Thank you to all who reached out in kindness after the recent passing of my father. Your compassion lifted my heart out of heaviness and reminded me of the endless blessings I receive every day.
Grief is different for everyone. Grief can be cloudy and unfocused. Overwhelming and depressing. And then when the numbness subsides and we have a chance to wrap our heads around the temporal nature of mortality, this new awareness of time limits can make our minds crystal clear. In my case, once the dust settled (and the flowers died) my work resumed and my new coaching clients shared their struggle with binges. With purpose I began to more intensely ponder the nature of compulsive eating. I gained clarity about The BIG Lie. This pervasive lie is behind every instance when we eat too much of the wrong thing at the wrong time. The lie is: more is better.
To illustrate: during a fun, and admittedly morbid, family conversation, we compared our preferred method of dying. My boys shared their “blaze of glory” death scenarios complete with fighting robots, magic spells, and nuclear explosions, and then my teenage son piped up that he could guess my favorite way to die: eating my way through a giant river of hot fudge. Ha ha we chuckled. I laughed while feeling revulsion. Literally eating mouthful after mouthful of hot fudge was a disgusting notion—despite the fact that we are talking about hot fudge here. But I could relate. There was a time when the feast tables loaded with all manner of delights in animated kids movies made me wish I could eat non-stop. The idea of endless eating as a pleasure fantasy has deep roots. It probably has benefit to mankind as a hard-wired survival instinct to keep us foraging, hunting, and gathering. Have you ever imagined eating ALL the food at Thanksgiving dinner…and then doing it again? Have you ever walked past a bakery case bursting with buttery pastries and wanted to graze, shovel, and gobble? I did. I did because I told myself the lie that more is better. If one muffin is GREAT then 50 muffins must be ecstasy bordering on Nirvanah. Like living in Candyland. Or on a cookie planet. Right?
Not to kill the buzz, but the truth is pleasure is designed with exquisite mercy to be available every day when we get what we need, at the right time, in the proportion we need. We are actually designed for the feeling of bliss (pleasure) to tell us our exact requirements to live in perfect balance and health. Pleasure actually equals ideal health and ideal weight, NOT an escape from reality where we binge until we feel unwell. Can you remember the last time you ate too much? Did that feel like pleasure? Was it heavenly? Or, was it uncomfortable and followed with regret and negative self-talk?
The right food, at the right time, in the right amount is PLEASURE. This is truth. Any food we don’t need cannot satisfy. Sure the first few bites of a binge get us all hopped up on yumminess. But then to block out the message from our bodies that we are fulfilled and it is time to quit we must zone out and escape. Binges actually deny us pleasure. We know chips taste good, but once the needed amount is met they can never give us peaceful satisfaction.
I challenge you to ferret out the false conversations that crop up when we imagine that endless fried chicken would be great. What is the truth about too much fried chicken…or too much of anything? Is “too much” a “reward” or a “treat” or “fun?” What untrue conversation do you have with yourself when you feel buzzy with compulsion?
If you feel disappointed that your escape with the old buddy food is based on a hollow lie remember the good news that living in balance is graced with mind-blowing daily enjoyment. Please catch yourself using the lie that feeling unwell is pleasure—because you and I both know it is not. The miraculous design of our bodies is that our own personal formula for wellness, energy, sexy identity, and strength corresponds with accepting pleasure. Would you like some true pleasure today or do you decline your body’s invitation to have ideal weight and gratifying satisfaction?
Photo Credit: Shaleen Ford
Vietnamese Beef and Pineapple Salad, from Daily Fuel, by Tres Prier Hatch
The symphony of flavors produced by contrasting crunchy veg topped with a vinaigrette of lime, fish sauce, ginger, savory onion, rich meaty “umami” of steak, and sweet pineapple makes this a must-try recipe. Don’t be daunted by the long list of ingredients because this dish comes together quickly. If you use the suggested pantry stocks listed in this book, you likely have most of these items on hand. Feel free to substitute shrimp, tofu or chicken for the beef.
3 tablespoons fish sauce (available in Asian markets and in the Asian isle of many grocery stores)
2 tablespoons Asian sweet chile sauce (or apricot jam with ½ teaspoon of sambal)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon dry Sherry
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon (packed) brown sugar
1 ¼ pounds New York strip steak
2 bunches watercress, bottom 2 inches discarded, cut into 1-inch lengths
3 cups mixed baby greens (about 1 ½ ounces)
2 cups (lightly packed) Bibb lettuce leaves (about 6 large), torn
1 cup Thai basil leaves, cut into ½-inch-wide strips (or regular basil)
½ 12-ounce hothouse cucumber, halved lengthwise, sliced very thinly on diagonal
12 cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (for searing steak)
½ medium-size red onion, cut into thin wedges
2 shallots (about 1/4 cup), sliced into thin rounds
¼ medium pineapple, peeled, cored, halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/3-inch-thick rounds
Whisk all ingredients in a small bowl to blend.
Mix oyster sauce, Sherry, soy sauce, minced garlic, and brown sugar in a medium bowl. Stir in steak pieces. Marinate steak at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Combine watercress, mixed baby greens, Bibb lettuce, basil, cucumber, and tomatoes in a large bowl. Add half of dressing and toss to coat. Arrange greens mixtures on a large rimmed platter.
Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add onion and shallots and sauté 30 seconds. Add beef with marinade. Sauté until beef is brown outside but still pink inside, about 4 minutes. Add pineapple slices and stir until pineapple is heated through, about 1 minute longer. Spoon steak mixture with pan juices atop dressed greens on platter. Drizzle salad with remaining dressing and serve.
Tres Hatch is the author of Miracle Pill 10 Truths to Healthy, Thin, & Sexy. Her new cook book Daily Fuel is scheduled for release in 2016. Want a taste of Daily Fuel? Try this recipe and watch for more preview recipes from Daily Fuel. Your thoughts and comments are most welcome.