|NOTE by the author Karie Clingo: This was written when I first moved to Utah 4 years ago. I was seeking to become 100% "rawfood", and have discovered that diet is a continual adventure that we MUST allow everyone space and free agency to travel in their own ways. I have learned to be nicer to myself. I feel that this ATTITUDE, of being kind to myself, is the best diet of all!
So with all that said, here is my experience when I was doing the "getting to 100% raw struggle thing" a couple of years ago...
Yeah! I finally did it! For the past two months I stayed on a 100% (not 95% like in the past) uncooked, natural, "living" plant food diet. Tons of yummy fruit, raw nuts and creative salads. I did it as a last resort to calm symptoms of my PMS. (I was considering drugs next, having tried everything but Living Plant Foods and some fabulous herbs.) And it actually worked!
But then we moved. Not just across town but across a couple of states. Out of beautiful, sunny, Southern California into a new culture, new weather (winter), seasons, food and people. I was fine for awhile but then some people in my home started to struggle and we all felt it. (Southern California blood moving to cold country, financing two houses, moving a dog, cat and five kids plus a semi-truck full of belongings...not an easy task.)
On one of those rough days I left the house to go visit the local sunny indoor Mall with the three youngest children in tow. All of us were glad to rest from the un-packing! Once we were in the Mall we went upstairs into the food court, where all these wonderful smells were competing for each other, there was one smell that won out for me. It was that sweet, cinnamon kiss in the air; so seductive, so subtle..."Cinnamon Rolls" called out to me, "Eat one, just one. So sweet, so good....gooey, warm...." All kinds of reasons to give in swirled around in my mind like the icing on top.
Then my conscience said, "But you feel SO much better eating 100% Living Plant food..." unfortunately the other voice of hurt was so much louder. Is this a primal voice built into every woman? Eat sweets to feel sweet? If only for a moment it feels like something is loving you....So I did. And it was yummy.
I didn't keel over and die or go into a hypoglycemic shock. There I was, very happily, no guilt at all, munching on a warm, sugary "Cinnabon" while my two youngest girls played on giant plastic cupcakes and overturned ice-cream cones. (It starts early, doesn't it?...The messages coming at us, "Sweets are fun! They will make you feel happy!" Then we give into them and become close, intimate friends with sugar, in spite of our bodily complaints later...) While I enjoyed the dessert, a young mother came and sat next to me.
We started up a conversation, as only women do. About life, kids and men. (Usually how to forgive them...) We had a great conversation and I thought how she might like the laughingmother.com website. A part of me scanned the goals of laughing mother; To encourage the REAL in homes and hearts and attempting balance in between life, plus beautiful eating by Mother Nature....and that included healthy eating. So I licked the REFINED sugar off my fingers and told her briefly about the website. She was interested.
THEN my conscience spoke loudly. (Now it gets loud! Where was it when I was making my decision?) It said, "Here you are, licking the last of the cinnamon roll particles off your fingers right in front of one of your future readers---When she reads about eating HEALTHY she will remember this moment; Sitting cozily on a bench while our children played on cupcakes, with the creator of this healthy website sitting right next to her, licking frosting off her fingers instead of crunching on carrot sticks."
The stab of guilt lasted for a half a second, then a sweeter voice inside me, a deeper more gentle part said, "You are all right. Enjoy every bite of your choice. Your sister here will remember your sweet words of comfort and encouragement long after the smell of a cinnamon roll on your breath. The loving intent in your heart and what comes out of your mouth is more important in the long-run than what is in your tummy."
So, I was caught. Caught eating a cinnamon roll at a very difficult time, going easy on myself and loving another person, reaching out when I had a choice to be silent. Caught and happy to be caught. Let's stop every so often in the middle of trying to be "perfect" and eat "Cinnabons" to celebrate the fact that we are human and that we can! Let's get caught in the middle of difficult circumstances, making sweet choices, reaching out to others even if we don't feel like it or aren't that "perfect" at the time (or ever). Let's be real and listen the most to that voice deep within, sweeter than a cinnamon roll that says, "Love yourself and one another, with your mouth, and your heart."
With love and peace,