Rocky Peace: Babbling Water At The Forge, New Hampshire

Let’s face it, food is more than just fuel. It’s a luxury. A beautiful comfort!

Our path to wellness has valleys and peaks just as our lives do. We get stressed, we eat. We are happy, we eat.

Food is in everything we do, so why are we so hard on ourselves about it?

This is what I have to remind myself; everybody is different and stress kills more than a slice of bread with butter. In other words, being informed is important, but you have to ultimately do what is best for you. You have to trust yourself with your own choices and stop expecting perfection each step of the way.

Perfect example: My holistic doctor, who is helping me beat my adrenal fatigue, told me to stop doing dairy. I almost had a heart attack! I live for cheese. I ate greek yogurt on the daily! I really didn’t think I could do it. Dairy is known to cause inflammation (am I the only one who feels like it seems every food causes inflammation?) and it can also cause gas and bloating…if you have an allergy to it. The thing is that most people actually do have an allergy to it but it can be so small. Even just as simple as a few toots after your yogurt and a slight tightening around your ring finger. is a negative reaction.

Since I would rather serve my body wellness than greek yogurt, I gave up the dairy…well, almost. My biggest challenge was not having cream in my coffee (technically, I’m not even supposed to drink it because of my fatigue.) I also had to give up my sweetener. The doc told me the sweetness in the coconut milk I was now instructed to use would make it plenty sweet…umm, let’s just agree to disagree on that one, doc.

I tried for about a week to drink my coffee like this. I went from looking forward to my morning cup to feeling stressed over how I was now supposed to be drinking it. 

I’m a person who truly adores coffee. It has nothing to do with the caffeine in it. It’s about the appreciation. It is delicious! It’s an art, just as wine making is. I know my beans. I buy locally roasted, organic, fair trade, blah, blah, blah. I have a beautiful french press and the coffee grinder to go with it. One of my dearest friends works for Stump Town Coffee Roasters and taught me all about how to make the perfect cup. When I say I’m an aficionado, I mean it!

So, here is what I decided. Dairy, not the best thing in the wold to have. I can deal with no cheese (for now) and I can totally handle the no yogurt. As for my coffee, I’m doing my first cup (cause that’s always the best!) with my usual organic half and half and sweetener. My second cup has the coconut milk and only half the portion of sweetener. Some mornings, I do all coconut milk, others I do hardly any sweetener. I try to keep it in balance but within a way that makes me still enjoy my cups.

Being mindful and intentional around our choices alleviates the emotional attachment and allows us to steer the ship with a clear purpose. 


Like a steaming cup of hot coffee, it all boils down to this, stressing about your food is more harmful than the food you eat. I figure, if I was getting anxious every morning, hating every sip I took of something that I normally absolutely love to have, then it was more beneficial for me to make adjustments. A little cream is better than all cream, half the sweetener is better than a full serving. This goes for everything! If you have a hard time giving up four cups of coffee a day, just go down to three. In another month, make that third a decaf and so forth. Maybe ice cream is your thing. If you’re a person that routinely has a bowl of ice cream every night and the idea of giving that up petrifies you, start with just a half a bowl, then a scoop every other night. You may even find that you don’t want the ice cream anymore once you no longer feel the restriction of being forbidden from it.

It doesn’t have to be a straight line to your ideal health plan.

Standing Firm: Single Tree Near Path at The Quabin, MA

Failure comes when we are too hard on ourselves. Self-affirmation and the ability to take a step back and look at things pragmatically is a major key for reaching your goals.

I hate sports, but one thing I can appreciate about them is the intention behind the game plan. When a team loses, they don’t just say, “Well that sucks. Guess we’ll just have to try harder next time.” The coach makes them sit down, re-watch the game to see where they went wrong, what part of their strategy didn’t work and discuss how to avoid the challenges they faced. He then uses this information to create a better plan of attack to strengthen their game.

Being mindful and intentional around our choices alleviates the emotional attachment and allows us to steer the ship with a clear purpose. 

The number one thing I teach my clients when it comes to healthier living is learn to listen to your body! All the nutrition and dietary theories in the world can not help you if you do not first know how the foods you eat effect you. This is a process. It doesn’t happen over night.

For example, a client and I had a discussion the other day over Artichoke dip (mmmmm….artichoke dip…sooo good!) We literally spent a good twenty minutes talking about artichoke dip! Her concern was that the week prior, I had asked her to write down a list of foods that she deemed either good or bad based off how they made her body feel when she ate them. Artichoke dip came up as a food she had listed under a category she had created on her own.

The category of confusion.

She told me that there were certain foods that didn’t necessarily maker her physically feel bad but that she had felt were, “bad” based off of what diet culture had taught her. I asked why she thought the artichoke dip didn’t make her feel bad. She responded by saying that the last time she ate it, she was mindful of the experience. She was with friends, having a good time. In other words, she was eating in a setting where negative feelings were unable to attach to the food before her. Her spirits were up. She was enjoying her surroundings and not obsessing over the food on her plate. She also said that she ate slowly and paid attention to when she felt full. She ate just till she was satisfied and then stopped. Those two choices alone were enough to keep her from feeling food guilt after the meal was over. She didn’t experience the normal heaviness that can come with over indulging in a piping plate of artichoke dip.

She didn’t allow her food to control her.

Control is a huge issue when it comes to food. We eat, we gain weight. In order to get thin, we have to cut back on eating. The game is to control our food but so often we feel as though the food is controlling us. This is a sign of not being connected to what you are eating. It’s such an easy pit to fall into. For most, we listen to outside sources tell us how to get fit instead of listening to our own bodies. The amount of diets out there that involve food plans, measurement tools, counting and containing our food, it’s no wonder we are all so confused! We don’t know what to eat because instead of learning how our bodies respond to our food we rely on someone else, a teacher, a guru, a trainer, to tell us.

When it comes to your personal path of health, know this…you have all the power you need right within you to decide what foods are, “bad” and what foods are, “good.” Not based off of what you have been raised your entire life to believe but based off of what you decide! As you take the power back into your own hands, you will learn to trust your body more. Even better,  you will discover that the foods that actually nourish you are the ones you really crave. Likewise, pay attention to the role stress plays in your life. Be aware of the situations surrounding what is on your plate and how anxious you feel. Ask yourself…

Is it worth this stress in order to avoid that cupcake? 

Can I be alright having just half a cupcake and moving on with my day without resenting this choice?

If not, look into why that may be.

Always be patient with your growth. Lasting changes take time. Part of true health comes from a deep understanding and accordance with your self and your connection to the foods you eat.