Making Peace With Food

This morning I read an interesting article by Megan Cuzzolino on the Holstee website, about the whole crazy way so many of us regard our food consumption; as a series of “tox shock” episodes that build up “badness” in our bodies… that must then be purged away by a “detox cleanse” of some sort.

What a terrible way to look at our relationship with food. Food is necessary. Food is one of life’s major joys.  And most of us wander through a highly constructed Eden of food in which we live, plucking what we want when we want from all around us. It’s a miracle really, how easy and bountiful.  That should be awesome, but it’s not. It’s a psychic torture of abundance.

Why do we feel so shitty about food all the time? Sometimes because we eat shitty food, OK. Thank you, corporate America, the sugar and corn and potato industries, and advertising. But sometimes we eat beautiful, delicious, nutritious food and still we feel bad. Really bad.

In my earlier life, I ate a lot of machine-made, factory-produced food, which changed over time from just plain over-processed, artificial-ingredient-filled to the same but with artificial sweeteners, no fat, and no nourishment. Insane. Now I eat mostly good, nutritious, natural and organic food. Trouble is I have a crazy-pants relationship with food after a lifetime of living in this culture of abundance and temptation and advertising, and I eat too much of whatever I love.  It’s a crazy-bad relationship of obsession, addiction, and yeah, shame. Accompanied often by a couple glasses of wine.

I don’t need information on good nutrition. I don’t need guidelines on what I “should” eat and when. I don’t need knowledge about calories or fat or carbohydrates or sugar or calories-in versus calories-burned. I need a release from my insanity, my obsession, my addiction to too much food than I should eat.

So I’m very, very glad to say that I’ve found the person who’s all about just that, and I’ve talked her into leading a workshop for Women At Woodstock this year. It’s a workshop that’s going to address food – what makes us crazy, how to stop being crazy, and how to love our bodies as they are at this stage of our lives and feed those bodies – happily, healthily, and with great satisfaction.

Carol Casalino, MS, CNS, a board-certified nutritionist and founder of Real•Life Midlife Wellness, will be teaching the workshop “Are You Eating Right For Your Age?” And I promise, it’s not going to be one of those nutrition workshops – you know, the kind where an artificially upbeat and really kind of patronizing woman talks as though she herself never veers away from the USDA food guidelines and in fact never eats interesting food of any sort, and she encourages all of us to replace those cookies with stalks of fresh celery and drink only clear water, brightened up with a slice of fresh lemon – a woman who gives us a chart of the nutritional content of common foods and tells us to count our calories and make sure we exercise a minimum of 35 minutes a day.  I scream in my head at the thought.

That is not what’s going to happen in Carol’s workshop, no. Carol talks about knowing your body, knowing how it behaves and what it needs at your age, acknowledging your taste buds, eating what the earth provides us and what’s delicious and satisfying, and avoiding what the factories manufacture for us… especially how to stop craving the artificial-ingredient-laden, nutritionally void food that never tastes quite right but that we’ve been brainwashed to think about and want. And she talks about avoiding toxins in our food, our personal care products, and our environment.  She talks about enjoying our life and our food and feeling good about it.

Think of it. Our bodies in love with our food, and our food loving our bodies. It’s a beautiful, hopeful dream. Can’t wait.


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