassion and love for yourself. You have value. You matter. You are worth it.

If you choose to take on the friction challenge, I would love to hear about it! Please email me about your experience at elizabeth@wholefoodbeliever.net

Elizabeth Ray, MS RDN LD works as a registered dietitian nutritionist helping people improve their relationship with food and with themselves. Her Instagram handle is @wholefoodbeliever, and she can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/e3trition. Elizabeth has also has a blog at https://www.wholefoodbeliever.net.

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For your information only. The statements on this website and/or in this article are opinions. Wholefoodbeliever does not provided medical or nutritional advise, treatment, or diagnosis.

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