Below is a great poem by Roy Holman about maintaining balance in our lives
when it comes to our dietary "ideals," but first I'd like to share with you a few of my
own thoughts on "dietary perfectionism"...
Although diet is important to our health, we must always remember not to focus
on our diet to the exclusion of other things...including fellowship with family and
And we mustn't allow our diet to become a source of stress in and of
itself...because stress is just as bad for our health as a poor diet!
I know I have certainly fallen prey to some aspects of "trying to eat a perfect
diet" in the past. Heck, I struggle with bits of it from time to time still - I find that it's
an ongoing journey, really, to find "peace" with what I eat. And even "what I eat"
seems to be constantly evolving. ;) It's quite a balance to figure out just how much
to allow yourself to read, research and study...and just how much to look the other
way and just live your life.
Of course improving your diet can help you feel better. That certainly was the case
with me - I resolved my Fibromyalgia symptoms by eliminating all additives from
my diet back in 2007.
Buuuuuuuuuut.....there can come a point where cleaning up our diet
begins to have the opposite effect - like when we start stressing out that we're not
eating well enough or worrying that we're not "doing it right."
Or when we start feeling guilty for the times when we eat foods that we've
deemed "unacceptable" for one reason or another. Or when we start losing even a
bit of our connection with others by ostracizing ourselves because of our
food choices or by making them feel "condemned" for their food choices when
Only we can know when we've crossed these lines with our dietary ideals, but
it's an important thing to keep our eyes on!
If you have struggled with "dietary perfectionism," I hope you enjoy this poem.
And I'd love to hear from you in the comments below! Ever find yourself yearning to
return to those days when you hadn't yet learned so much about food?! I can
I'm sure many of you reading this have overcome this habit of "dietary
perfectionism." If so, please share your tips below to help those who still struggle!
"Eating Our Way to God"
We got to talking, about food and health and stuff,
he said he liked his bounty in the rough.
Feeling ignorant, I asked, "What do you mean?"
as I noticed, he appeared quite strong and lean.
"Raw food," he said, "is the only way to go."
I had to admit, he had quite a glow,
bright clear eyes--a look of confidence.
"Cooked food is dead," he said, "It's just common sense,
kills the life force, and every living enzyme,
wish we could talk more," he said, "but I'm all out of time."
So off he went, but left me quite certain,
my diet, I now knew, was causin' all my hurtin'.
So raw I went, filled my home with sprouts and fruits,
grabbed the tofu, rice, and beans, and gave it all the boot.
Felt strong, light, and clear--oh, so fast,
I was committed--goodbye to poisons of the past!
Got so excited, told everyone I knew,
"I've found the key to happiness--you can do it too!"
They looked at me quite strangely, but what did they know?
So full of toxins, their brains are kinda slow,
to all that junk food, they can't say no,
leaves their colons hangin', heavy and low.
Several months later, lucky my fate,
ran into Ray again, helped me validate,
how righteous I was on this path of mine.
Ray himself was fasting--now on day nine!
"Raw food is key," he said, "but hardly enough,
we need to fast, to clean out all the bad stuff."
So home I went, tossed out all my food,
imagining my intestines, becoming all unglued.
Began my fast, ignoring warnings from my wife,
showed her Shelton's book: Fasting Can Save Your Life!
She still didn't get it, so I offered a clue:
"Jesus and Gandhi did it; they knew what to do."
Two weeks later, and ten pounds lighter,
so cleansed I glowed, eyes never brighter.
But months later, and my vibrancy receded,
cravings and addictions of the past, crying to be heeded.
Feeling disappointed, not yet quite pure.
Was this the path? No longer was I sure.
I needed support, and this was my lucky day,
for who do I run into, but my good friend Ray!
Helped me confirm, "just a healing crisis," he said,
but then I noticed, his eyes a bit red.
"What's up Ray," I asked, "you couldn't be sick?"
"I'm fine, just fine," he answered real quick.
"Silly thought," I laughed, "of course you're okay."
"Just detoxing," he mumbled, and quickly walked away.
One year later, was when I hit the wall,
weak or not, I had to heed the call.
Dyin' for something cooked--Mexican sounded terrific,
or Thai or Chinese--but would it make me sick?
"I don't care," I cried, "gotta have it now,
" baked, fried, or barbecued, I didn't care how.
Made sure no one saw me, looked up and down the street,
entered a buffet, sign said "All You Can Eat!"
Didn't give doubt a chance--didn't hesitate,
right to the food, filled a heaping, steaming plate.
What remained of guilt receded with that first bite.
How delicious--tasted oh so right!
Then, I couldn't believe it, at first he looked away,
but eating at the very next table, was my good friend Ray!!
Our eyes met--a moment of shame,
I even felt pissed off--him I wanted to blame.
Then a huge smile slowly lit his face,
I felt all my anger disappear without a trace,
we stared in silence, giddy with the grace.
"Beat ya for seconds," I cried; we grabbed our plates in a race.
We ran like children who never knew of guilt,
beautiful sculptures of delicacies on each plate we built.
We sat down together, Ray said, "You know,
raw food's great, but I hadda say, Whoa!
When we get so focused on what we need to eat,
friends, family, and fun take a back seat."
The waitress came by; I ordered a round of beers,
"I'm so tired," I said, "of living life in fear,
I got so thin and yin, haven't had sex in years!"
We laughed so hard, our eyes filled with tears.
"Seems we got too rigid," said Ray, "our lives trying to perfect,
as if we joined some zealots, in some cult or crazy sect.
Moderation, balance, perhaps this is the key."
"Except for today," I said, "more food and beer for me!"
No more depriving my beautiful bod,
"Who says we can't eat our way to God?"
This poem is reprinted from Roy Holman's book, Poems from the Passionate Heart. www.holmanhealthconnections.com.
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