A lot of times when I eat I feel like I am not doing so because I am hungry or because my body is physically requesting nourishment. On the contrary, far too often I eat to avoid dealing with the things in my life—be they thoughts, emotions, or situations—that are unpleasant, difficult to deal with, or uncomfortable.
Tired? Must eat.
Uncertain? What can I cram down my throat…
Happy? I just want to eat.
You get the idea.
Usually the things I reach for in these situations are not true “feel good” foods; I begin to crave sugar, processed fats, salty snacks, grains or carbohydrates, and very processed convenience food. Why is it that I reach these things and not—oh, say—an apple, a fresh kale salad, some crunchy carrot sticks, or a juicy orange? The reason is—and I can’t remember where I read this, but I have seen it written about many times— that processed sugary, fatty, carby foods actually numb the senses much in the same way that some drugs do! It’s kind of scary to think about but food really can be a dangerous and harmful drug…and it can also be a beautiful and energizing experience of taste, texture, color, and beauty.
The things that will really make us feel better are usually not found in a package. In fact, as a basic rule, the less packaged the product the better it is for you. If we were actually looking to feel better, though, chances are we would grab the genuinely wholesome and nourishing foods that nature provides for us instead of grabbing a bunch of chemical-filled junk. And if we really wanted to feel better why would be stuff ourselves into painful, uncomfortable oblivion? It is because the problems lie much deeper than the food itself.
The difference with raw, living food is that all those typical “comfort” foods (which really aren’t so comforting in the long run, as I discussed above) are eliminated from the diet. With all that “protection” gone, one is left to—gasp!—actually deal with those intense emotions, thoughts, and feelings.
It’s a painful process. Trust me; I know. In fact, that’s kind of what I’m going through right now: a desire to eat more whole fresh foods, yet that addiction to cooked comfort food that keeps pulling me back. I’m determined to win. Life is too beautiful to drown with food.