“After I eat chocolate cake, I want to die”
My friend Matthew recently sent me an email. He had just read this quote:
“When I eat chocolate cake, 20 minutes later I’m under my desk wanting to die. When I eat broccoli, in 20 minutes I feel good. But given the choice I always eat the cake.”
Matthew asked, “Why do people choose the chocolate cake?
He went on to talk about kids who grow up learning that they have to eat all the food on their plates, even if they’re not hungry for it, and how they deal with the consequences of that training well into adulthood. Matthew wrote, “The psychology of how to train yourself about what is okay and what is not okay is fascinating to me. I wonder if you might write some blog posts about how to train yourself and condition yourself to have feelings and opinions about healthy eating that are more useful.”
I told Matthew that I was raised with the same rule: you must finish everything on your plate. I’m developing a meditation to go to the very root of why we sabotage ourselves nutritionally, allowing us to correct those subconscious beliefs. (I wrote about this in a blog series months ago — “I love my body. It serves me well!”)
What do you believe about yourself and food? Do those beliefs cause you to make poor choices over and over? What are the words you say in your head? Could you write them on a 3×5 card and think about whether they are useful or harmful?
What if you could write NEW beliefs and statements, ones that are more useful? What if you could exchange the old beliefs for the new ones? It would work only if you repeated those chosen beliefs over and over.
Do you “make” your kids finish their dinner? At my house, you don’t have to finish anything except your green smoothie, fruits/veggies, or salad. You can skip the rest of the dinner.
Parents, or anyone with opinions, what do you think? I know it’s no longer popular at all to “make” kids do ANYTHING. But I “make” myself eat 60-80% raw greens/vegetables/fruit before I consider eating anything else, so it isn’t as if I’m requiring anything of my kids I’m not doing myself. I have done this for so long that I don’t even think about it. It’s not deprivation or neurotic; it’s just habitual.
I have some rules for eating. All of them are based on common sense. All were developed by learning that I don’t feel good if I ever break them. I’ve never written them down until now; they’ve just been in my head. Here are my 13 rules:
Robyn’s 13 Rules for Healthful Eating
- Don’t eat after 7 p.m. except on a very rare occasion.
- Always drink a pint of water as soon as I wake up.
- Never eat sugar on an empty stomach–always with lots of raw food and some good plant protein (like almonds, greens, or beans).
- If I eat any concentrated sugar (besides fruit), it’s only once in a day.
- Never eat processed meat.
- After working out, drink only water for a while.
- Every meal or snack is 60% or more raw plant food (often 80-100%).
- Don’t drink soda.
- Don’t buy anything from fast-food restaurants.
- Don’t eat anything with MSG in it.
- Don’t add salt to food.
- If a meal is below 80% raw plant food, take digestive enzymes.
- If I eat too heavily for a weekend or more, I take a few days to detox. I might eat all raw food, two quarts of green smoothie instead of one, wheat grass juice, extra water–or even a couple of days of nothing but Meal Replacement.
Robyn Openshaw, MSW, is the bestselling author of The Green Smoothies Diet, 12 Steps to Whole Foods, and 2017’s #1 Amazon Bestseller and USA Today Bestseller, Vibe. Learn more about how to make the journey painless, from the nutrient-scarce Standard American Diet, to a whole-foods diet, in her free video masterclass 12 Steps to Whole Foods.