food for thought.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

in the midst of a season full of sweet treats and goodies,
this is totally appropriate.
and I can't believe I haven't talked about this yet,
as it's just as much a part of our lives as breathing.
eating.
I love it.  I think about food more than I think about sex.
sad, I know.
but I've never been a picky eater.  and I really should be 400lbs. for as much as I eat,
or, used to.
thankfully, for the most part, I've had a healthy body image.  
no disorders, no major obsessions.
just doing my best to take care of myself and exercise.
exercise has always been a part of my life.
now it's yoga practice and meditation.  a different kind of exercise,
but challenging, nonetheless.
if you haven't caught on, I'm struggling to make some big changes in my life.
food is one of them.
in the wake of 'the cancer,' 
I've been reading, researching, underlining, memorizing, studying, 
calling on those who know how to do it. . .eat 'cleanly' and naturally.
man, it's hard.
like most of you, I was brought up on processed, refined foods.
we really had no respect for food or rarely made smart choices.
we ate until we felt sick.
we ate when we were bored.
we ate when we weren't even hungry.
it was comfort and not fuel.
and to this day, raising my OWN children, I still struggle in helping THEM find a balance and teaching THEM to make smart choices and develop a healthy relationship with food.
sometimes it's just so easy (and sort of fun,) to take the kids to mcdonald's.
and those fries are oooooooohhhhhh so good.
but there's really no nutritional value to a happy meal.
and I have this terrible guilt that I'm poisoning my kids when I give them that, or fill their little bellies with treats and juice and my God, even milk now!
there's the part of me that wants to do away with ALL that the cancer books and organic-living books say are bad. . .everything that's filled with gluten and casein.
and I've been doing that slowly.
and there are so many that are quick to laugh and judge that way of eating.
judge away!
I have to do what I feel is right and healthy for my family now.
even if it doesn't taste as good as what you're eating.
but there's the other part of me that says, 'you only live once!  life is short.  enjoy the foods you want!
although you think that eating healthy and doing everything you're SUPPOSED to do will extend your life and the life of your babies,
well, you could die tomorrow!  and you may wish you'd eaten that damn piece of cheesecake and savored every minute of it!'
food is a drug.  sugar especially.
it REALLY (this is a fact, people) is a legalized drug.
our bodies crave it.  we think about it.  we obsess over it.
and it does so much harm to our bodies.
I won't go into all I've learned about sugar.
but it's scary.
and because we've been scared enough by cancer, it's time to pull in the reins
and be more aware, at least, of this toxic stuff.
I just started watching eat, pray, love and read the book.  
I think her enjoyment of eating in Italy looked SO wonderful.  to just eat and enjoy it and walk away with no guilt.
not worry about the sugars, and starches and gluten and whatever else.
when I was pregnant with grace, I had a mocha and muffin almost every day.  
it became a habit.
a habit I continued almost everyday until after CHARLIE was born.
that's a long, frickin' time.
and I'm a little disgusted.  this wasn't like a bran, gluten free, sugar-less muffin.
this was the big, fatty muffins loaded with nothing good, from caribou or starbucks.
and I wondered why I felt like sh** all the time.
had ZERO energy, craved sugar all day, couldn't lose a pound.
well, I got smart.
I found this book that was literally, life changing for me and helped push me down a smarter and more educated path of eating RIGHT and living better.
I'm off the muffins and learning to make smarter choices.
no more mocha's.  and this is a HUGE transformation from someone who was literally ADDICTED to the foofiest of foofiest drinks known to man, topped with whip cream and all,
E-V-E-R-Y-D-A-Y.
I made the choice to have one after MONTHS of weaning myself off those drinks to decaf, plain ol' latte's.
and I couldn't drink it.  It was the weirdest thing.
but the sugar literally was too much.  I had a few sips and couldn't deal.
and was in shock that I USED to have one of these EVERYDAY.
you can change, people.  even if it's just something as little as changing the KIND of coffee you drink.
it's not easy.  do I still eat breaded heavenly goodness?  of course.
but it's starting with something small and working to form new habits.
the hardest of work can bring you to even better places.
even if it's learning to do without a mocha.
finding a balance.  that's what I'm trying to do and teach my kids.  
I took it upon myself to do a 'cleanse' this week. . .just for three days.
and it's so hilarious, because you'd think I'd never seen chocolate before, latte's before. 
when you eliminate those things from your life (even if only for a few short days,)
you miss them. . .like old friends.
old habits, really.
and you start to see them everywhere. . .on commercials, magazines, in peoples' hands.
it's sick.:)
and you look at them longlingly.
like when you're trying to get pregnant and all you see are pregnant bellies everywhere?
(i'm not pregnant nor trying to be, but you know what I mean.)
but with this food stuff, I think, 'what the hell am I doing!  I don't need to do this!  this is lunacy!  have a frickin' latte!  have that piece of afternoon chocolate!'
but I continue on, because deep down, as lovely as those things are, I know they're habits I PERSONALLY don't need.
I WILL say, if you haven't done a cleanse or a detox yet, it's quite amazing.
you hate the world a little and end up feeding your kids pumpkin bread and cereal for dinner,
because you can't have a dish of your homemade lasagna so why should they? 
(horrible, I know.)
or at least don't have the sane mind or focus to make that pan of lasagna for your family because all you can think about is what you're going to eat to celebrate this cleanse.
but when you finish, you feel a little lighter on your feet.  you start to CRAVE healthy and slowly start to gain new habits or at least a new way of thinking about food.
one of my besties and I talk about food almost every time we talk.
and we both agree. . .that when you cleanse yourself of all that ISN'T pure and natural, 
and then you eat it?
you feel like sh**.
your body starts to see all of the nonsense food for what it is. . .the refined sugar, your breads and pastas and treats. . .toxic to the body.
I really believe that now.
Do I still dream of eating those things and DO eat them?
Yes.  i'm easily tempted when it comes to food.
but again, it's KNOWING what you're eating and balancing it out with the good stuff.
isn't that the secret to life?  balance?
balance.
between exercise and rest.
work and play.
sadness and joy.
giving to yourself and giving to others.
balance.
let me know when you've figured out how to do all of that.:)
but I'll continue to search in my quirky ways.
and soak up this bowl of brussel sprouts like it was pumpkin pie.





2 comments:

BEES'NETTA said...

Hear! Hear! I always push this book on people if they want to learn more about food and the business of it: http://www.amazon.com/Defense-Food-Eaters-Manifesto/dp/1594201455

Jenny said...

Liz!
I'm SO into this subject right now too and we haven't even had anything to do with cancer. We've cut out all fast foods and processed foods. (Goodbye Kraft Mac&Cheese.) I still struggle with the sweets so now I only allow myself something that I make from scratch. It's all about baby steps, right?

jenny@mamanash.com

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