Healthy Fats (Like Ghee) Helped Me Heal My Relationship With Food

Expert Author: Chelsea Gross, Certified Nutrition + Mindset Coach

I grew up in the generation that feared fat. Somewhere down the line we were taught that packaged foods filled with preservatives, cheap vegetable oils and a laundry list of other ingredients we can’t pronounce were healthier for us than foods that had been around for thousands of years, with one ingredient, simply because they carried more calories.

All of this was ingrained in me; so pair it with a desperation to lose weight and be smaller and it was a recipe for disaster. I avoided meat, butter and egg yolks like the plague. And instead chose foods like reduced fat Wheat Thins, fat-free salad dressings, and even “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” spray to replace the real thing.

But the more I spent time and energy trying to eat less — foods with less fat, less calories (and therefore less nutrient-density) the more I ate more. Frustrated, I internalized guilt and shame and decided I just needed more willpower; so I didn’t think to shift the way I ate. I didn’t know this then, but the reality was I was deprived of nutrition and real foods designed to provide physical and mental satiety.

In 2014 I injured my back in a yoga class and got into a horrible car accident just three days later. I spent that year in chronic pain, trying to recover and heal. I hit dead end after dead end with doctor after doctor and finally after another failed treatment that promised to work, I decided to become my own advocate.

I went back to school to study holistic nutrition and began learning about real food for the first time. Slowly, my mindset began to shift from the importance of quantity (eating less) to quality (nutrient-density). I wanted to get out of pain, so I was committed to putting a priority on healing and feeling better over everything else. This meant I began to care more about how I felt instead of what I weighed. My life already felt so overwhelming and challenging, that stressing about how many calories I ate in a day, what I was allowed or wasn’t allowed, and the number on the scale, all felt out of alignment with my goals for my life for the first time. 

During my time recovering from disordered eating and studying nutrition, I learned about the benefits of healthy fats. And all of the reasons to include them in your diet vs. fear them. Turns out everything we’ve been taught about fat is totally antiquated. The truth is – healthy fats can be healing for your brain, gut, immunity and vitamin absorption and your joints. And one of the most important things for me, healthy fats keep you full. If you’re on a journey of healing your relationship with food, feeling full is the first place to start. Because when you feel full, you also feel calm, and from there you have the opportunity to make empowered, balanced decisions with food. In a state of deprivation and restriction, food becomes effortful and difficult and that’s when we get stuck in an all or nothing cycle.

While in school, I also started listening to tons of nutrition and wellness podcasts. The hosts of one of the shows I loved, kept mentioning ghee as one of their favorite healthy fats. So I immediately ran out to get some, and from there I was hooked. What I love about 4th & Heart Ghee is the insanely delicious buttery flavor, that it’s spreadable and shelf-stable, and super nutritious. Imagine how excited I was to have toast with ghee instead of "I can't believe it's not butter" spray, roast veggies in it vs. Pam, and honestly in the beginning I even put some directly on a spoon.

Healthy fats like ghee, helped me heal my relationship with food. At first I was scared to include more fat, and therefore more calories, but it was also like the second I began incorporating them in my diet, I felt more at peace. My body was absolutely desperate for fat. And in giving myself the permission to eat them again, my body responded. It felt safe and nourished. And from there, I had a platform to grow. There was a lot more I did to fill in the rest of the pieces, but healthy fats, and quality over quantity provided the foundation I needed to let go of rules and restriction and thrive. 


About The Expert:

Chelsea Gross - Certified Mindset + Nutrition Coach

I’m Chelsea Gross, a Certified Nutrition & Mindset Coach. I help women struggling with disordered eating create a healthy relationship with food and their bodies so they can live their life in balance and feel worth from within. 


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