“There is no sincerer love than the love of food” – George Bernard Shaw
Just like “Gibbs’ Rules” on NCIS, Dr. Beasley too, had rules for his team. The first one was “As an author never favor one of your books over another”. Well, that one has always been a problem for me, as of all the books I wrote with Dr. Beasley, “Food For Recovery” was and always will be my favorite.
The reason is simple, I love food. I love the sight of food, the smell of food, and the taste of food. I am a “foodie” and left on my own, I have not always made the best choices. When did this love affair start you ask? Many years ago my parents would say when I was introduced to my first arrowroot cookie. My love for these cookies were so great that as a toddler I went on a hunger strike and refused to eat anything but arrowroot cookies. Fearing I would starve to death, my parents along with my pediatrician let me eat just arrowroot cookies until I was so bored with my new diet that I was willing to eat real food again. Yes, I had an inner “cookie monster”.
Later in adulthood while pregnant with my first child, I was advised to “eat for two” which I gladly did while gaining 75 pounds. Imagine my surprise when my precious baby was born and I was left with 60 pounds to loose. You see when I was happy, I ate to celebrate. When I was sad, I ate for comfort. When I was bored, I ate to past the time. When I was worried or stressed, I ate to calm myself. And when I was not eating I was focused on food, thinking about new recipes to make, making a shopping list, or shopping for food. I was happiest in the supermarket shopping for food or in the kitchen cooking and/or baking followed by my most favorite thing, eating what I made.
So when Dr. Beasley asked me to read his manuscript for his new book, “Food For Recovery” (the 1st Edition) – he didn’t have to ask twice. I gladly tried each and every recipe, yes all 127 whole food recipes as it soon became my favorite cookbook. Then I read it from cover to cover and started to incorporate its principals into my personal life. What I discovered was that gradually my relationship with food changed as I learnt more about nutrition and how to put this knowledge into practice. I made small changes at first but as I ate better, I felt better and those small changes became bigger ones and as a result my relationship with food changed.
Later after I graduated from college, I used “Food for Recovery” as my “playbook” while health coaching clients at Dr. Beasley’s clinic and I got to see first hand how life changing this book could be when used as a nutritional companion to those recovering from alcoholism, drug addiction and/or eating disorders.
Although the transition was sometimes difficult for some clients, everyone of these men and women found that once they had enjoyed the tremendous benefits and “natural high” of a good nutrition program it was almost impossible to go back to their old eating habits. In the words of one client: “I had a Twinkie the other day, just for old’s time sake and couldn’t even finish the first bite. I can’t believe I ate that stuff. What was I thinking of?”
Can reading one book really change your life? Yes, if you use the knowledge gained from that book and put it into practice. Education is power. The goal is to use that knowledge to educate the mind and then turn it into action to empower your body. What you will find is simple everyday actions will result in healthy changes in your life. Remember change is a process not an event and action changes things. So the little actions you take each day will change your life in big ways. For example, as you eat better, you will feel better and your spirit will be renewed as a result.
When individuals in recovery follow the dietary guidelines along with the healthy lifestyle changes that are recommended in “Food For Recovery”, recovering individuals can begin to enjoy the natural high of a healthy sobriety. Many of these individuals reported that after making these changes they experienced less mood swings, improved ability to sleep and stay asleep, less daytime fatigue, reduced cravings, and better general health with the end result being a reduction in relapse rates as they continued to work their recovery program.
Why is “Food For Recovery” my favorite of all the books that I have written? Because while I am still happiest in the supermarket shopping for food or in the kitchen cooking and/or baking, I am now making better food choices. I am cooking healthier and I have learnt to make healthy swaps when I am baking. While I still love food, my relationship with it has been changed and now I eat mindfully, using food to achieve my optimum health in recovery. I truly believe that these changes would not had happened if Dr. Beasley and “Food For Recovery” had not entered my life. And yes while I still love cookies, now I can eat just one cookie instead of a whole box as my “inner cookie monster” has been tamed.
Do you have an “inner cookie monster” that you need to tame? Let me know under comments or connect with me at Twitter, Facebook, or Google+.
Health and Happiness,
Mary P. Cheney, CHC