In an effort to be healthy, I poured myself a bowl of dried fruits, seeds and nuts.
I was starving. Having eaten breakfast at 6:00 am, and not a very big breakfast at that, I was running on fumes. Which, of course, resulted in my eyes being bigger than my belly.
And since my life is full of rush rush rush right now, I poured a bunch of stuff into a bowl, grabbed a spoon and sat down at my computer to work (and not really pay attention to what I was eating or how it was making me feel, because, really, who has time to savour their food anymore? Certainly not me.)
After about six tablespoon-fulls, my tummy and my taste buds were making me sit up and take notice.
The combination of soft, tangy apricots, sweet cranberries, crunchy almonds, salty (but not salted) sunflower seeds and nutty little hemp seeds was too much to ignore. And my tummy was protesting under the pressure of too much tasty, filling food.
My family eats healthy, generally, but we seem to have become slaves to the “easy eats”. After school snacks: cut-up fruit, a granola bar (always with chocolate chips), maybe a yogurt.
If I’m hungry mid-morning, a coffee with cream usually does the trick, maybe a cream cheese bagel. Often, I am hungry 15 minutes after I have devoured my snack. But rarely do I reach for nuts, seeds and dried fruits.
Today I learned a lesson.
I poured my nut, fruit and seed snack into a large bowl as though I were going to eat one of my usual high carb, high sugar, low fibre snacks. I need a lot of that other stuff to keep my body fueled. I don’t need a lot of the natural fruits, seeds and nuts to fill me up. (← Lesson learned.)
The weight in my bowl, the quantity of food, it overwhelms me. We eat too much. We don’t need it.
I read an article recently about GMOs. In it, the author wrote that the only people who complain about labelling and genetically modified foods are the ones who have too much to eat. And that’s us.
And, while browsing photos from TIFF, I read a comment from Matthew McConaughey about how he lost weight for a role and felt so much more energetic at that lighter weight (I’m not suggesting we all dramatically lose a ton of weight).
We carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. We have heavy hearts. We are becoming (or have become) an obese population, all as a result of excess.
We take on too much. We stretch ourselves thin all in the name of having it all. And in stretching ourselves thin, we carry more weight—physically, mentally and emotionally.
It struck me that, like my too full bowl of nuts and seeds and fruits, it doesn’t matter if it’s healthy, it’s still too much. And too much of anything is not good for you. What’s that saying? Everything in moderation.
It’s time to cut back. Cut back on stress, cut back on food, cut back on digital connection, cut back on commitments. And in the space that is left when we remove the excess, let’s fill it with love, family, friends, spirituality, gratitude, appreciation, respect, and human connection.
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