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Sane eating and healthy living

I’m late, I’m late for a very important date! I’m so sorry this week’s Monday post has been delayed. I had to move offices at my workplace, and it threw off my entire day. Forgive me for lagging behind.

This week we’re tackling chapter 4, Freedom by the Forkful, and taking a closer look at willpower, sane eating, and the ways our need for love and peace in our lives can keep us tied to high-fat comfort foods that make us feel good for the moment but drag us down over the long haul. I can see that at play in my own life these days. Back when I wrote this chapter of Cravings years ago, I was working out of my house and able to make time and space for my daily meditative morning ritual of “mindful oatmeal.” In addition, I’d often take time out of my day to chop up some veggies and make a green drink or start a pot of soup or  do some other prep so I could have a healthy, home-cooked meal ready by dinner time. Although life was still hectic, our diet seemed to have a good measure of sanity. When I began working outside the house 18 months ago, however, all of that changed. Aside from cutting out my mindful oatmeal routine, I have become much more reliant on pre-made foods, easy meals, and take out, none of which leave me feeling very healthy and happy after the eating is over. The reality is that eating healthy can take a lot of time and energy. It’s easier to eat fattening comfort foods. And so our challenge now is deciding if we’re worth the time it takes to do the shopping and chopping, prepping and planning required to create balanced meals in a peaceful atmosphere. No more eating on the go, munching in the car, standing at the counter with one hand in a bag of chips as you scroll through emails. (Guilty here!)

To be honest, the winter months don’t work in our favor on this front. I know here in upstate New York the cold, gray days make me less likely to stop at the store on the way home to pick up fresh produce and other ingredients I need to whip up something healthy. On nights like tonight, when sleet is pinging against the windows, I’m much more likely to serve up a big bowl of pasta or order in a pizza. So we have to find ways to make it easier to do what’s good for us. Can you use your lunch hour to run out and grab some healthy ingredients for dinner rather than eating at your desk? Can you make a couple of meals ahead of time on the weekend, so you have something ready to go on a busy weeknight? Can you look at your schedule and plan a menu that will be realistic when all those events marked on your calendar roll around? I know I’m a great one for planning a healthy menu filled with lots of fresh veggies and unusual grains, but, come midweek, I can be found digging around in our basement freezer and pantry, hoping to find a bag of frozen string beans and a box of rice pilaf instead. Best laid plans…

This week, take some time to look at your calendar and your fridge and put together some meals that are fresh and healthy but not so hard to make that you’ll give up before you get started. Look for nights when you’ll have time to eat in peace and at a nice slow pace. Make the cooking itself part of your mindful practice. And never underestimate the power of simple foods — a side of fresh steamed broccoli with a squeeze of lemon, a plate of roasted carrots and cauliflower, a bowl of brown rice or a plate of salad piled high with healthy toppings. What’s your favorite healthy food?


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  1. Linda #

    I can totally relate to this! I returned to work about two years ago. Since I am in my 60s, I find that I’m much more tired and want really simple meals. What has helped me is to cook enough for two meals. For example, I made a large pot roast yesterday and told my husband not to touch it because it will be Wednesday night’s supper. Rice can become fried rice for another meal. Simple meals are definitely my style, especially during the workweek! Since there are few restaurants where I live, the temptation is not as great to eat out!

    January 24, 2017
  2. Patti #

    I was reading an article in Share, the Catholic Daughters magazine and came across this scripture passage:

    “Go, eat your bread with joy and drink your wine with a merry heart, because it is now that God favors your works.” – Ecclesiastes 9:7

    I felt like this passage summed up beautifully our journey through Cravings and wanted to share it with “The Tribe”

    January 25, 2017
    • Mary DeTurris Poust #

      Thank you for sharing that quote!

      January 30, 2017
  3. Ninette #

    I just finished the chapter today and it took me back to a time when I had a healthy relationship with food….way, way back. I’ve had a pretty full life…7 years in the convent, 12 years single and almost 29 years married. I think back to the “single years”. I cooked for myself every night…simple, healthy meals. If I did overdo it was another helping of healthy food. I didn’t desire dessert, candy or sweets of any kind. What’s changed??? Now all I crave is sugar. I may have had a muffin for breakfast then and now a muffin for breakfast brings on guilt. I mostly ate when I was hungry and stopped when I was satisfied. Because I was alone at dinner my eating was mindful, focused, measured. How do I incorporate into my present? I need to give that more thought…more prayer.

    January 28, 2017
  4. Mary DeTurris Poust #


    Same here! My daughter and I were just saying tonight that we might need to tackle this as a family because it’s so hard to be the one healthy eater at the table. Like you, I used to eat much healthier when I was younger and now crave sweets and carbs. And I just can’t seem to fit in exercise with our crazy schedule.

    I have noticed that I am feeling more centered and more mindful even if the eating part is not yet where I want it to be, so I guess that’s something. Baby steps…


    January 30, 2017

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