Food as love, food as battle

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fruitGrowing up, my mom provisioned the kitchen with lots of apples, oranges and bananas.

And sometimes there were pears.

There was a lot of practicality in those bananas and oranges—nutritious, thick skinned, and able to withstand the inevitable bludgeoning that came with being a part of a sack lunch.

But I had a hunger for those softer fruits.

The raspberries and strawberries and blueberries.

Those were much harder to come by.

I’m not sure why we didn’t have as many of those.

Maybe they were too expensive.

Too soft and perishable for lunchboxes, maybe.

It might have been a matter of what was on offer at the grocery store in the middle of a Texas spring.

But summer’s creeping up, and it’s got me thinking about all those berries.

About good summertime eating. About food as love. And food as battle.

Food as love

soupI’m not a dietician or a nutritionist.

But I do know that eating well and mindfully can be one of the best ways you ever take care of yourself.

Every meal you have is an opportunity to check in, to nourish, to nurture.

To eat.

To eat well.

How often are you taking full advantage of that opportunity?

And I mean really eating.

I mean making a thoughtful, wholesome meal and having time to really enjoy it.

That, in contrast to putting some food in your face in order to quiet your belly rumblings,

or so that you don’t get shaky or tired,

or because it’s your lunch break so of course you’re going to eat (whether you’re hungry or not).

There are so many wonderful rich, ripe foods that come with summer.

I’m looking forward especially to all the berries. What are you looking forward to?

Perhaps you’ve heard the saying:

“Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.”

Consider today’s post a reminder to enjoy all the wonderful foods of summertime—

to eat fresh & local when possible,

to eat what’s in season,

and to take some time to slow down to lovingly prepare and enjoy a delicious, simple meal.

Food as battle

tape measurerFor many of us, food is a battle.

It can manifest in the shape of missed or skipped meals, bingeing, dieting and restricting.

It can be the “good” foods and “bad” foods game.

It can be an addiction.

Some of these battles can run quite deep.

And unlike other substances, like alcohol or drugs, which can be avoided entirely in the process of recovery, we must make peace with food in order to survive.

We cannot exclude it from our lives.

In order to renegotiate our relationship with food, we have to clear a path through the war torn areas.

Looking at our beliefs and expectations around food and our bodies, what our culture and family may have taught us, can be important pieces in the recovery process.

If you are struggling with an eating disorder, I certainly recommend the help of a counselor who specializes in food & eating disorders, and I’m happy to make some referrals if you’re in the Austin area.

Food as love: some ideas

iced teaI talk all the time about self-care and ways of keeping our tanks and pitchers full… I’ve certainly used plenty of food metaphors & written about food as love before.

I’ve gone on and on about recipes for homemade happy, about mindfully incorporating the stuff we want into our world & living by our priorities.

And what to do with our lumpy batter.

I wrote about finding Buddha at the breakfast table (over a bowl of berries, not surprisingly).

I remain a staunch advocate for the hour-long lunch break.

I’ve talked about the most delicious piece of cake I’d ever eaten, a lesson on mindfulness and food.

And I’ve even written here and there about consoling myself getting through poison ivy and other illness with a bit of comfort food.

So, how will you feed yourself this week? What are you using to fill your tank?

How will you practice food as love today?


Last year:  10 signs you’re a workaholic

Two years ago:  Keeping yourself company

Three years ago:  An ode to everyday moms

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