What role do processed foods have in "food freedom?"

I'm coming to to you today to talk about why people’s obsession with health is ruining their health and their restrictive eating recovery process.

There are a lot of “recovery” approaches out there today, and a lot of people who promote metabolic healing or ED recovery, who promote :

  • being vegan, be HCLF vegan,
  • or non vegan but whole foods only are allowed

...as  the only way  to heal the metabolism and heal from disordered eating - and on top of that,  trying to recover out of an orthorexic or restrictive lens.

Trying to be so healthy ends up ruining people’s attempt at diet recovery and therefore  further exacerbates their mental and physical health issues, food obsession, binge eating, gut, hormonal and thyroid issues as well as a suppressed basal metabolic rate (and all else).

People often think like this:

“I can substitute this set of restrictions, for this set of restrictions, which will equal freedom and health!”


“I can go all in by eating more,” (but still have problems with restrictive eating that is causing them to get stuck)

In terms of “health” - health is much more than the foods you eat.

And skipping meals, not eating enough calories, spending hours a day anxiously reading health books and blogs, and neurotically avoiding going to restaurants ever because they cook with oil or the beef isn't grass fed...


It’s like pouring glue inside your brain, you become more confused, off balanced and overwhelmed as a result. And the stress will kill you quicker than the restaurant food will.

If you want something to be bad for you, you’ll be able to find tons of research to justify your logic, as there’s so much information proving grains, fruit, meat, dairy, fiber, sugar, coffee, chocolate, etc are both the best and the worst for you..

But even with all the information in the world, I’ve worked with so many people now who’s gut and digestion is in shambles from numerous elimination diets, who are:

  • cold all the time,
  • who are binge eating,
  • who aren’t able to sleep,
  • are constipated, etc etc, 

...and then they eat pizza, whole cakes  or a couple cheeseburgers, and often feel relief from their “health conditions”

- the processed foods LITERALLY heal their body, their gut, their insomnia, their blood pressure decreases, have more energy, they don’t feel cold all the time, they stop feeling neurotic around food, etc.

And feel much better than eating a huge salad or a clean meal with no salt, oil, not enough carbs, dairy and what not.

So whatever the studies show, real life experience shows that there’s more to the story of health and there are legitimate purposes to all kinds of foods in different scenarios and at different stages and seasons of our life.

And when in a low metabolic state the processed foods offer the combination of digestibility, the salt, the calorie density, the sugar density, and this combination can often be the most healing.

And processed foods can be used therapeutically in conjunction with whole foods.


So this strictly “healthy” way of trying to  solve one’s metabolism and food problems that most promote,  is just not the way to go.

It’s not to say Whole Foods are bad now, just like processed foods aren’t “bad” , it’s more of a mindset issue than anything.

Broccoli isn’t bad, chocolate isn’t bad isn’t bad, it’s your mindset behind these foods as well as the lack of understanding of the myriad of benefits of processed foods in recovery.

There are specific mindset shifts that need to happen about health, what’s nutritious and what isn’t.

And there is a sequence of steps to take to be able find a balance of whole foods and processed foods that will serve you best throughout the stages of your diet recovery and thereafter being recovered.

And without making the necessary mindset shifts to then be able to use processed foods  in conjunction whole foods in your recovery, you’ll only further the obsession around food and never heal your metabolism and mind.

Now, a lot of people say to me, yea but they didn’t have processed foods back in the day, and these hyper palatable foods interfere with our body’s capacity to send proper satiety signals to the brain..

But do we really think the body is this dumb??

The body that beats your heart for you and creates a baby from a microscopic piece of DNA can’t figure this out?


1st of all -

it’s the restriction of these foods that makes us feel the desire to binge on them, to feel “addicted” to them and for our hunger cues to be high.

But, also ask yourself - did they have these extreme diets back in the day either?

Were they were ruining their metabolism, hormones, and all else through restrictive eating for YEARS and under the mind conditioning that we are under today?

I'm almost certain the answer is no - so they don’t have to endure an intense recovery and rehabilitation process of the mind, metabolism and organs. 


2nd of all - 

nor would they be fighting their body on their hunger to try to prevent weight gain IF they did endure a famine and their hunger became heightened. 

Because they haven’t been indoctrinated into the idea that all weight gain equals death and disease - they understood the purpose of weight gain and fat reserves under certain circumstances and environments as well as weren’t conditioned with certain body ideals to have to fit into.


3rdly -  

Anyone stumbling onto my channel isn’t lacking in nutrition info and doesn’t need to know more about micronutrient ratios, ratio of polysaccharides and monosaccharides, histamine levels, calorie consumption and mortality rates and fiber types, so of course most people would ask this question because they’ve been basing most food decisions on this idea.

And so FOR YOUR HEALTH, you want to stop being in this overly analytical state, telling yourself 'it’s in the the name of health,' when clearly your mental and physical  health shows otherwise.

That’s why you have to again, be prepared and go through a proper mental rehabilitation process so that you don’t keep reaching for closest restrictive escapade to re-affirm your beliefs and attitudes about what is and isn’t healthy when the going gets tough and all of your internal objections come up when you’re faced with a decision around food that will make or break your chance at progress towards freedom and true health.

What you want to do instead is shift your perspective into what would truly be healthy for you and what is and is not nutritious, my clients know we do A LOT of work around this - it's imperative to heal food obsession. 

You want to use processed foods to your benefit to your healing not only physically but mentally as well - it’s just a matter of how are we defining processed foods and whole foods - and neither should be looked at as good or bad.

The essence of true full restrictive eating recovery is neutralizing food across the board with all the foods you’ve demonized, so that you’re so neutral around food that you even eventually choose a whole food over a processed food for no other reason than they taste good and you feel good with it.

But you have to go through a full rehabilitation process and swinging from one end of the pendulum to the other side of the pendulum first, before you can settle back to this place.

Actually finding peace, freedom and a sustainable way of living, having an easy going relationship with the modern food environment, you being diet-proof because you’ve found your truth, the truth, and the truth sets you free from all the noise out their today on what to do and not do “in the name of health”.

Health is balance and ease.

Balance happens NATURALLY when you begin to listen to your body again.

And as you begin to listen & trust that your intuition is right, your body begins to TRUST you again - the relationship is reciprocal.

And when you and your body are reciprocal and harmonious again - health is the result.

My question  to you is: What does “ease” mean/look like to you? Is your approach to health making you feel at “ease?” 


My homework for you:

Ask yourself: where will you be a year from now, if you keep approaching food and “health” in this way?

Or the way you’re feeling tempted to “go back to” or try because you went down the online rabbit whole vortex of a health blog.


If you want to continue the discussion over in my community forum on my website, click here and join the free forum!



Kayla Rose

Holistic Nutritionist

P.S. I’m hosting a free masterclass specifically for people who want to stop feeling obsessed around food and truly heal their metabolism and you’re invited! Click here to sign up.


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