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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Using food to fill your spiritual "emptiness"

Do you ever use food to "fill yourself up", when you're not physically hungry? I sure do!
Recently I've had a difficult period of waiting to have a medical procedure. The waiting is a lot harder than the procedure itself will be, I'm sure. I find myself eating when I'm not at all hungry, and at other times not eating when I AM hungry. I've been asked how this works for me; do I overeat when I'm upset or not eat? Well, I guess the answer is it varies a lot.
I am aware, though, that I'm using food to "fill" that space that holds my anxiety.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

What do you want to eat when you need comfort?

This is such an interesting question to me. People are so different, and it's great to hear the answer to this question.
I almost always want smooth, creamy foods, like ice cream or frozen yogurt, pudding, cottage cheese and sour cream (a childhood favorite), banana, cream of wheat or oatmeal (creamy).
Sometimes I want crunchy breakfast cereal, with raisins.
While I love salad and fresh fruit, these are not the foods I want when I need comfort.
What are your comfort foods?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Spirituality of Eating: Eat what you love, and love what you eat.

Have you ever thought of food and eating as a spiritual experience? The experience of tasting something simply marvelous and yummy can be so intense that it’s startling. Feeling hungry feels empty, eating food we love tastes wonderful, and eating just till you are full and satisfied rounds out the spiritual experience of eating.

When you are thinking about eating, consider 3 questions:
• Am I hungry, physically hungry?
• What do I really want to eat?
• How much of this food do I really need to be satisfied?

Food tastes better when you are hungry, physically hungry and that’s a physiologic fact. Consider that when we begin eating, the food tastes good, and as we fill up, the food might still be good, but it’s not as fabulous as that first bite. The food hasn’t changed, but our experience of eating it has changed. We have changed, physically changed, when we are no longer hungry. So, waiting to eat until you are hungry is the best strategy you can have to a comfortable relationship with food.

Being physically hungry is really good news; it means the food will taste very good. If you are eating what you really, really want, that’s a plus in terms of having a spiritual experience with food. Stopping when you are physically, mentally and spiritually full is a very important aspect of eating to satisfaction.

If you are “tuned in”, the movement from hunger to satisfied fullness is truly a spiritual experience.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Are evenings hard for you in terms of snacking?

Many of my patients and friends tell me that after dinner is their hardest time of day in terms of wanting to eat even when they are not hungry. I know this is my most difficult challenge in eating consciously. If I've had a satisfying dinner, and am NOT hungry, I shouldn't want any more food, right? Many evenings that's just not the case. I really enjoy a (small) bowl of frozen yogurt and often that's enough. But some evenings I just want to keep eating! This is very frustrating. I feel best when I eat when I'm hungry and stop when I'm full.