Muscling through.

Muscling through.

Right now I’m working a post-vaca cleanse. It’s not really an official “cleanse” I guess, but that’s just my generic term for “I-just-ate-whatever-I-wanted-for-the-past-week (probably longer but we’ll go with the past week) and-my-jeans-are-tight-so-I-need-to-eat-things-that-I-don’t-want-for-a-little-while.” So that’s what I’m doing. Basically I’m eating fruits, veggies, and fresh juices for the foreseeable future. I figure, no one ever got fat eating fruits and veggies and they are healthy.

The natural progression was to start yesterday (Monday), because who in their right mind starts a diet (I hate that word) cleanse any other day!? The problem was that I was a little lazy Sunday night after getting back from vacation and didn’t feel like going grocery shopping for the week. This left me with almost no food in the house and certainly nothing that fell in the the category of “cleanse food”. So this morning I had a decision to make, do I put off starting a day or figure out some way to get healthy food before going to work? Generally I would choose the “put off” option, the problem is that if you do that too often you get into the very bad habit of allowing any obstacle as an excuse to “start tomorrow”, and I don’t want to live my life like that.

So, yesterday morning I quickly got ready and out of the house with some time to spare, and set the my sights on Stop and Shop. My thought was to pick up a salad from their salad bar and a few fruits and veggies to get me through the day. As I walked in I was momentarily disappointed because the salad bar wasn’t set up yet. But that only lasted a short time as when I looked up I saw a woman walking toward me with all the salad fixings on a cart. I figured I would grab the rest of what I wanted and by that time the salad bar would be ready. Not so. Apparently there is a whole process that needs to be gone through before they actually put the items in the bar. Every few minutes I would look over in anticipation of grabbing my salad and heading to work. First the lady was wiping down the counters, then painstakingly de-smearing the sneeze guard, then with great care dusted the display up top. I’m sure all of what she was doing was doing was good and necessary, however when you are on a time frame and the other person doesn’t seem to notice, it can be a little maddening.

Long story short, my time ran out before the salad bar was ready so I grabbed a quick plan b (well, really I think I was up to about plan d or so), a pre-washed bag of lettuce and got myself to work. When lunchtime came around I was less than enthusiastic about my salad. As I sat at my desk talking to my co-worker she said, “Are you enjoying that salad?” I shook my head and made a face to which she responded, “It didn’t look like it.” At that moment I contemplated my next move. I certainly had the ability to just chuck the salad and run out to grab something much better tasting somewhere else, or I could sit there and muscle through this really quite bad tasting bowl of lettuce.

Somewhere in my thought process I remembered something I’d read recently. It was from a book which discussed cultural differences and it brought up how most cultures don’t have a concept of whether or not an individual likes or enjoys a particular food – that is very much a

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question unique to industrialized societies. The importance of the taste of food pales significantly when factored against the availability and nutrition of food.

I think there is probably a healthy balance that can be reached with this issue. Yes, we have the ability and resources to make food that both tastes good and is good. We have been blessed with abundance. However, we don’t have to take that abundance for granted. My goal when making food is to make it enjoyable and useful, but in those rare cases where it isn’t, I’ve been reminded that making my taste buds happy isn’t the ultimate goal. Sometimes you’ve just got to muscle through.

In my mind the one exception to this would be foods that you aren’t enjoying AND that aren’t good for you. On vacation my sister-in-law wisely chose not to finish a dessert she wasn’t enjoying. My initial reaction would generally be not to waste food, but she was totally right! Why force yourself to eat something bad for you that you aren’t even enjoying? (Another good question is why we choose to eat food that is bad for us to begin with, but that’s another topic.)

I don’t know why this thought seemed so revolutionary – I’ve been told to eat my food and be thankful since I was being fed solid food – but it certainly seemed to “click” in a different way yesterday, which is good I guess. I think that’s the difference between just hearing something and actually believing it. We can hear truth over and over, and even give verbal assent to it’s truth, but it’s not until that truth becomes real in our own lives that we can be truly impacted by it.



  1. I don't like wasting food either, but it's swimsuit, you know. lol

    I was also lazy after vacation! I'm going to the store in a few to stock up on supplies for rest of the weeks deit! Not sure how long I'm going to do it for but I'm thinking at least 5 days.

    1. Amen! I need to start thinking more like that. I've gotten a lot better, but I still find myself mindlessly eating junk food simply because it's in front of me. Very sad.

      I've been doing mostly fruits/veggies/juicing with one healthy meal (like rice and beans or quinoa). It feels good. Probably tomorrow I'm going to go full swing as I just got back from the grocery store with healthy reinforcements. I really do prefer healthy food over junk food, I just need to keep reminding myself!

  2. You two and your dieting. Whatever the heck you're eating up there in Cape Cod, I want some. haha
    I'm 100% positive I will be in CT next summer, which means close enough to get to you to say hi, and that's happening!
    Good luck with your fruits and veggies - we made Cauliflower and Cheddar soup tonight and paired it with a salad full of veggies but then I went and did the unthinkable and served it in mini bread bowls. :)

    1. Whoohoo! Would love to "meet"! Just let me know when! ps. that dinner sounds absolutely delicious!

      1. If either or both of you are making dinner. I am there.
        Grace too. And Dino too. :)

        1. Done. :)