Friday, January 20, 2012

No Substitutions for the Real Thing

Day 20 of Your Year to Wellness---one more day to a big milestone

This week I heard from a transformer (don’t you love that) named Beth who posted a comment on an earlier lesson regarding trigger foods. Beth reported that while it’s still a work in progress, she had given up most of her comfort foods—yeah. She pointed out that there were times when she felt that she was doing the old substitution trick of “if I can’t have this I’ll just have that.”

This really got me to thinking about the concept of comfort foods. My mind wandered into what nurses do when they are trying to save a life. The nurse will fill the IV with only what the person needs; nutrients, vitamins, minerals, iron, proteins and electrolytes. But if that person is at their end, the nurse will do everything possible to keep them comfortable and that IV drips the stuff that makes the person feel good.

It immediately occurred to me that we are eating like we are dying; like each meal will be our last and therefore we want everything that gives us comfort. OUCH!

Lately, I’ve been seeing all of those diet substitution foods right next to the real stuff. Fat free and sugar free substitutions sit next to what you really want and so instead of getting the chips, you get the new fat free brand with only 120 calories in 22 chips---really, who counts out chips?

What Beth and I and many of you are finding out is that we have been substituting what we really need for what we have learned to like. The “comfort” foods (What’s so comfortable about pants that have suddenly become too small?) are what we like because they are associated with a good memory. They gave you joy when you felt down, so they have become your go-to-food.

I have been a vegetarian for 39 years but when my sister Christine fries chicken I think my mother is in the kitchen and she just got paid.

When I started out on my wellness journey, I found that what I wanted was not what I needed. I wanted to live, so I began to re-place the foods I had learned to like with the foods I needed to have. I had no idea how many vegetables I had missed out on.

Try new foods and add fresh seasonings. If you want potato chips, try making your own. You will be amazed at how few you eat. When I make sweet potato chips for friends, they all comment on how good the real food tastes and how full they are with so few.

I’m also getting rid of other things that give comfort, but no healing like mindless TV, gossip and small talk. My mind craves new ideas and ways for learning and growing. I need the nurturing friendships that I have and each time I hear from an old friend I feel as if I’ve read an amazing new book. When I connect with someone new, I am renewed and reinvigorated.

When it comes to eating and learning and being, I have decided to live. I no longer want to be made comfortable nor do I want to act as if I’ll never eat again. I am eating and meeting and connecting with the foods and people and ideas that will enable me to heal and to live wonderfully, for now and forever.

·         What have you substituted and replaced for the real thing? Tough question I know but do some life searching and answer truly.

·         Try a new food. Go to the market, ask questions and learn how to prepare it. ENJOY!

·         Find a book that you own but have not read and read it.

·         Connect with someone you NEED to talk to and just say “no” to the ones you need to release.

·         Learn something new and share it.

Thank you for sharing your growth and being a part of this journey with me. You have no idea how much I need you, but I hope you can feel how much I adore you.

Be well, be you, be Real.

Bertice Berry, PhD.

1 comment: