Take a few minutes to conjure up in your mind the image of two women. One thing they have in common is that they both love to eat. The first woman loves the food she’s known all her life – Big Macs with the side of fries and the extra-large Diet Coke, of course. It might be Wendy’s another day, Kentucky Fried Chicken the day after that. More often than not, she grabs her food in a bag handed to her through a drive through window, and will have finished the meal before she gets home. She doesn’t cook – she’s usually too hungry when it’s mealtime to take the time to cook, and anyway, the food tastes better soaked in lard and fried in grease. She may socialize with comfort food, fried chicken and potato salad at a church social, followed by apple pie that is likely to be bought at the grocery store, where they’ve been sitting prettily on the shelf thanks to the preservatives used to keep them looking good. This woman’s approach to food, the food she loves, is almost frantic. She loves it so much, she just can’t wait to eat it. During the day, she may curb her hunger between meals with a Snickers bar or maybe even a “healthy” granola bar or serving of sugary yogurt. She can’t go to bed without a helping of Ben and Jerry’s – that stuff is to DIE for. She eats it as if she would die without it, and the fact is, she’s dying because of it.
Can you picture her? She may be skinny, but more than likely she’s overweight. For sure her skin isn’t as clear and bright as it could be. She isn’t grounded. Food rules her life, and she loves this food. But it doesn’t love her back. She suffers from many issues including digestion, stress, hormone, sleep, hair, skin, and mood.
Picture the second woman. She loves her food, too. But she loves it in a wholly different way. She strolls through the farmer’s market on a Saturday morning. She takes her time inspecting and admiring the fruits and vegetables in the produce bins. She loads her basket with carefully chosen greens, artichokes, carrots, onions, organic peppers and sweet potatoes. She adds fresh strawberries, kiwi, melons, and apples. She might choose an organic chicken and some duck eggs from the same farmer. She talks to the farmers, asks about their crops and harvests. Whatever she can’t find she picks up the local grocery store – a little quinoa, spices, olive oil, beans and a bottle of organic red wine. Perhaps she even has her own garden, where she grows her own eggplant, tomatoes and bib lettuce. When she gets home she takes her time cooking an organic veggie chili. She cuts the onions, peppers, sweet potatoes and carrots, puts them in the crockpot with the beans adding some tomatoes, kale and spices. The house fill with the aroma. She uses her mothers favorite recipe to bake her artichokes. She makes a salad and pours some wine. Her company arrives to a meal they’ll all share and savor together.
I’m sure you can picture this second woman, too. A healthy glow to her skin, a genuine smile. A peace and serenity about her. She’s not frantic. She’s not sick. She’s at peace with herself, and with her food. The two go hand in hand.
Now – who loves food more? I mean, truly loves it? Respects it? Honors it? And enjoys it in a peaceful, dignified, grounded way?
The first woman claims she loves food, but the food is her enemy. It controls her, and if she wanted to “diet,” to lose weight or otherwise get control of herself, she would easily see food as an obstacle to her goals. Right now, food is something she is panicked about, desperate for, and grabs when she feels she is empty and needs to fill herself up – very much like a dysfunctional relationship, in fact! If she wanted to change her habits, food would be something she’d have to manage, deprive herself of, conquer and defeat. It would be a constant struggle, because of her mindset.
The second woman already sees food as her friend, and she doesn’t seem deprived at all – does she? She takes her time, appreciates the food – the way it looks, feels, smells. She cooks it carefully, and serves it in the midst of joy and happiness. She makes it with love. And the best part? The food she loves DOES love her back! She’s healthy and happy, and the food fuels her. When she eats, she spends more time thinking about what she’s putting in her body so she can live and thrive, not what she’s depriving herself of.
Food – real, whole, nourishing food – is your friend. Thinking of your food that way is important for health. So go to your favorite farmers market and discover the foods you love, and they will love you back.
Know your food-Because Real Food Changes Everything!
Connie Rogers is a Certified Integrated Holistic Health Coach and Wellness Writer. www.bitesizepieces.net
Expert in toxins that can disrupt our metabolic and endocrine health.