Friday, October 5, 2012
Food and Celebration, Rituals and Traditions
Life in society is made up of traditions. Usually traditions are carried out with celebration and rituals. By the time we celebrate our first birthday, we get our first taste of the foods of celebration: ice cream and cake. As we get used to the traditions of our country and ethnicity, we realize that food is a vital part of maintaining traditions. Starting with Christopher Columbus and his crew, we want to carry our food with us wherever we move, adding it to another country’s own celebrations and traditions. I did not grow up with Halloween. But before I became enamored with wellness I used to raid my kids trick or treat bags. Celebration and traditional foods are associated with fun and comfort. I would say that most of them could even be called “fun foods” or “comfort foods.” Most comfort or fun foods are made with simple carbohydrates like sugar and are combined with fats like butter, such as ice cream, cake, and pastries and chocolates. I would not even consider suggesting that you eliminate these from your diet. However, I would say consider what they represent, and notice how often in a day or a week you are seeking joy or comfort from such food. Ask yourself why and what else is possible for you to create comfort and joy on a daily basis. It’s not the once-per-year Valentine or Easter candy, or the various birthdays, that can harm a balanced diet, but your daily rituals. Check and see how often in one day you reach for that sweetened drink, even if it is sugar-free. If you perceive that you are feeding your sweet tooth, you are out of the realm of celebration and into cravings or addiction with food. Becoming aware of your problem with a certain food is the first step to easing out of such an addiction and moving towards what you want to experience for yourself. Since most of our cravings develop in childhood because of the beliefs and traditions that were imposed upon us, we unconsciously accept them as the truth. This is your chance to examine your beliefs consciously, to see if it is true that the foods and traditions you are clinging to still bring you comfort, joy and good health. Or, consider if you are afraid that you would be missing out on something wonderful without them. If you become aware of having a difficult time with food cravings, and can’t imagine making the food changes you want without difficulty, you might want to seek guidance. Authors like Wayne Dyer’s who once had to deal with alcohol addiction show us in his book, Your Sacred Self, new possibilities for you. He teaches you how to notice what you do and how to change, now that you know better. With the help and guidance of these books, pretty soon the change will seem effortless. You can even make up your own celebration menus that support the life you want to create in order to maintain your youthfulness. My quest was one for maintaining health as well as youthfulness and so my book, Eat Yourself Younger Effortlessly, was born.