Using “Food Peace in Three” to Heal Your Relationship with Food

June 3, 2024

Food Peace in Three is commonly referred to as the Rule of Threes. It is a simple guide to eating three meals a day, up to three snacks a day, and about every three hours. The Food Peace in Three offers structure to help maintain consistent eating patterns and ensure a balance of all food groups. Additionally, Food Peace in Three helps you become more confident in meal preparation so that planning meals spontaneously causes less stress and anxiety.

Healing your relationship with food means moving away from rigid meal planning and prepping, however, the thought of healing your relationship with food and having “intuition” around hunger and fullness cues can cause a tremendous amount of anxiety. Food Peace in Three’s approach ensures regular, balanced meals and snacks. This guidance normalizes regular eating patterns while also providing a sense of predictability.

Nutritional deficiencies, such as calcium deficiency, are associated with disordered eating and eating disorders and can take a serious toll on health. Food Peace in Three can address these deficiencies by consistently providing essential nutrients and supporting body functions like digestion and hunger cues.

What is Food Peace in Three?

Simply put:

  1. Aim for three meals a day
  2. Aim to eat up to three snacks a day
  3. Choose at least three food groups for each meal (and two for snacks):
    • Calcium
    • Complex Carbohydrates
    • Fruit or Vegetable
    • Protein
    • Dietary Fat
    • Joyful Food (optional)
  4. Allow no more than 3-5 hours between meals and snacks
When you feel overwhelmed or life gets busy, it's easy to neglect your eating habits. Remember Food Peace in Three is an easy way to nourish your body and meet your energy needs by remembering these simple things:
1. Eat three meals a day
2. Eat up to three snacks a day
3. Choose at least three food groups for each meal
4. No more than three to five hours between meals and snacks

Food Groups with Food Peace in Three

Every nutrient offers unique benefits for health. Including a variety of food groups (i.e. nutrients) supports healing your relationship with food as well as renourishment.


Calcium is crucial for building and maintaining strong bones and teeth. It plays an important role in muscle contractions, including your heart. Calcium helps transmit nerve signals throughout the body.

Sources: Dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt), fortified plant-based milk (almond, soy), leafy green vegetables (spinach, broccoli), and tofu.

Complex Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates provide a steady source of energy throughout the day. They contain fiber, which aids in digestion and helps keep you feeling full longer. They help maintain stable blood sugar levels.

Sources: Whole grains (oatmeal, whole wheat bread), legumes (beans, lentils), vegetables, and fruits.

Fruit or Vegetable

Fruits and vegetables are rich in essential vitamins and minerals that support overall health. They provide dietary fiber, which is important for digestive health. Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants that protect the body from harmful free radicals.

Sources: Fruits and vegetables like apples, berries, carrots, spinach, and bell peppers.


Protein is essential for building and repairing muscles and tissues. It also plays a role in maintaining a healthy immune system. Protein helps in the production of important hormones and enzymes.

Sources: Chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, dairy products, beans, nuts, and seeds.

Dietary Fat

Dietary fat provides a concentrated source of energy. They help the body absorb fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K). Fat is vital for building cell membranes and supporting brain function.

Sources: Avocados, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and fatty fish (salmon, tuna).

Benefits of Food Peace in Three

  1. Consistency
    • This is key in normalizing hunger and fullness cues, helping your body develop a regular eating pattern. By eating at consistent times each day, you retrain your body and improve your ability to recognize when you’re genuinely hungry or full. This is especially beneficial for those recovering from eating disorders, as it helps stabilize eating habits and promotes a sense of routine.
  2. Variety
    • This supports overall health and aids in recovery by providing a wide range of essential vitamins and minerals. Incorporating different food groups—such as calcium, proteins, carbohydrates, dietary fats, fruits, and vegetables—ensures that you receive a mix of nutrients, which is crucial for physical and mental well-being.
  3. Lessens Anxiety
    • Having guidance can reduce decision fatigue, lessening the anxiety and stress associated with making food choices. When you know what to eat and when to eat it, you can focus more on enjoying your meals and less on planning them.

Example of Food Peace in Three

  1. Three Meals a Day
    • Breakfast: Yogurt, peanut butter, and a banana
    • Lunch: Turkey sandwich on wheat bread with string cheese
    • Dinner: Salmon, cauliflower rice, and milk
  2. Three Snacks a Day
    • Mid-Morning Snack: Yogurt (calcium) with granola (complex carb)
    • Mid-Afternoon Snack: Apple (complex carb) with peanut butter (protein)
    • Evening Snack: Cheese (calcium) with crackers (complex carb)
  3. Three Food Groups in Each Meal
    • Breakfast Example: Yogurt (calcium), peanut butter (protein) and a banana (complex carb).
    • Lunch Example: Turkey sandwich on wheat bread (protein, complex carb) with string cheese (calcium).
    • Dinner Example: Salmon (protein), cauliflower rice (complex carbs), and milk (calcium)

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