Shortly before rheumatoid arthritis became a part of my family’s life, I was heading down a path to better nutrition. A friend of mine had introduced me to Weston A Price and I began making more of my own foods at home and for the most part removed processed foods. We also started buying all of our meat, eggs, and milk from a farmer that raises animals outside eating grass and getting the sunshine all animals should receive. We also joined a CSA where the kids and I volunteered. We are still known by the farmer as his lettuce cleaners. Making food for my family turned from being a chore to being a small gift that I could give them two to three times a day. When I eat “clean”, I feel good. I feel connected to the earth and feel that we are making choices that not only nourish us, but also nourish our earth. This is what I consider mindful eating.
This all sounds wonderful, right? When you eat “clean” and eat foods which actually come from a place and person you know you feel awesome. Sitting down to the table knowing where every piece of food came from provides huge rewards. While eating you think, “I will never stray away from this type of diet.” The problem is that I have a food enemy called gluten free pizza. We have searched long and hard and finally found two places that serve gluten free pizza that tastes good. When I am eating this pizza, all of life seems perfect. I love the tastes of pepperoni, sausage and black olives mixed with tomato sauce and cheese. Since I rarely eat grains, I love the texture of the crust. I eat way more than I ever eat on an average night. I forget that I will wake up numerous times during the night thirsty, bloated, and overall feeling sick. I just eat. This is what I call mindless eating. Mindless eating doesn’t agree with me physically or mentally.
Every time I eat pizza I promise myself I won’t have it again for a really long time. We end up spending a lot of money just to feel awful. The pizza problem occurs when I haven’t planned ahead. I knew yesterday was going to be a long day and we would get home just as everyone was starving. Plus, I left the house hungry which made things even worse. I knew I should have prepared the hamburger patties we planned to grill, I knew I should have cut the sweet potatoes we planned to turn into fries, and I knew I should have bought the wood chips needed for the grill before we left the house for many hours. When I am mindful of our food, I do these things. When I am not, we eat gluten free pizza and then I suffer. I am mindless and I suffer the consequences all night and the following day.
Today, I am mindful. I cooked two eggs in bacon grease for breakfast. I have wild caught salmon and veggies in the refrigerator for lunch with ingredients to make guacamole if I so desire. And for dinner, Alexander plans to make Puerto Rican Beef, one of our favorite meals, since I will be out tutoring all afternoon. Today we will eat mindfully and enjoy the positive consequences.