This was my snack last night. It inspired this post. I spent the better part of my life with an upset stomach after every meal and chronic constipation. I thought that was just digestion and that girls weren't as regular as boys. My snacks (and most of my food) as a kid all came from a box. Little Debbie snack cakes, Fruit Roll Ups, Zingers (with icing of course)... if it came in a box and was endorsed by magical cartoon characters I had to have it. I spent the better part of my formative years choosing cereal based entirely on what flavor it would change the milk into. It was a completely awesome childhood! And it didn't stop there. I ate cake for dinner like 4 nights a week in college. Freshman 15? Who cares, that's what is supposed to happen, right!? It wasn't until I got sick and fat that I started to make the correlation that food was owning my moods and wrecking havoc on my body.
Tapping into the feelings and sensations in my body has been central to my journey to health. Yoga and meditation were my first teachers, making peace with food sealed the deal. I took it slow and didn't get in a rush to eat healthy just because I thought I should. I know me and I would have crashed and burned face first into a cake. And I did many times, most of them unapologetic. Eventually, I'd get back up and give it another go. For me the hardest thing to overcome was choosing healthy foods because that is what I wanted instead of feeling like I was missing out on the really good stuff. It took time to feel that the really good stuff isn't the shit that makes you feel like your sludging your way through life all constipated and angry. The good stuff makes you feel more like yourself, vibrant, vital and ALIVE! That's why I do this work. The way I feel eating clean foods, the peace and healing that has rushed into my life as a result... it's just too good not to share.
So yesterday as I made myself a snack I took a moment to acknowledge how far I've come. I mean come on --- sliced radishes for a snack and because that is what sounded good! Who am I? As I posted the image of up on instagram and FB I felt a beam of pride, it was a little snack triumph. One among many that now fill my days. The light from the kitchen window was beautiful, my little plate was beautiful and the feeling that I felt eating it and after was beautiful.
Eating clean* just makes me feel better. It makes me slow down, absorb and appreciate life. It makes me feel proud that I am giving myself and my body goodness. After all, I love me so why wouldn't I take care of me? I come from a family that intimately knows depression, eating this way keeps me in the life is good zone and out of the can't get out of bed zone. It supports me mind, body and spirit. I have better energy, better sex, better moods, better elimination, better focus...better everything. To me eating clean is subtle and graceful and calm. It's that first stretch in bed in the morning. It's a walk on the beach, my toes in the sand. It's the feeling when you really, truly exhale a full breath. Or first slip into a warm bath. It's that energy in the air and smell just before it rains, god I love that smell. It's sensation, pleasure and excitement in my taste buds and then a complete non-event in my stomach. It's a feeling that all is right. And then I get up and get on with my life. No weird gurgling in my belly, no food coma, no crash in the afternoon. It's sweet and steady like the most comforting kind of love. I know that this sounds romantic and maybe as my client Hannah says a little "woo woo" but it's how I feel and it's beautiful.
Immense gratitude for all those who've been and are with me on the journey, for my meat and potatoes upbringing, for yoga and that very first class that taught me what it was to feel into my body, for veggies and for Jennifer for asking me to explain what I meant by the description I put on the photo of my snack "beautiful feeling in my body."
*Eating clean as I define it is eating foods that are whole, natural, organic and as close to the source from which they came as possible. Veggies, fruits, grains, beans... basically a plant based diet with as little processed food as possible. I DO still eat processed foods if and when I want them, it's usually in the form of a really amazing chocolate bar (dark chocolate, almond and sea salt is my current favorite). I will NOT eat food with MSG, GMO, High Fructose Corn Syrup, etc. I will eat meat or eggs if I feel like I want it though the occasions are getting farther and father apart. I don't eat fish or any kind of seafood but I never have (just don't like it... taste, texture) so that's really not a factor. I will eat some cheeses, raw milk and goat milk cheese are my favorite.
To begin or continue to change your relationship with food for the better join us at Group Health Coaching beginning Nov 7!