I am out of practice here in the blog world, unable to distill my thoughts into the 500 word limit I try to impose upon myself. As you can tell, I am so immersed in mommyhood that all of my messages are filtered through the all encompassing experience of being with my baby 24-7. This is supposed to be a post on sacrifice, about how complicated a relationship we have with giving up what we want to believe is comforting and nourishing, even when we have definitive evidence that it is causing us or someone we love a great deal of harm. I intended to draw parallels between my diet’s effect on Moira and a conversation that I had with my husband about how lousy we are at really cutting back on anything even when we know our lifestyle is often enjoyed at the expense of our alleged dedication to preserving the planet for our daughter. Instead, it’s a little rant about the power of food. I think there are some good ideas in there somewhere…
The healing work that I do incorporates aspects of kinesiology, or muscle testing, a technique by which you can ask the body about the effect of anything from pollutants to emotions to foods. It is amazing all of the secrets one can uncover by checking on whether someone’s muscle is strong when confronted by a substance or an idea. It makes one into a detective, unearthing emotional issues and troublesome allergens, but sometimes you get more information than you may have ever wanted.
When my own energy healer worked on both the baby and me we discovered that the main culprits to be blamed for Moira’s digestive distress were corn and nightshade vegetables (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants). These are in addition to the foods that I already have to avoid for my own health and sanity. Now, when I need hundreds of extra calories per day to keep producing good milk for my baby, I find that my diet must be even more limited. Goodbye moussaka and tortilla chips, hello rice cakes and almond butter… Thing is, I see a hugely positive change in her already so I have a source of constant encouragement helping me to change my habits. If only we could see the results of every sacrifice so quickly.
If I were not so immersed in healing work and dedicated to being a detective intent on following whatever clues the body and soul have to offer, would I have just sighed at the terrible luck of having a colicky baby? How is it that we are programmed to be resigned to something like a screaming , hurting child, calling it a phase that she will grow out of?
We are so disconnected from our bodies and so oblivious to our intimate, vital relationship with everything we eat that we so often ignore food’s obvious connection with our well-being at every level. I will certainly admit that I’m no expert on anything other than how to be Moira’s mummy (and I only have nine inner months and two outer months experience at that!), but, in my brief experience, when it comes to infants, food is mood. And this is just as true in adult tummies too.
For years now I have been aware that certain foods wreak havoc on my system. I’ve behaved, I’ve cheated, I’ve gone on benders and consumed sugar and gluten and wine with wild abandon. Much of the time, I have acted like a recalcitrant child sneaking food or whining (at least internally) about all that I cannot eat. Of course, it was a foolish, misguided rebellion since the only one who suffered when I raided the Halloween candy stash was me. Until motherhood, that is – it can take as few as two hours for the food a mother eats to show up in breast milk and then affect a baby’s digestion and, by extension, her entire being.
I know I am not alone in this battle between what my mind know and what my belly craves. When nearly all of the major illnesses in affecting people in Western culture are linked to poor diet and excessive consumption it seems obvious that food wields infinite amounts of power.
This being Christmas Eve Eve, I realize this is the anti-holiday post in so many ways. But at least when you gather with your families for the holidays you can see the positive power of food as the table fills with the feast that represents all of the sentiments of the season: gratitude, love, celebration. Food is tradition and care and seems a more benign force than the other altars that pull us together – the piles gifts or hours of football.
Make the choices that best serve you, body and soul. No regrets, no looking back and souring a sweet meal with what you shouldn’t have placed on your plate. Love yourself as you nourish yourself this Christmas.