Last week I posted about letting go instead of clinging to control in our lives. This week, I wanted to bring that concept back to food and eating. Our food is so often one of the first areas in our life to go “off” if something isn’t being addressed inside, and we need to be present when it does.
As you know, not all of my posts are directly about food issues; that’s because if we can keep the big picture/heart stuff in check and stay present in our feelings and in our bodies, often we can mitigate the food behaviours altogether.
But I’m no fool either. I know that old familiar patterns have a way of sneaking up on us, catching us “unawares” as the case may be, and before we know it, we are restricting or regimenting or trying to curb our feelings with a big bowl of peanut butter something! The behaviour itself is not really the issue; rather, it’s the obsessive thinking that gets all of us in one way or another. Retreating to our heads, we start to try and control the behaviour. If we eat this, don’t eat that, if we have a plan, then somehow we will lose weight, be okay and loveable, and have a perfect life. This little control strategy might work for a while, but what about when life happens and our plans fall apart? The meal option we were counting on isn’t available. Or you planned your daily caloric intake with a salad for dinner and everyone is going out for pasta. Or we can’t eat when we’ve decided we should. It could be anything. And that’s when we realize how little control we actually have. That’s also when most of us start to freak out.
The moment of the “freak out” is the exact moment when we need to let go and trust! Your body WILL tell you when it’s had enough to eat. And, it will even tell you what foods make you feel alive and nourished, and what foods drag you down. All the information you need is there, making it safe to let go.
So if you are in hyper-control mode with your food, let up on the ‘plan’, maybe just a little and see what you can learn from your body’s direct feedback. Simialrly, if you are forced to let go of the plan due to external circumstances, it’s alright. You’ve got your Plan B (B for Body, right?). Trust yourself to find a safe space between the extremes. With enough practice, Plan B might just become your permanent default.
Here’s a good recipe for when you really didn’t have time to plan anything for dinner, and is sure to winover the masses if you happen to be having guests. I feel like I’m cheating somehow by posting this, because the secret to this salad is really in a specific brand of store-bought salad dressing (gasp)! The dressing is called “Little Creek” and it’s one of the best discoveries I’ve ever made. It’s not only great on salad, but in rice bowls, or as a dip for yam fries.
Just a note on buying Little Creek. It’s available in two sizes, a 295 ml and a 750 ml size. The smaller size doesn’t go very far and so you might be tempted to go big. However, don’t! I have found countless times that the larger size seems to be more diluted and more oily than its smaller, more concentrated counterpart. Because it’s an expensive little bottle, I’m going to do us a ll a big favour and try to figure out the recipe so we can all make it by the vat at home! Project “Little Creek at Home” is officially underway. Until then….
Up Little Creek Salad
Serves 2 for a big bowl meal each, or 4 for a side salad.
4 cups mixed baby greens
3/4 cup chickpeas (rinsed canned or cooked)
1/4 cup naturally sweetened cranberries
1/4 crumbled feta or toasted pumpkin seeds
Little Creek Dressing to taste
Mix all together and enjoy!