To read the original “30 unrefined days agreement” click here.
It’s the end of my 3rd week in “30 unrefined days” (save maple syrup, cacao and unrefined oils) and one of my most challenging and telling moments happened just this a.m. Most people have days when they feel a bit down and need some sort of a boost. This morning was like that for me times 10, via an overwhelming feeling of sadness.
I was having a really hard time of intentionally shifting my energy although I did take the time to do some centering exercises. As Hodie was nursing I was breathing in and visualizing the Infinite light of life, and doing my best to settle into that feeling of perfection and unity, yet when I came out of the meditative mode my spirit was still feeling the pressure of sadness. I checked in with myself to see what it was really about and many different scenarios arose, none of which I could instantaneously change (at least physically, I am working on the mental end of it). The “telling” part of it all was that I KNEW that a latte, and a piece of chocolate could turn my frown upside down! Now WHAT in the world is that all about?
Because none of those options were available (at least right away) I had the opportunity to reflect on the fact that I was sad, couldn’t make an immediate change and therefore wanted to eat these mind altering substances – crutches keeping me from dealing with the reality of my moment. Being that today was a “coffee” day (the original agreement allowed for 2 and I amended it to allow 3 cups a week) I decided to walk up to the bakery and get my latte. My husband agreed to watch our son so I could have the walk to reflect. Walking has always been an outlet for connecting to my heart and prayer, and that is exactly what this walk turned into.
The walk still ended at the bakery, and in the end I still had my latte, but my energy had already profoundly shifted (another enlightening moment in that although I couldn’t change immediate circumstances, I could shift my energy and feelings via immediate actions like asking for support and going for a walk!). While ordering the latte I noticed how my mind was experiencing the idea of eating a sourdough roll, and how that would completely (at least for the time being) even further shift my mood. I didn’t buy the roll, but I did notice the feeling and the thought of it. Craving coffee makes sense because of the caffeine and it’s immediate chemical effect, the chocolate also because of the tryptophan, phenylethylamine, and other mind altering, heart opening chemical constituents, but why the bread? Do you know? I’ll have to look further into it, for now my only guess is the simple carbs turning into sugars, and something about the light and chewy texture that hits my “comfort zone” spot. All in all just really interesting to notice, but not act on these addictive tendencies.
I came home and decided to make my own chocolate treat. This was my facebook post after making them:
Here’s what I had on hand – Sprouted and dehydrated sesame seeds, soaked and dehydrated walnuts, sprouted and dehydrated buckwheat groats, maple syrup, cacao powder, sea salt and vanilla. In a flash those simple ingredients became awesome little chocolate energy bars, and they did hit the spot. I‘ll post the recipe later this week, but it goes to show that having the good stuff on hand makes a world of difference. Admittedly the thought did cross my mind of throwing the agreement out the window for one sourdough roll to bandaid my burdened heart strings. I didn’t do it, I don’t think I would have even if I didn’t have the good stuff on hand, but having the good stuff made a world of difference.
With one week to go on this agreement I have had many thoughts of the next agreement to come. As I posted in my most recent newsletter I am pretty certain that I will go with 30 days of Hara Hachi Bu, the Japanese method of eating to 80% fullness. Many cultures have similar teachings around not eating until you are completely full. The Rambam a Jewish Philosopher and Physician recommended eating to ⅔ full. In western dietary principles I have heard it is best to leave 20% of your belly free for digestive fluids and space for digestion to occur. Ever since I was obese as a teenager, and no matter where I went with my food intake (even juice feasting for 92 days) I ate well beyond the 80% mark. Even if I were eating the cleanest diet on the planet – if I am over eating I am not serving my body or doing the food and all that went into it’s production, any justice. This will be a huge challenge for me and a huge accomplishment to pull off and get comfy with. More on that as I finish out the final week of my current agreement.
Back to the present; eating a whole food diet feels very natural to me and at the end of the day there is no guilt around what I eat. there is still some guilt around how much, which is where my next agreement falls into place. I love that with these first two agreements (night eating and 30 unrefined days) they are becoming habits and patterns that are sticking. With night eating I am not stopping all food intake by 7 p.m. as that was too rigid with the changing season and sunset, but after dinner I am not eating. I still tend to watch a movie or other program after Hodie goes to bed (a future agreement will come from that habit), but I have not been eating or drinking during that time which is HUGE for me! Eating all whole foods has felt so good that I can foresee it becoming the regular pattern – with some room for a meal out here and there (we don’t do it much, but again I am just not into the rigidity or extremism of saying never).
Thats about all I have to share for this week, an earful and thanks for reading if you made it down to this point.
Question for today:
Do you know or have any thoughts on why BREAD is a trigger for emotional eating and numbing?
Thank you for reading and thank you for sharing.