Happy [almost] birthday, America! I hope everyone is enjoying this holiday weekend, spending time with loved ones, and practicing a little R&R. After some much-needed time in the woods and in the kitchen, I’m back in work mode today and bringing some Mexican Street Corn your way! There has been a lingering chance of rain and thunderstorms in the STL area this 4th, so the backup plan to burgers and grilling in this house is carnitas and street corn. Not a very American menu, but a super delicious one nonetheless.
On this holiday celebrating freedom, let’s talk a little about food freedom. Do you have unspoken rules dictating how much, how often, or what you put in your mouth? Does guilt ever drive your food choices (or food avoidances)? How often do you find yourself compensating for a delicious meal by restricting yourself later or punishing yourself with extra exercise? It’s far too often that I see patterns like these, and it’s time to put a stop to them. These behaviors frequently come disguised positively as “being healthy” or “dedication” when in reality, the individual is experiencing internal turmoil over food. Let’s look at those words again: internal turmoil over food. Food is such a wonderful gift: it has the power to nourish us, bring us joy, and bring people together. It should NOT be a source of turmoil in our lives. What if, for the sake of freedom and joy, we accepted our set-point body weight, ate things that truly sounded good to us, ditched compensation techniques, and just enjoyed? Many people fear that their weight would “spiral out of control” (exact quote by at least 30 different clients I’ve worked with over the years), that their health would decline, or their sports performance would tank. What if, though, it created more trust and appreciation for our bodies, allowed us to enjoy delicious foods, and stopped the tumultuous restrict-crave-overindulge-compensate cycle that traps so many?
It’s important to know and trust that health and food freedom aren’t opposing goals. Food freedom doesn’t mean changing your diet to consist of 90% fried foods and never touching a vegetable again. Nourishing your cells with the calories and nutrients (i.e. whole, nutritious foods) your body needs to function at it’s best is an act of self-care and no doubt helps us feel physically good. Food freedom means practicing balance, eating nourishing foods, eating cookies when cookies sound good, and not allowing the food you eat to drive your happiness or the way you feel about yourself. The cookie isn’t going to ruin your health: restricting your body of its fuel, stressing over what food you will/won’t allow yourself to eat, and running your body into the ground trying to work off that cookie will. Lifting your food rules and ditching the guilt promotes more balance with eating, less guilt, and more enjoyment of your life.
Enjoy your freedom this week, and remember that food is just food.
- 8 ears corn, shucked
- ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- 2 Tablespoons lime juice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup cilantro, divided
- ¼ cup Cojita cheese
- Lime wedges, for garnish
- Mix together the yogurt, mayo, garlic, chili powder, lime juice, salt, and half of the cilantro.
- Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to at least 350F. Grill the corn until lightly charred on all sides, about 10 minutes.
- Drizzle the hot corn with the mayo mixture, rolling the corn to coat. Top with the remaining cilantro and the crumbled Cojita cheese. Serve with lime wedges.
- SR Clients: 1 = Level 3 (100%) appetizer
What are some ways that you practice food freedom? Share your ideas and tips below! As always, if you make this recipe at home, share with me on Instagram and use #strongrootsnutrition so I can see!