Picture this: You finally have come to an understanding of what positive food experiences are. You understand the six principles of positive food experiences, and are starting to implement them. Yet somehow you just can’t seem to get into the groove, so to speak, of positive food experiences. Maybe you tried a new restaurant for your daughter’s birthday, but the evening resulted in a less than stellar experience (food order mix-ups, customer service fiascos, food poisoning, etc.). Perhaps your first few tries with meal kit delivery resulted in something that looked completely unrelated to food.
Perhaps you don’t feel that you are really having positive food experiences. It’s just not clicking for you. Yet you can’t figure out why it’s not working or how to overcome it. Maybe you are making some changes: you are being more critical about food research, more selective at the grocery store, etc. But positive food experiences still seem elusive. You don’t feel that you are quite getting up to that level.
The One Thing People Always Get Wrong About Positive Food Experiences
As clear as we have been in explaining positive food experiences and providing many different examples, there is still one thing that people always get wrong about positive food experiences…
That one thing is people feel that buying a product or service will create that positive food experience.
Whether it is some new food from a grocery store or other eatery. Whether it is going to a certain restaurant or having a certain event. That may be buying a service such as meal kit delivery or having specialty foods delivered (wild Alaskan salmon, fresh Maine lobster, prime rib steaks, etc.). Of course, food is the primary principle in having a positive food experience.
However, just eating that food or possessing that food is not what creates the positive food experience.
Positive food experiences are more than just buying a product or service.
They are more than just randomly mixing ingredients together and hoping for the best. They start from your desire to make food changes in your life. The process starts by changing the way you look at and feel about food. What is your attitude toward food, cooking, etc.? Positive food experiences involve a commitment to make small changes each day. It will not happen overnight. But those small changes will gradually help you to have positive food experiences. You can then have the health benefits, the great memories, and be able to teach and share these experiences with others.
As your heart changes, and as your commitment changes, you will gradually have those positive food experiences. Perhaps you will have more energy. Perhaps you will be more committed. Maybe you will develop an affirmation that positive food experiences are working in your life. Maybe you can then embrace your new relationship with food. Eating and cooking will no longer be a chore or a burden. You can actually look forward to cooking a meal.
You create a positive food experience from within: through your motivation, goal setting, and efforts in making healthy food choices and in interacting with the food and the people around you.
The Six Principles of Positive Food Experiences
Let’s review the 6 principles of positive food experiences in terms of focusing on the desire within you. Included are some questions to prompt your thoughts on each principle.
Food: Positive food experiences are created based on your food research and the food choices you ultimately make. What ingredients do you buy? How do you prepare the food?
People: The people with whom you eat have significant influence on the food experience. If you are dining alone, what is the situation in which you are dining? If you are dining with friends or family, what are their attitudes about food? Do they encourage or discourage you from eating different foods? Are they themselves open to trying new foods?
Environment: Environment helps to create a positive food experience through your surroundings. Are you eating at your desk at work? Are you ordering fast food on the way to a meeting? Do you eat with family or friends? Are you utilizing the space you do have to eat in to your advantage? Could you create an environment conducive to a positive food experience?
Knowledge Base: What is your level of culinary skills? When was the last time you tried making a new recipe or took a cooking class? What culinary challenge have you mastered recently? How are your knife skills?
Interaction: What is your level of interaction with the food? Is the food just being served to you? Did you actually help prepare the food?
Motivation: What are your goals with regard to positive food experiences? What are your plans to reach those goals?
Getting Things Right
Each of these principles contributes to a positive food experience. But each of them depends on YOU to act for yourself, and then motivate and encourage others. One food or one service on its own does not make a positive food experience. While it certainly may contribute to such, but positive food experiences depend on YOU.
We encourage you to start now. Start today. Begin with a small goal that you will work on this week or this month. Some examples of goals may include the following:
· Incorporating fresh produce in your weekly meal preparation
· Making a new recipe
· Learning various knife skills (chopping, dicing, mincing, etc.)
· Learning baking skills
As you set, work toward, and achieve each of these goals for yourself, that success feeds your motivation…to do more, to be more, and to help others also create positive food experiences.
Positive food experiences begin with your desire. They begin from within.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: What small goal can you set today and work toward for a positive food experience?