I’m so excited about this! My first Monday Motivation’ post on this leap year extra (special) day, is going to be looking at The Whole Food Rainbow’s message to TREAT YOURSELF WELL, today and over the next weeks I’m going to dig down, have a good root around and explore its meaning. Starting with the first word…
1. to behave towards or to deal with in a certain way 2. to try to heal or cure. We also use it as a word for reward, having a treat, ‘I’m treating myself to this (because I deserve it).’
Today I’m going to focus on
HAVING A TREAT
I’ve been known for talking about treating myself a lot. Eye-rolling has been noticed when I use the treat word. Of course a treat doesn’t have to be food, but it so often is. In recent times I have leaned heavily on healthy-but-still-a-bit-naughty ‘treats’ to keep going. Sometimes it means having something that feels indulgent and enjoying it without a self-critical inner voice chastising you, but more meaningfully it means seeing and experiencing nurturing, nutritious foods as treats too. If you have a sweet tooth make a healthy sweet treat, they do exist! Try this, this, this, or this, or have a gooey date, or a piece of gorgeous organic fruit. A lot of these have been eaten by me this year, and a lot of these...
TREATS, STRESS AND CRAVINGS
Those Chocolate Almond ‘Raw’ Cake Bites and other such like creations got me through a lot of stress and made me happy when I needed them to. 2015 was the year of the home-made chocolate treat, and I enjoyed them SO MUCH. It was great. But, if I am completely honest with myself (and that is what I strive to be, to allow myself to listen to my true voice, you know, the one that always knows what’s going on but sounds like it’s very far away sometimes), chocolate is something I should have as a more occasional treat, or at least a small portion of. If I make a batch over the next days I keep going back to it till it’s gone, so at the moment I am avoiding them. I have been able to cut this cycle of behaviour since my recent juice fast, I just haven’t been wanting sweet treats that much, or thinking of treats at all like I used to, it really has reset me in that way, which is great! And I have lost weight 🙂
I realise now that eating too many chocolates was a big culprit in struggling to shift a bit of weight that I needed to (it seems obvious I know…). In small portions they’re healthy, but I went a bit overboard. And that’s because I have so much stress in my life, I felt I needed something to keep me going, and chocolate literally does that, releasing endorphins. Stress saps endorphins and releases adrenaline. This makes many people reach for rich, sweet, salty, fatty comforting treats, it also makes you put on weight more easily, because of over-indulging and also the over-release of the hormone cortisol, which makes you more hungry, and so the cycle goes on… sometimes it can get pretty bad and our perspective can become totally warped about what it is that we are doing to ourselves with food. A lot of people are in this state of denial. Some people of course are in times of stress and anxiety under-indulgers (spell-check hates this new word! Ha ha good), and they need to work on treating themselves more and allowing themselves to enjoy food as much as they can.
it’s all about nurture, balance and perspective.
A real treat should be nurturing, indulgent even, why be puritanical? But if we tell ourselves ‘this is a treat’, and it is making you unwell, how is it a treat at all? For some people they are able to eat what they want, are healthy and not overweight, they aren’t compulsive about food, they eat fruit and they eat flapjacks, they eat chips sometimes and also big salads, and everything’s hunky dory. They’re not the norm however these days, in these times of plenty, and for most of us, and increasingly so, we need to really think about what treating ourselves means, and work on how we can be as healthy as we can be. And for some of us with health issues this is more complicated, it involves working out which specific foods and food groups we should avoid to reduce our symptoms, through the use of elimination diets, and embracing a new way of eating, a whole food specialist diet that works for us and gives us the best active quality of life we can have.
The Whole Food Rainbow is here to help you on that journey. Now all the foods I eat feel like treats, because they’re so rewarding to make, using such lovely ingredients, and they make me feel good, before, during and after I eat. We have to train the mind up to be our ally, and give ourselves the time and resources we need to change for the better and to truly treat ourselves well.
MY ORGANIC FRUIT AND VEG BOX IS THE BIGGEST TREAT OF ALL!
I used to feel hungry when I wasn’t and have near-constant food cravings, which ruled my life and drove me to distraction, making my relationship to food manic and needy. Many would use the word greedy, but that’s so unhelpful. It turns out it was because as a coeliac (latent and undiagnosed for many years) I was undernourished, and when I embraced a plant-based diet of whole foods, and massively upped my fruit and vegetable intake, the cravings disappeared, fast. It was amazing, and now I don’t have them, ever, which is like a miracle, but it’s just down to eating the healthy balanced diet that my body was craving. It was sending out mixed signals. It was telling me I NEED SOMETHING SWEET, SOMETHING SWEET NOW!!! SWEET AND FATTY, SWEET AND FATTY!!! on a mega-phone in my head, but what it meant was I NEED LEAFY GREENS, LEGUMES, SEAWEED, OH AND GET ME SOME OF THOSE SQUASH, THOSE APPLES, AND, WALNUTS… and oh! it’s a beautiful day…
Because of the plant-based diet of whole-foods I now eat, I have found balance and true food happiness. This globe artichoke is now what represents a real treat for me, of the best kind. It’s beautiful, uplifting, nurturing, symbolises (my fantasy of) culture and pleasure and a lifestyle that I aspire to. It’s glorious. It makes me smile every time I see it in my kitchen. Now that’s a treat which is truly treating myself well.
Treat yourself to something beautiful and nurturing today ♥
Till next Monday beautiful humans, step forwards boldly and
treat yourself well, today and every day X X
SONG OF THE WEEK this