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Satisfy My Soul

I wonder what other people eat when no one's around, when they're not blogging about it at some fancy restaurant, or touting how well their diet is going. Just normal food. What's your go-to, or your late-night glory, or misery? People often ask what I eat; and mostly they assume I'm still on the wagon when it comes to butter, dairy, bacon meat, coffee, all the "bad" stuff I'd sworn off at a time. All of that has changed, my friends. I eat everything.

I try not to be exclusionary anyway. There was a time when I became almost unhealthy about the precise thing that I was trying to be most healthy about: food. Me, of all people, unhealthy about food. From bacon blog to green juice overnight. I gave it up, just like that. I needed to then. It made sense. And then I got a bit obsessed, guilt-ridden, almost afraid of eating certain things, that this gummy worm could potentially spark some cancer apocalypse in my body. And, I ain't gonna lie, I still have those thoughts when I eat sugar specifically, and I rarely, if ever, eat the stuff. But that doesn't mean I can get all cuckoo about it, and I will sure as hell eat a chocolate bread pudding if the time is right. I needed to find that safe, healthy place, between my personal food history, which does include bacon, by the way, and food as a way of life, which for me, has to look a little healthier, and a lot cleaner.

To make things complicated, after my oophorectomy last fall, the immediacy of menopause that followed, and the cascade of hormonal changes had massive effects; I have underrated what this really does to our bodies in a complex way. Night sweats are only the beginning. In actuality, my palate literally changed overnight, and I lost my appetite until only just recently. My old standbys that I could always rely on to satiate me, satisfy my soul, the essence of comfort food, was lost. How incredibly sad. Had my tongue lost her magic? I had to find a way back to loving food.

I was losing weight, which was normal by all accounts in light of what my body had been through. But I'm already such a tiny little person. I felt frail, fragile, bony, and old. That soft place that was my body is so long gone. How can I learn to nurture this body with food and enjoy it at the same time?

Simple yet decadent, organic butter on toasted Italian bread.
I started with coffee, which felt luxurious, began pouring organic extra-virgin olive oil and slathering organic butter on most things. Found an amazing low-sugar without fake sugar strawberry jam. Indulged in delicious bakery breads. I went back to the cheese, back to the things I loved, and started eating again but with a big dose of consciousness. I still love a fresh green juice, beautiful ripe vegetables steal my heart, and I love bacon, too. And can't they live in harmony, the green and the brown and all the colors? Yes, yes, yes!

At the end of the day, our food intuition is as important as any kind. Trust yourself and listen to your body. If mine happens to tell me on a special day to eat steak and get drunk on wine, you better believe I'm gonna listen.

Do You Know Rebecca Rinquist?