The title of this post refers to a) me loving food and b) food loving me back. Weird no?
What I mean is, I find a huge difference in how I feel depending on what I am eating. I have done my share of elimination diets and what not, mostly in an attempt to find some secret key thing that I need to cut out (or ingest on an hourly basis) in order to get rid of my joint pain. I have not found this Holy Grail of Rheumatoid but I have observed major changes in energy levels, skin clarity, mood, etc. directly correlating to what I am, or am not, eating. Kind of like if I put thought and energy into my meals, my meals will love me back and make me feel good. It’s a win-win because it is precisely these planned out meals that I tend to enjoy the most.
One of the things I have been trying to stick to since January 1 is buying my produce organic…at least the stuff I plan to eat raw. I am not sure exactly where I stand on the organic food business, but the thought of all of the chemicals utilized in the growing and shipping cycle of my leaf lettuce has started to scare the bejeezus out of me! I mean look at a head of lettuce people! There are all these nooks and crannies for pesticides to hide in! Maybe I am going a bit loopy but going to a Food Basics the other day made me feel like Mr. Burns in his Howard Hughes-esque state…you know, seeing germs on Smither’s face? “Free Masons rule the world!” and what have you. I felt like all of the vegetables were just lying there coated in all sorts of terrible Monsanto-inspired garbage. I could barely bring myself to buy a cucumber. Kind of ridiculous, I know.
I have to say though that with certain things I have found a HUGE difference in taste. For example, organic tomatoes actually taste like tomatoes! Who knew?! Organic kale is much more delicate in texture and not as harsh in flavor – you can even eat this stuff raw, something I found to be a pretty difficult thing to do with the non-organic stuff. And don’t even get me started on organic juice – worth the two-fold price increase for sure!
Despite the fact that I have been eating fairly well since the beginning of the year I still feel like I am not making all of the changes I could be making. Should I be cutting out all sugars and dairy too? Maybe a raw veggie/fruit smoothie every morning instead of coffee? You know how it goes. Which is why I was happy to come across this post today asking whether January could be a month of acceptance, of ourselves, of what we consumed over the holidays, instead of a guilt-ridden, down on yourself start of the year it typically is?
What if January were the month we all owned the fact that we ate cookies and cinnamon rolls and rich dishes and too much food at parties because we stood at the table nibbling while talking to friends, even though every health magazine told us not to do that? What if January were the month we walked into a room not pulling at our shirts to cover the extra three pounds we gained in December and threw out our arms wide instead, and shouted, “Hey everyone! I’m here. So happy to see you!”
What if January were the time to say, “Wow. I survived another year. And I’m alive. Hell yeah!”
Hell Yeah indeed!
Not to say that throwing all caution to the wind in terms of your health is the thing to do, but maybe just making some small changes is enough. If anyone is interested this is a pretty great guide to doing some healthy eating to get rid of all the junk piled into our bodies over the holidays and the past year in general. But ultimately, the biggest cleanse we should be doing is eliminating negative thinking and regret. Easier said than done, but just as important as those green veggies.
Listen, there’s no point in regret. If your holiday diet wasn’t 90 percent cookie, you were doing it wrong. Don’t worry about it!
– Emily Fleischaker