Carol | November 17, 2011
“I want to wuv it, but I don’t wike it.” (quoting my oldest when he was a toddler.)
I wanted to bake something special for Grammie’s 77th birthday. My mother decided to host a little party because usually all Grammie’s family visit her on her birthday and she has to prepare food and has even baked her own cake in the past. I came across a picture of a cute little pie on Pinterest, and C10 and I found the perfect large muffin tins at the grocery store yesterday. Perfect because they were non-stick AND $1.99 a piece.
I wanted to enjoy making the little pies. And I did in a way. But when I had them finished, ready for baking, I felt such disappointment.
Now that they are out of the oven, I feel some relief that they aren’t completely ruined, but I still worry about whether or not they will taste okay.
Cooking and baking make me feel bad. I hate cooking and baking. WHY? The people who love those things seem to have such passion for them. Why don’t I?
A few minutes ago, I was talking about the little pies, and I uttered the words, “I didn’t have enough…” and before I could finish my train of thought, my ten-year-old daughter piped up to fill in the blank, “Energy?? … Time?? … Patience?? …” How does she know me so well? Without knowing, she pointed out three of my problems with cooking and baking. I certainly don’t have the energy. Nor the time. And because of those things, I get impatient and hurry and then am unhappy with the results.
Baking is not like digital photobooking. I can take photos, remove red eye, crop them, arrange them on pages with beautiful backgrounds and frames and fonts, and fuss until they are (almost) perfect. I can stop and start anytime, and there is no mess. Those things don’t apply to baking. And I hate that. I want things to be perfect after working so hard, but with baking, they never are for me. And not only do things rarely turn out how I want, but baked goods are typically on the banned list of most health diets – even if I use so-called healthy ingredients. What’s the fun in making something for your family that is supposed to be bad for them?
Now, we are getting to the root of my problem with cooking and baking. “Eating right” involves first knowing what is “right”. And no two sources agree.
Like many people, I used to treat nutrition and “so-called” healthy eating as a religion. Year after year, I dedicated myself to trying many health diets for months at a time, hoping the next one would be my key to optimal health. Everybody said so. If I just followed the plan, then it would work. If I didn’t get healthy, then I was doing something wrong. Well, I wasn’t doing anything wrong. I was following the plans carefully – religiously. With each diet, (even the word “diet” was banned – it was “lifestyle change”), I spent months of strict eating, usually dragging my family along with me, and I always felt worse – never better. I do admit that with the occasional diet, I did lose a few pounds here and there.
A different set of rules and a different menu of foods came with every diet/health plan. There were always new lists of foods that I was allowed to eat and equally long lists of foods to ban. I collected garbage bags full of food with “something unhealthy on the label”, and I filled grocery store carts with previously unheard of vegetables that soon landed in the garbage as well. There were rules about the number of meals, which meal should be larger, and the time of the last meal of the day. Many programs had different ways to combine foods. Advice ranged from drinking large amounts of water first thing in the morning, to starting the day with water and lemon, to adding acidophilus 40 minutes before the first meal and digestive enzymes 20 minutes before. Then I was supposed to have protein. Or fruit. But never together. Nothing else could be eaten when you have fruit or it will ferment. Some of the diets banned most fruits with the rare exception, and some allowed only certain kinds of fruit, because some fruit was too sweet or too moldy or had too many toxins, etc.
Everybody said vegetables were good, but some diets said to have them juiced or blended, and some said raw, and some said to eat only certain vegetables. And some experts said vegetables simply aren’t nutritious enough these days, so supplements are essential. Heaven forbid having high-glycemic carrots or potatoes. On the other hand, some said baked potatoes were important – with the skins – as long as you didn’t have them with meat. And quite a few of the diets said to avoid all carbs like grains, rice, and high-glycemic vegetables. And some plans said that if you do eat those things, NEVER, ever eat them with meat. But don’t eat meat, eat fish. And eggs. Just the whites. No, just the raw yolks in organic grape juice. No, don’t eat eggs. Don’t even think about eating something that contains ingredients that can’t be pronounced. I was always told to be very afraid of additives, chemicals, hormones, food coloring, and sweeteners, etc. I tried vegan and vegetarian and gluten-free. I tried organic eating, and of course, I avoided the center aisles of the grocery store. I had dozens of health cookbooks with step-by-step programs. I tried everything from Atkins to Sugar Busters to Cooking with Stevia to Dr. Mercola. I listened to my personal healthcare providers and nutritionists. I listened to the supplement advisers. I constantly felt discouraged because I did not get the same results as the experts coming up with the food/health plans and their loyal followers.
