I want to talk about food. Who doesn’t? Food is amazing! Delicious on our lips, comforting in our bellies; it’s even the very glue that holds so many social gathering together. I mean, if you’re being honest, how many parties have you attended solely because you knew there’d be yummy food? A lot, right?
So we know we love food, but how much attention do we actually pay to the foods we put into our bodies? Remember that old saying “you are what you eat”? Does anyone really want to be that packet of fries from McDonald’s that it takes 19 ingredients to make? Before you roll your eyes at me, let me just say, I am not a nutritional guru, and I’m not trying to tell anyone what they should or should not do. What I am is a woman, a mother, a wife, and an animal of this planet. I’m also fat. Does that mean I’m intrinsically unhealthy? Not necessarily, although for most of my life I did eat like an ignorant sugar driven crazy person…because I was. Truthfully, I kind of wish I still was sometimes, because that stuff is delicious (but it will kill you eventually)! I want to say this, too: this is not about being on a diet or losing weight, this is about giving nourishment to the people I love, including myself.
When I dubbed 2015 as The Year of My Soul, I intended it to be a very spiritual year and didn’t really think about my body having a role in it. It’s funny how these things play out, huh? Perhaps it’s me feeling the effects of getting older, or maybe all the articles I’ve read & documentaries I have watched, but it’s finally sunk into me that the body and soul are linked. They both need to be cared for. So I now have an amazing holistic health coach and am a fresh 9 days into my journey with her. I love that she encourages us to eat “high vibin’ foods”; essentially, foods with life in them. I’ll write more about this process later, as it’s not really the topic I want to discuss today.
Did you know that our brains respond to sugar the same way it does to cocaine and heroin? This is a true statement. I know mine does. When I am under stress what do I reach for? Sugar. When I was coming off pharmaceutical drugs for mood disorders what did I turn to? Sugar. After I eat sugar, what do I want more of? S-U-G-A-R! And what is added to almost every single packaged food/drink product in America? You guessed it. SUGAR.
There are many great and informative documentaries to watch on this topic. Just last night I watched Fed Up and it touched me. It’s loaded with wonderful, useful, eye opening information; but it does more than that. It shows us what we are allowing to be done to our children. That low fat yogurt? Loaded with sugar. Your bread from the store? Riddled with the stuff! Having a healthy salad? Check that salad dressing label, because you better believe there’s heaps of it in there. I’m not saying don’t eat what you want, but we should inform ourselves first. Don’t you think? Okay, so sugar is bad, blah, blah,blah… At least that is how I always reacted. Until recently. I still love the taste of sugar, but I can tell you from my own experience, when you omit it from your body it loses it’s allure.
I won’t even try to lie, I have only been sugar free for 9 days. I felt like death for the first 72 hours. Have you ever come off drugs? That is what it felt like. I was tired. I was cranky. I was starving, but nothing sounded palatable. Then, on day four…it was like a switch flipped. I wasn’t dragging all day, in fact, I felt quite vibrant. Of course, in these days, I have also been (wait for it….it’s genius) eating organic raw veggies, lean meat and drinking….water! This feels like a great time to launch into my love of farms, local food, and happy free range meats (but I won’t). If we are what we eat, I want to be fresh and happy & cared for. Those are the three words that describe how I want my foods to be before they hit my plate. I feel like I am over simplifying. It’s not purely about the siren call of sugar dragging us down into the murky depths. It’s overly preprocessed foods, ingredient lists including over 30 items (most of which we can not even pronounce!), the treatment and health of the animals farmed as our food, the poisons flooding our fruits and vegetables, the lack of truth surrounding the long term effects of GMOs on our health, and much, much more.
You know all these fancy terms for “health food” like organic, free range, GMO free, sustainable, wild caught, etc…? Yeah, that used to just be called food. Food that was grown by a farmer (or even our grandparents) with love, sunshine and hard work. It’s not a new amazing thing; it’s just the way it should be. So I am thinking, going forward, I’m going to share one real food recipe per week, because here’s the thing: eat what you want, just make it yourself! This simple idea has turned eating cleaner, vibrant foods into an interesting project, instead of deprivation and straining self control. So, until next week, my loves!