Food & Poetry go together like peanut butter and jelly and chocolate and coconut. As I was looking for simple poems to share with my tutoring students, I ran across this poem by Shel Silverstein that made me laugh. But more importantly it helped me to understand how easy it is to become so engrossed in the new do’s and don’t’s about eating food that we lose sight that food is not supposed to give us total pleasure. Food is not supposed to be our main focus in life, but for so many people food has become their god. They run to food instead of running to God to fill the emptiness inside. They think about and worship food with wild abandon. Food wasn’t meant to fill our every need. Food was meant to nourish every cell in our bodies. It wasn’t meant to fill our hearts with love.

by Shel Silverstein

I was settin’ at this restaurant
When the waiter came up and said, “What do you want?”
I looked at the menu – it looked so nice
Till he said, “Let me give you a little advice.”
He said, “Spaghetti and potatoes got too much starch,
Pork chops and sausage are bad for your heart.
There’s hormones in chicken and beef and veal,
Bowl of ravioli is a dead man’s meal.
Bread’s got preservatives, there’s nitrites in ham,
Artificial coloring in jellies and jam.
Stay away from doughnuts, run away from pie,
Pepperoni pizza is a sure way to die.
Sugar’s gonna rot your teeth and make you put on weight,
Artificial sweetener’s got cyclamates.
Eggs are high in cholesterol, too much fat in cheese,
Coffee ruins your kidneys and so do teas.
Fish got too much mercury, red meat is poison,
Salt’s gonna send your blood pressure risin’.
Hot dogs and bologna got deadly red dyes,
Vegetables and fruits are sprayed with pesticides.”
So I said, “What can I eat that’s gonna make me last?”
He said, “A small drink of water in a sterilized glass.”
And then he stopped and he thought for a minute,
And said, “Never mind the water – there’s carcinogens in it.”
So I got up from the table and walked out in the street,
Realizin’ there was absolutely nothing I could eat.
So I haven’t eaten for a month and I don’t feel too fine,
But I know that I’ll be healthy for a long, long time.

If you find yourself stressing over food and what you should eat, this poem puts everything into perspective. If you are like the millions of people on this planet who can’t get from breakfast to lunch without stressing over what you ate or what you didn’t eat, take a break. Read some poetry. Laugh. Get everything in perspective. Try not to think about food every minute of the day. Get away from food. Instead of meeting your friends for coffee and snacks, meet them on a walking trail. If you’re choosing healthy Non-GMO food, relax relish in the fact that you are nourishing your cells and your body. The less we stress over our food the better our bodies can digest it.

One At A Time

Every day I have to remind myself that I didn’t gain weight overnight and it will not come off overnight. I didn’t go from my size 8 to a size 18 in a week or even two weeks. It took years of self loathing and low self-esteem to get me to that point. In the past when I would lose weight it was always for an occasion like a wedding, graduation, vacation,  reunion, and a mile stone birthday. I never thought I was a good enough reason to lose weight. I always wanted to look good for the other people in my life and never for myself.

I was taught to put the needs of others in front of my own. At home the needs of my parents and grandfather came before mine. When I began dating my husband, his needs came before mine. When I had children, their needs came before mine as well. When I worked, the needs of my co-workers and the company I worked for came before mine. My needs were always put far away, and I thought when I had time I would concentrate on those needs. Fast forward 20 years, my children are grown and on their own, my husband is working most of the time, and I am alone most of the time.  I have the time but I lack the  motivation to drag out my dusty needs and look at myself. Plus, I am also afraid at what I may find out about myself.

This morning I sat on my couch and just went through a compartmentalized box in my mind of all the times when I stuffed my feelings, my wants, my words, and my needs. I realized that some things came out of the box with ease; those are the ones I will deal with first. One of them is setting goals for myself. I have always had a problem with setting goals because I would set them, and when I didn’t reach them become more depressed than when I began the process. So my first need is to set a goal. But I must remember to keep things in perspective. It took me years to wrap up my feelings and needs, it may take a while to unwind the wrapping and see the real me. To remember this I wrote a poem that sits on the refrigerator, my bathroom mirror, the bulletin board and my computer monitor to remind me to focus on

One At A Time

One At A Time