Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Happy Medium?

It occurs to me that one week from Thursday, I'll be done with the Whole30 and will need some sort of plan for reintroducing foods into my diet. I don't want to do it all willy nilly, as I'd like to find out what foods are triggers for certain issues, and by certain issues, I mean acne and grey hair. This morning I looked in the mirror after washing my face and noticed that the grey hairs that normally populate the area near my right temple were gone. I was baffled. But then I rememberd how stress turns hair grey, and it occurred to me that eating more healthy foods and eliminating harmful ones might have the opposite effect. Still, it's weird, right?

I don't really care that much about the grey hair, but more about what it means overall for my health. I'd like to approach adding foods back in a way that will enlighten me as to what is worst and what is okay in limited amounts. Much to my surprise, I haven't missed pasta or even cheese that much. I have missed desserts and sometimes a bit of bread (good bread, warm on the table at a nice restaurant, with a side of butter, bread) and definitely my coffee. DEFINITELY my coffee.

I know that a lot of people who do the Whole30 and stay on the plan are out for optimal health and sticking to a system that will keep them eating this way most of the time. And while that's nice and all, what I'd really like is to enjoy food again. We've had some good dinners that I will definitely cook on a regular basis going forward, but I've missed just sitting down and really enjoying a meal. I think it's okay for food to bring pleasure; it doesn't have to just be a tool that is fuel for your body. I also think it's okay for some foods or drinks to be comforting, as long as you're not comforting yourself more often than not.

On Saturday we gave the go ahead for searchers to look for our daughter's family in Ethiopia; they are in the drought affected region, and we have been quite worried about them. While we were figuring out a way to look for them that would work with our budget, I'll admit that I had a heavy heart, but it was nothing compared to what overtook me once I'd emailed all the documents and accumulated information and recent photos of our girl. In that moment, I surely would have liked to sit still with a nice coffee, sweet and with cream, wallowing in my sudden grief.

It's not that the Whole30 people say you can't ever have your sweet coffee with cream, but I get the sense from reading articles on the resource page that wanting a dessert just because you want it is frowned upon, and craving a familiar warm drink when you're sad is not the direction they want you to head. I don't want that to be my life, frankly. At the same time, I also don't want to go back to eating very few fruits and vegetables and grabbing junk because I don't want to make the effort to eat something good. So I'm looking for a happy medium. I've got nine days to figure it out.

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