There are many levels of how we undernourish but overfeed our bodies. Some of us rely on fast or processed foods whether it’s because we feel we don’t have the time or the knowledge to cook healthy foods for ourselves. Some of us don’t eat a meal until we get almost sick with hunger and then all discretion is gone. Some of us don’t eat regularly because we just aren’t that interested in food. Some of us just want to eat what tastes familiar and eating different foods seem scary or unnecessary. Then sadly there are some of us who don’t have access to healthy foods because we live in a food dessert. This undernourishment is the biggest way we don’t practice self care.
When I was a child, my Dad worked shift work guarding the nuclear plant half an hour from our home. When ever he worked the night shift, he would always stop at a gas station on his way home and get a cup of coffee or snack for the road. EVERY SINGLE TIME he did this until I was 10 or so he bought a candy bar for us kids. They would be waiting for us on the kitchen table when we got up in morning and our mom would always let us have it right after breakfast. I know that my Dad meant well. He missed us and wanted to give us a small “treat” to show us that he was thinking about us. That’s what he called them in the handwritten note he left by the candy bars, treats. I do not blame my Father at all for the love affair with sugary treats and how I use them to “treat myself”. I, simply, want to show that little actions with the best of intentions can impact us all our lives. SO whenever, I feel overwhelmed, a little sugary pick me up would be my “treat”. I treated myself often. It also don’t hurt that sugary treats are also used to celebrate. WAHOOOO!!! I can justify the “fix” on a good day or a bad day, or a holiday. We always hear that sugar is nothing but empty calories but empty never tasted so good, am I right??
Anyway, this is a personal but perfect way of demonstrating overfeeding oneself. I know that I am not the only one who knows this cycle. You may not be a “sweets person” and you might prefer the salty comfort of pretzels and chips or may you like fatty treats like hamburgers when you need to blow off steam because you got stuck in traffic after a day at the job where your computer froze up before the presentation and you spilt coffee in your lap as the boss yelled at you. It doesn’t matter which food you use, if you use the same strategies with them.
It’s not just food either, we might have a love/hate relationship with sodas, ice cream, coffee, wine, hard liquor whatever the fix we use it to self soothe or get our happy on. If we are using a substance that offers no nutritional or very little nutritional value as often as I used sugar, then we are overfeeding and undernourishing our bodies. I know that I do it as escape and I see that same desire and habit in other people. It is my personal opinion that we are also undernourishing more than our bodies by overfeeding it with empty calories. I think that we are stunting something in ourselves by denying the feelings a place to reside.
Do we fear that these emotions will take root and become invasive? I think so. I think I learned that I didn’t have to really have to wallow in my feelings of missing my Dad when I was little if I just enjoyed the candy. Then I got in the habit of it and then my tastebuds really became accustomed to the hit of the sweet taste. The cycle is pretty ingrained not only in me but so many others.
As I’ve said before, this year is my year of Self Care and lots of LOVE. So for the month of January, I was involved in a cleanse that I designed to stop this covering up and running away. I also wanted to be really good to my body and take out foods that caused or contributed to inflammation, candida, stressors or interrupted the digestive process. I also included an herbal detox formula to help flush all the residue I had accumulated. It was an intense 30 days but I learned a lot. I shed light into areas that had been covered for decades, I had no choice but to face what came my way and I found out that I was so much stronger that I thought and I never quit or slipped up even with emergency dentist appointments, the death of family pet, or the very stress filled social life of a teenage son. I came to a greater understanding of what food does really mean and what is real hunger and what is habit. Which foods really made me feel full or upset my digestion, inflamed my body. I had to be super aware and I didn’t flinch. If that’s not self love, it’s at least self exploration and that is necessary to get to love.
This is a real ‘treat’ that is not only healthy for me but really satisfying. I hope you all enjoy it as well. Next week, I’m going to play around with a candy bar in honor of Dad’s Bday.
Cacoa Chaga Chia Pudding (I dare you to say that 3 times real fast)
1 1/2 cups of Almond milk- any non dairy milk will work studies have found that dairy actually blocks the absorption of the antioxidants in cacao or chocolate
1/3 cup Chia seeds
1/4 cup cacao
1/4-1/2 TBSP dual extracted Chaga Mushroom Powder
5- 8 pitted dates
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
40 Times the Antioxidants of Blueberries, and 119 times that of bananas. Antioxidants are substances that help prevent the damaging effects of oxidation on cells throughout your body
Highest Plant-Based Source of Iron.
Iron deficiency can lead to conditions like iron deficiency anemia, chronic anemia, cough, and pre-dialysis anemia. The health benefits of iron include the eradication of different causes of fatigue. Iron also plays a key role in strengthening the immune system by making it strong enough to fight off infections.
Full of Magnesium for a Healthy Heart & Brain.
Low amounts of Magnesium in the body have been linked to hypertension and cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and migraine headaches.
More Calcium Than Cow's Milk.
Calcium is not only vital for bone health but it helps with everything from the regulating menstruation to protecting you from multiple types of cancer
Boosts and stabilizes moods
Cacao contains the mood improver, anandamide – known as the bliss molecule, which creates a feeling of euphoria.
Health Benefits of Chia
High in Nutrients but low in calories
Loaded with Antioxidants
High in quality protein
High in Omega 3 Fatty Acids
May lower the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes
Reduce blood pressure
Health Benefits of Chaga Mushroom
Lowers inflammation particularly that caused by stress
Improves immune system
The polysaccharides in Chaga boost white blood cells that regulate the immune response to infectious micro organisms. This works against everything from the common cold to cancer.
Strengthens hair and firms skin