Best Health - - CONTENTS -

What you need to know about in­tu­itive eat­ing and go-to recipes to make the most of it

Abbey Sharp is a reg­is­tered di­eti­tian, food blog­ger, founder of Abbey’s Kitchen Inc. and reg­u­lar con­trib­u­tor to Best Health. We sat down with Sharp for the scoop on what it was like to write this book. And just so we don’t leave you hang­ing, here are a few of our fave recipe ex­cerpts. En­joy! Why did you write this book?

The Mind­ful Glow Cook­book is like my per­sonal and pro­fes­sional man­i­festo for eat­ing and liv­ing well af­ter spend­ing years hat­ing my body and fear­ing food. Like many young adults, a quest to feel my best led me into the crip­pling arms of or­thorexia, the new-age eat­ing dis­or­der char­ac­ter­ized by a fear of eat­ing any­thing one deems “un­healthy.” In my quest for pris­tine, clean health, my con­fi­dence, self-worth and, of course, my body were quickly whit­tled away. Through this book, I can share what I’ve learned from let­ting go of food rules and how it helped show me the road to bet­ter health and hap­pi­ness. My book makes the point that, yes, you can eat cake and not feel like a hor­ri­ble per­son!

What’s the mean­ing be­hind the ti­tle?

Un­like a fad diet, mind­ful eat­ing fo­cuses less on dog­matic rules sur­round­ing what we eat but in­stead on how we eat. It does this by ask­ing us to look in­ward and re­spect our body’s hunger and sati­ety cues. When we stop re­strict­ing and self-sham­ing, our re­la­tion­ships with oth­ers, our bod­ies and our selves will thrive. We be­come free to be our hap­pi­est, health­i­est selves, and that means glow­ing both in­side and out.

This is your very first cook­book. What was the big­gest chal­lenge?

I’m a per­fec­tion­ist. All of the recipes were tested and tasted un­til I was cross-eyed from read­ing the page. So, the most chal­leng­ing el­e­ment was writ­ing the dessert sec­tion, where shift­ing ra­tios of in­gre­di­ents even slightly could make a huge dif­fer­ence in tex­ture and flavour. I wanted to try ev­ery sin­gle per­mu­ta­tion, even when the pre­vi­ous ver­sions were great. I just didn’t want to leave any stone un­turned!

You ad­dress the re­la­tion­ship be­tween hap­pi­ness and food. Why is that im­por­tant to you?

Un­like what the diet in­dus­try would have you be­lieve, be­ing skinny doesn’t make you happy. Re­search sug­gests that the process of los­ing weight and ad­her­ing to a strict diet can make peo­ple more un­happy and anx­ious. So, no, you can’t hate yourself to bet­ter health.

Food is of­ten seen as one of life’s great­est uni­ver­sal sources of plea­sure — right up there with sleep­ing and sex. It’s not sur­pris­ing then that di­ets don’t work be­cause they strip food of its plea­sure, place moral judg­ments on us and force us into a chronic state of de­pri­va­tion.

When we eat mind­fully, we start to no­tice the in­her­ent de­li­cious­ness and plea­sure of nat­u­rally healthy food. Think about the but­tery tex­ture of an av­o­cado, the sup­ple crunch of a pepita or the re­fresh­ing sweet­ness of wa­ter­melon. When no food is “for­bid­den,” we start to eat in ways that feel good to us, emo­tion­ally and phys­i­cally.

Sav­ing the tough­est ques­tion for last, what’s your favourite recipe from the book?

Ah! Can I choose, like, my top 25 in­stead? My fave changes ev­ery day, but I’m cur­rently ob­sessed with my Spicy Honey Lime Blis­tered Shishi­tos with Sesame Panko Crunch for a savoury side dish and my Mac­er­ated Bal­samic Pep­per Straw­ber­ries with Rose Sabayon for some­thing sweet.

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