I have struggled with weight and self-love for much of my life. But the age of the Internet and social media has made access to articles full of practical health tips, inspiring stories, and deliciously healthy recipes as easy as PIE (mmmm pie).
One trend that intrigues me is the idea that ‘loving me’ means allowing me to treat myself better…me Me ME basically. For weight and body specific audiences, this homily usually translates as, “I love myself enough to eat healthier.” This message also crosses over into something many healers and spiritual authorities preach: eating healthier and vegetarian-based foods will help raise your vibration and enable you to expand your love. I believe in this idea.
However, the more I see this message, the more I feel an underlying message that not quitting my unhealthy habits means I don’t love myself and will not realize my fullest potential. But I LOOOOVE donuts! And meat and caffeine and sugar and all those things people tell you not to eat. And the list of things we shouldn’t eat seems to be FOREVER expanding! A friend told me about an article suggesting that when you eat meat, you’re taking in all the suffering that animal experienced in their life and death. Well don’t I just feel shitty?…though I’m sure that’s sort of the point. So you’re telling me that eating boring celery (and without peanut butter, btw…now on the list) and being bored while boring mouth is that much better for me than eating a meal that makes my taste buds dance and my lips curl into a blissful smile?
On one hand I absolutely see what they mean – treat yourself lovingly. On the other, isn’t part of loving yourself also doing the things that make you happy? Will I really never achieve my highest spiritual potential if I don’t stop what others deem unhealthy? Will not stopping mean that I don’t truly love myself? No pressure, of course.
It’s a trade-off; a fine line of moderation and give-and-take. Mix in a little of the necessary healthier habits with the indulgences for balance – bored mouth/happy body one day and happy emotions/not-as-happy body the next. I try to moderate my unhealthier habits. I understand that not everyone does. I’m sure for some, that message resonates more strongly and they act accordingly. Nevertheless, we never seem to talk about how indulgence can be healthy. Or rather how we can make indulging healthy. It can be disheartening to hear, repeatedly, that I need to give something up when I’m just not ready.
So how does one make indulgence a healthy experience?
- Increasing healthy food choices, but releasing any guilt and shame for eating a donut…or 2 or 3.
- Charging food and beverages with Reiki (or other loving energy and intention).
- Acknowledging and giving thanks for all those who gave of themselves so that we may eat.
- Both this and charging our food will help heal past traumas of the plants and animals we consume.
- As a complement to self-love and positive body perspective:
- Continuing to do the things that we love and make us happy.
- Practicing mindful movement – moving in the ways our body wants and enjoys.
Maybe if we changed our attitude about our indulgences they wouldn’t be so unhealthy for us. Maybe if we push towards those things we’re not quite ready for instead of forcing, it won’t be so difficult to quit (if and when) we decide to quit. MAYBE by making mindful indulgences, they will become healthier and our happiness and love for ourselves (and in turn, others) will expand so much that we might just have a chance at reaching our spiritual potential.
So to put food where my mouth is, here is a delectable biscotti recipe that a friend passed on to me:
Preheat oven to 350
1/2 cup butter (2 cubes, salted or unsalted)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
Add to cream
2 tbsp Kahlua
Make mixture, then add to cream mix
4 cups flour
1 tbsp baking soda
1 tsp salt if using unsalted butter
Add to the mixture
2 cups nuts
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips – high quality
Fashion the dough into 4 logs on baking sheet.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or unit logs are slightly brown.
Let cool for 10 min.
Cut logs into the biscotti shaped pieces.
Bake a 2nd time for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.
While cooling on sheets, make some chocolate dipping sauce using a double boiler.
What are you favorite mindful indulgences?
All photos taken by me.
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Courtney Ginn is a certified Reiki Practitioner in Sacramento, CA. She combines her Usui and Practical (Kundalini) Reiki training with various modalities to create personalized sessions for her human and animal clients alike.
In the Sacramento area? Click here to schedule an in-person appointment. Distance Reiki sessions are also available.