Does food control you?
- Mel’s weekly food pick:
- Mel’s weekly recipe pick:
Almond Butter Buckeye Bites
Last week I shared my belief that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to managing your health and blood sugar. But…I also offered my thoughts on what I call “Universal Truths”, which are principles that apply to everyone. The first one is:
In this post, you will learn about Universal Truth #2: You control food; it doesn’t control you.
Sometimes it doesn’t feel like it, does it?
This Universal Truth is tied very closely to the first, especially when it comes to foods you’ve labeled as “bad.” Understand, that when you approach food—any food—with a mindset of good versus evil, especially if you happened to love the “evil” food, you set yourself up for a dysfunctional relationship with that very food. This is an unnatural state because whether you believe it or not, at your very core, you control food; it doesn’t control you…unless you give that food power.
Let’s revisit the all-too-familiar weight loss diet. Most popular diets provide you with two lists of foods: those you’re allowed to eat and those you must avoid. Let’s say one of the forbidden foods is Hershey’s Kisses. Let’s assume that up until this point, you’ve had a pretty healthy relationship with Hershey’s Kisses, eating maybe one or two every day with no guilt. But once that Hershey’s Kiss is placed on the forbidden list, it takes on a different form. No longer is it a harmless Hershey’s Kiss, it now takes on the identity of your warden, holding your thoughts prisoner. It trains you to think and obsess about it night and day, even showing up in your dreams. It’s an unnatural feeling of powerlessness, and you can’t quite figure out why. Eventually you break down and buy a bag of Kisses—because food always wins under these conditions—and soon, you’re sitting in the middle of a pile of foil wrappers, wondering what went wrong. It was like an out-of-body experience. That once peaceful relationship you had with the Hershey’s Kiss, turned into an all out dysfunctional and abusive one.
There is something you must understand…
The Hershey’s Kiss did nothing wrong, it was just being a Kiss. You were the one who changed. You went from being an independent thinker to single-handedly giving power and permission to food. Permission to rule your thoughts, beliefs, and feelings.
The question now becomes, how do you return to that peaceful state where you once viewed a Hershey’s Kiss as just a Kiss, a lump of chocolaty sweetness, instead of a tyrant?
The key is, you must view the Kiss and every other food on the face of the planet, as allowed. You must lift the proverbial red “X” off of all foods you’ve ever placed it on, including potato chips, chocolate, ice cream, cheeseburgers, and yes, Kisses. This is the only way to unlock your prison door, and the amazing thing is, you’ve held the key all along.
What are the signs that you’ve finally broken free from the chains of food?
You can walk past a bowl of Hershey’s Kisses, not take one and not want one. You can refuse the dessert at your favorite restaurant and not feel like a caged animal that really wants the chocolate mousse cake, but knows she shouldn’t. You just really didn’t want it! You can go for ice cream, order a scoop of your favorite flavor and savor every last bite without an ounce of guilt or regret.
When you lift the red “X” off of the Kiss and declare (and believe in your gut) I can have this Kiss if I want it– you my friend, have taken your power back! And what a sweet day that will be.
I don’t want you to misunderstand me here. I am not suggesting that you go to the grocery store and fill up your cart with any and all foods you’ve ever forbidden yourself from eating: the doughnuts, cupcakes, cookies, frozen pizza, etc. But what I do want to make clear to you is that it is your right to do so if you choose. None of these foods are off limits to you.
Try this little experiment the next time you go grocery shopping: take your cart down all of the aisles and departments housing your favorite, previously off-limit foods, and declare them allowed! For example, I push my cart through the bakery, past the doughnut, cookie, cake and brownie cases and mentally announce the following: I can totally have that doughnut if I really want it. I can so fill my cart up with brownies and white chocolate macadamia nut cookies if I really wanted them. I have the freedom to put into my cart, anything I choose. This simple act has a way of unraveling the chains and unlocking the door to your food prison cell, allowing you the freedom that is your birthright. Now, you can breathe.
The crucial key to this experiment is that you must believe deep down, that you can have these foods if you really want them. The question is: do you really want them now that you know you can have them?
I can almost hear you: Well of course I want it Melanie, I mean…who wouldn’t want a warm glazed doughnut over an apple and a brownie over a banana? Again, it is your choice, there’s nothing or no one stopping you. But, first I invite you to consider your vision of perfect health. If you could create a body in perfect health, what would that look and feel like? Would you have any aches and pains? How would your blood sugar look? My guess is that you would create a masterpiece of health. So it stands to reason that a body in perfect health would be fueled and sustained by healthy, natural foods from the earth, like vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, rather than man-made food shoved into boxes and cans.
It is your choice at the end of the day, and if you consciously choose to eat foods that, over time, can damage your health, you are the one who will have to face the consequences. Remember, you are accountable to one and only one person, yourself. So you will have to answer to and face yourself when making choices that are not compatible with your best, healthiest, highest self.
But what if you don’t like the taste of spinach, broccoli, quinoa and blueberries? What if even the thought of drinking a glass of water is enough to make you want to gag? What if your taste buds are so used to cheeseburgers, potato chips and peanut butter cups that you believe there is no hope for you ever getting to a place in your life where you are eating wholesome, nutritious foods on a daily basis, much less enjoying and preferring them? If you have these concerns, watch for next week’s Universal Truth #3: What you feed your body most, it will crave.
Mel’s weekly food pick:
Don’t worry, adding hemp seeds to your diet won’t qualify you as a pothead. It turns out, although closely related to the marijuana plant, hemp contains only a small amount of naturally occurring tetrahydrocannabinoids (THC), the active component of cannabis. So it won’t cause you to space out, nor will you test positive on your next workplace drug test.
Often referred to as hemp hearts, hemp seeds have a very pleasant, yet nutty flavor. Rich in inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids and a surprisingly great source of high-quality protein, hemp seeds are one of the only plant-based complete protein sources– meaning they offer all essential amino acids your body requires for good health.
You can eat them raw, cooked, or roasted. Try sprinkling hemp over a bowl of steel cut oats, hot vegetable dishes, or fresh salads. You can also add them to smoothies or mix into your favorite energy bite recipe. See my recipe below for Almond Butter Buckeye Bites!
Mel’s weekly recipe pick:
Almond Butter Buckeye Bites
I don’t know about you, but when I’m craving something sweet or salty, and I reach for junk food to calm the craving…it never works! In fact, it only makes it worse. Many of these foods are designed to do just that—make you want more! Think back to your last chocolate craving. Did eating a handful of M&M’s take care of it or did you venture back into the kitchen for another treat?
There’s nothing better than an upgraded treat that not only tames your craving, but also satisfies hunger! The best of both worlds. Almond Butter Buckeye Bites are made with Pure Bone Broth Collagen (or Pure Bone Broth Protein Powder), magnesium-rich cacao nibs, and omega 3-rich hemp seeds…and each bite is sweetened with less than one teaspoon of raw honey!