When you start to feel sick, do you have certain comfort foods that help you feel better as you Netflix binge or read a good book on the couch? I sure do, and mine are chicken noodle soup, apple juice, and frozen fruit bars at the first sign of sore throat and congestion. Yesterday this posed a challenge for me in week three of a detox cleanse I am gifting myself for my 52nd birthday. What would comfort me in the absence of sugar, grains, dairy, and processed foods?
By afternoon the hot tea wasn’t cutting it anymore, so I showered and drug myself to the store to see what I could find. Oranges were my first exciting discovery and then I pondered soups. I had some curried butternut squash soup (minus maple syrup and chili paste) in the freezer soon spotted split peas which I are easily turned into another quick, filling soup with onion, garlic and spices. Now to find something frozen without sugar. After scanning the entire aisle of this brand new, popular grocery chain superstore, I found not one product that qualified! I grabbed a carton of coconut milk for my morning fruit-and-greens smoothies and headed back to my Netflix nest. It wasn’t until I was almost home that I realized I could have bought ice trays, blended my frozen fruit with coconut milk this afternoon and made my own frozen treats! Why that didn’t occur to me at the store?
Most of my life, I have lived my life around school and/or work, except the years when my then-husband and (step)children came first, and the rest of my life has had to work around those priorities. (I had not yet begun to explore or heal my relationship with money/scarcity, my past, or learn how to love myself first and then give from that full place, within which loving my body is where I am at present.) I’ve always created a life where I am so busy I either eat out, grab takeout, or prepare meals at home with packaged or frozen ‘short-cuts.’ This detox is one of the only times I’ve cooked all three meals a day for weeks focusing on nutrition and health, aside from a couple of pre-ceremony diets to work with ayahuasca and plant medicine. This time is different, though, as the only catalyst is my own desire to feel good, have more energy, maybe shed a couple of extra pounds, and celebrate being alive in my body. Those goals are already being met and my shifts and aha’s are profound!
OK, back to my question, I realize I didn’t consider making my own frozen treats at the store because I have never done that! My mother cooked every meal from scratch; how have I become so removed from this, only preparing meals from scratch once in a while or at the holidays? I make more and more of my own personal care products and know that (a) it only takes a couple of minutes, (b) organic natural alternatives cost less this way than store-bought junk, and (c) I love feeling like I am pampering myself in this way. It’s time to make this shift with food more permanent than a detox and eat out maybe once a week!
Now I’m home still absorbing this realization as I smell my soup cooking in the kitchen. The garlic and onion scents waft into the living room and I recall such smells from childhood as my mother prepared something with love to help me feel better. Now I feel quite comforted, without that chicken noodle soup and sugar-filled apple juice, realizing I’d invented those comfort-foods when I got sick after moving out 17 in attempt to replace what I’d gotten at home. It feels so good to give myself what my mother used to give me! As I slowly sip the warm, healthy soup and feel it comfort my throat, I smile. Mom is right here with me loving me well in spirit form, and I am loving myself, too, with every bite. Here’s to your health and happiness…naturally!
Sheryl Sitts, Founder