All that brain washing and all those confusing and contradictory rules made me question every single thing I ever bought or cooked or ate for the past eighteen years.
When I look at this little pie I made for the party, I see white flour. You should NEVER eat white flour. No flour is best. I see margarine. Margarine is made from unhealthy, toxic fats. Avoid! I see cooked, previously frozen blueberries. You should eat berries fresh and uncooked! And not in combination with any other food. I see sugar mixed with the berries. Sugar is a definite no-no. An alternative is fructose because it is low-glycemic, but stevia is better. Actually, no sweetener is best. *sigh* It’s a crazy game.
Just over a year ago, while trying to recover from a debilitating pregnancy, I became completely fed up with the legalism and lack of results from all that healthy eating. I had been learning about freedom for quite some time. (It’s the theme around here if you haven’t noticed.) I began to think that the problem of healthy food was keeping me in bondage.
After my last baby’s birth, I set myself free of those rules and tried to let go of my burden of healthy eating. I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, and in whatever combination I wanted. During the past year, we ate out 2-3 times per week which included at least one trip to McDonald’s where I even ordered the FRIES. I had a Coke at least once or twice a week (after having previously banned soft drinks from my diet for at least fifteen years). With the help of breastfeeding and clearing conflicts, I lost 50 pounds. I still have 20 pounds to lose, but my healthcare provider told me that when you take my age, number of births, my inactivity and my health conditions into consideration, it will take me a little longer than the average. Previously, I lost most of my baby weight in 9-12 months. (Being overweight is typically caused by abandonment/rejection/refugee conflicts).
All those diets were never about losing weight. The goal was always to get my health back and to do what was best nutritionally for my kids. Finally (and thankfully), my path has changed, and I am gradually getting healthier by means of energy medicine, German New Medicine and NAET, along with the help of a few supplements suited to my particular needs. Although I still believe better personalized nutrition (definition debatable) may help in the healing of a person, I believe the actual sicknesses are caused by conflicts – emotional conflicts that result in specific and predictable physical health problems. Even eating foods most people consider healthy may be detrimental if those foods are actually allergy triggers in each unique person. I believe exercise is also beneficial to health recovery, so I hope to get over my exercise equals torture phobia. I have taken the first exhausting and painful step once again.
I intend to gradually make our food a little more nutritious, and our portions a little more controlled, with basically an “in-moderation” approach, but right now, I just want to come from a place of faith. I no longer fear junk food nor the so-called dangerous stuff added by scientists.
I believe over-doing the controlling of my kids’ eating will have the same effect on them as all my self-imposed rules had on me.
I do feel FREE, although I still occasionally have some false guilt. How do I know it is false? Because it is usually based on some ridiculous extra-biblical rules made up by people trying to sell books. Albeit, those people may have their own personal success stories (at least at the time of publishing), but they are not written in stone, and they were not tailored personally for me.
My intention is not to discourage you in your efforts toward “healthy” eating. I commend you for doing the best you can do for yourself and your family. If that means veganism or moderation or cake-for-breakfast/McDonald’s-for-lunch, then that is fine with me. After a long and difficult struggle, I am finally realizing that, “The kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”
This is a very interesting chapter from the New Testament. I’m not sure if I should click “publish” after reading verse 22 about keeping it between me and God.
1Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.
2For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.
3Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.
4Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.
5One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
6He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.
7For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.
8For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.
9For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.
10But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
11For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
12So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
13Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.
14I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.
15But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.
16Let not then your good be evil spoken of:
17For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
18For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.
19Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
20For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.
21It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.
22Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.
23And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.