Thursday, July 5, 2018


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I’m on the sixth day of testing a diet you might be familiar with – ketogenic – in attempt of preventing and remedying disease and various health issues. I want to get that information out of the way up front, just in case this post comes across a little “hangry.”
Just kidding! I am literally quite content with my predominantly plant-based diet. However, the more I learn about health and nutrition since my cancer diagnosis in 2016, the more I find myself tweaking my diet.
As I’ve been dealing with cutting things from my diet and adding in new things to try to figure out why I’m having my current health issues, it has occurred to me how much time I’ve had to spend thinking about food that I used to spend being productive. It’s not just the actual food prep (which can be a lot more extensive when you’re cutting out all the fast food and processed food options), it’s the time I just spend THINKING about food that is sucking the energy out of me and giving me less available brain space for the things that truly matter.
This awareness hit me yesterday, when I realized I spent 2.5 hours of my 4th of July holiday, perusing Pinterest for ketogenic recipes and the whys people choose this lifestyle over others.
2 hours felt like such a waste. I know I’m doing it now to try to be a good steward of my body and I believe that’s important and noble, but it’s made me think about other times I’ve spent engrossed in the subject, and how much we are a dieting culture in general. How much world-changing power have we women given up because we were thinking about the brownies in the break room we aren’t “allowed” to eat?
I know there’s a balance. Obesity is a real problem and many of us have diet constraints that we didn’t choose, but we have to respect because of the quirks of our bodies. We can’t avoid thinking about food. Especially as mothers, much of our time may be devoted to shopping for food, meal planning, prepping food, serving food and cleaning up the food that was left. Food is essential to life. But having a healthy relationship with food is more complicated than I used to imagine.
What I’m finding is that you can eat a healthy diet and still have an unhealthy relationship with food. If food is consuming your thoughts, you’ve got a problem. Whether you’re daydreaming about potato chips or kale chips, I’m not sure it matters. I’m well aware this is a #firstworld problem, but I think it’s one we need to look at. How much of our lives have we devoted to thinking about food? What could we have done with that time instead? Have we sacrificed our ability to make positive change in the world around us because we were either hungry, consumed with thoughts about our next meal, or wracked with guilt about we’ve already eaten?
Developing a healthy relationship with food needs to be about putting it in the place it deserves. It can’t be the only place we find our joy or our reason for living. I can feel in my own hunger today a feeling less like friendship with food and more like an unhealthy, lustful, stalker relationship. I may be eating “clean” but my thoughts about food are a little dirty (metaphorically speaking).
I want to get my body healthy. I also don’t want to lose my passion for the things outside of my body. I want to find the healthy balance—not just a healthy diet, but a healthy soul, and a healthy pursuit of the work in front of me.

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I am incredibly grateful for your comment! I will respond as soon as possible. XOXO, Mandi

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