Food and Sacrifice and Getting Tangled Between the Two

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.

A full belly...

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.

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4 thoughts on “Food and Sacrifice and Getting Tangled Between the Two

  1. Blisschick December 23, 2009 / 1:45 pm

    FOOD IS MOOD! I am going to paint that somewhere in the kitchen, I think. I know this but to be reminded all the time seems essential. The less gluten in my diet, the less depressed is my brain. The more protein, the more energy. Etc.

    I don’t see this as anti-Christmas at all unless we are restricted to seeing Christmas as over-consumption of everything, including sugar cookies. 🙂

    If we see Christmas as the birth of light and creativity and joy and possibility, well, then, what better way to celebrate than taking care of ourselves, as you point out.

    (OH! And I JUST saw the bible meme and will get to it, ASAP. I am so thrilled you are writing again. I added you back into my reader! I would check periodically while you were pregnant and the twinge of sad I would get at your absence had me cleaning out my reader — I am so happy it is once again “fat” with your wisdom.)

  2. Danny Lucas December 23, 2009 / 2:51 pm

    Just before coming to this page, I read another thought on “food”.
    It comes from a sermon written on December 20, 1868.
    This is the 4th Christmas after our American Civil War, yet the message is timely today.

    Moira will eat much spiritual food, as well as table food.
    I pray she is nourished completely at all tables she sits…..including the table of mom first.

    Here is what I read:

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    We have nearly arrived at the great merry-making season of the year. On Christmas day we shall find all the world in England enjoying themselves with all the good cheer which they can afford. Servants of God, you who have the largest share in the person of him who was born at Bethlehem, I invite you to the best of all Christmas fare – to nobler food than makes the table groan – bread from heaven, food for your spirit. Behold, how rich and how abundant are the provisions, which God has made for the high festival which he would have his servants keep, not now and then, but all the days of their lives!

    From a sermon entitled “Good Cheer For Christmas,” delivered December 20, 1868
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    The appropriate link and credit goes to The Daily Spurgeon, which I enjoy on RSS. Words from the 1800’s still hold meaning to our lives today. The pictures at The Daily Spurgeon are also timely to the subject, and awesome to view.

    Here is the link if you choose to add spiritual food to your diet too:

    http://www.thedailyspurgeon.com/2009/12/he-invites-us-to-feast-everyday.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheDailySpurgeon+%28The+Daily+Spurgeon%29

    Merry Christmas, Marisa, to you and your family,……
    and to your family of readers! 🙂

  3. Robin December 26, 2009 / 4:06 pm

    I am enjoying reading your blog. I now realize very well the power of food. It is much higher than most of us (including me for the 1st 40 years of my life) realize. For so many years I thought I ate healthy, knew what all the supplements were in the health food store, proteins, antioxidants, on & on.. knew all about them. & then 5 years ago I stumbled into a raw food lifestyle and then I realized that all those things I thought were truths, flipped over on me & I realized I knew so little. Life is fascinating!! & food can be incredibly empowering and liberating.
    Your daughter is a lucky girl that you are on such an upward and healing path (I love kinesiology btw!)
    I appreciate your inspiration & sharing!
    Best wishes & Happy holidays to you and your family!

    • girlwhocriedepiphany December 30, 2009 / 8:49 am

      Dear Robin,
      Thanks so much for stopping by! Isn’t it amazing that we live in a world where so many are slaves to food, feeling like it eats them rather than they eat it and then being able to turn it around, to completely appreciate its power but see it as a sustaining, beautiful force? Looking forward to learning more about raw food on your blog too – an edible world I have not explored.
      Blessings, Marisa

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