Why Joy Is More Important Than Food

I’ve been where a lot of you are today.  Several years ago I was sick, and my kids were sick.  I spent almost 10 years totally depleted and exhausted from chasing my tail in the world of natural healing and trying to find the "perfect diet"

As you know, food is a huge part of alternative healing.  Somewhere early in my path of healing Hashimotos, adrenal fatigue, food intolerances, anxiety, and my son’s Autism Spectrum Disorder, food became more than just food.  As I dived into research, everything I read pointed to food as the culprit of all my family’s health issues.  I started worrying about every bite of food that passed our lips. 

 

 

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Then I started the downward spiral of jumping from one restrictive diet to the next.  A lot of stress, time, and expensive food later, not much had changed.

I felt even more exhausted than before.  I had an overabundance of advice, but no real answers.  It is hard to be a mother wanting to heal herself and her children, with nothing but conflicting opinions.  Do I eat meat, or no meat?  Dairy, is it going to heal me or kill me?  Is this raw spinach really wrecking my thyroid?  And on, and on, and on...

Sound familiar?

Everywhere you turn, there is new information or “science” telling us what foods to eat and what foods to avoid.  We see stories of how people have lost weight, gained weight, cured cancer, gotten cancer, healed pain, created pain, etc. – all through what they are or aren’t eating.

We have given food so much power over our lives – particularly our health.  And it’s exhausting people and causing a great deal of anxiety.  I have had to work through this myself, and I see it with clients all the time.  Well intentioned, health conscious people come to me overly stressed about food on a weekly basis.

The Stress Is Worse Than The Food

It’s not the food, but the STRESS that’s making everyone sick.  The stress is worse for your health than the food.  A lack of joy can create ill health quicker than “bad” food can. 

The fear mongering in the alternative health community has taken its toll on all of us, and it’s time to step up and take back our joy!

Joy, laughter, and play stimulate the release of feel good hormones in our body.  It shuts down cortisol, adrenaline, and other health deteriorating processes in the body.  Our body can’t heal when it’s in a state of stress.  So, it makes sense that if you’re stressing about food, you aren’t healing. 

“Have you ever heard the old saying that laughter is the best medicine? Science is starting to prove that it’s true! Laughter sets off a chain reaction in the body that promotes physical and mental health. Laughter lowers stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. Laughter also strengthens the immune sys- tem and relaxes the nervous system. Laughter and play clear the mind and decrease anxiety and nervousness.

'Don’t think about fun as a reward,' writes Richard Branson, 'think of it as a responsibility.'

When the body is in a state of relaxation, it has the opportunity to heal. A quick way to get into that relaxed state is to play and laugh."  –from A Handbook for Healing 

 

What Happened When I Dropped The Food Stress?

So, what happened when I dropped the stress about food and just focused on cultivating gratitude and joy in my life?  Pretty incredible things, actually.  When I stopped believing I was broken, dropped the struggle, and finally let go, I HEALED.  I was always searching for the big secret to my health.  I thought there was one big mysterious puzzle piece that I had missed.  And, there was.  But, it wasn’t a superfood, a supplement, a modality, or anything like that.  It was JOY.

Your divine purpose isn’t to have a perfect diet and stress about food.  Your divine purpose is to feel joy, spread joy, love, forgive, and share your gifts with the world. 

Sometimes we get so caught up in healing, that we forget to enjoy our lives.  So, just for today, put the diet books down and go play.  Have a dance party.  Go the park.  Play a game.  Go to lunch with a friend.  Watch a funny movie.  Let joy fill your body, and watch your health transform!

Additional Resources

Releasing Food Anxiety (with EFT video)

3 Signs Its Time to Drop Your Restrictive Diet

Want To Kick Your Sugar Habit?  Do This First!

 

Have you ever noticed how your emotional health impacts your physical health?  

 

Want to Kick Your Sugar Habit? Do This First!

Sugar!  It’s everywhere, and we know it.  We also know how bad it is for us.  So, why do we keep eating it?  Why do we crave it so much?

I’ve been there.  I grew up on sugar, and then used it as comfort food as an adult. Stressed out?  Grab the ice cream.  Celebrating?  Let’s bake cookies!  Birthday?  Party?  Holiday?  Survive the day with kids at home?  Eat all the sugar! 

It became so ingrained into my daily life that I didn’t even notice it anymore.

 

For the simplest ways to create radiant health, effortless joy, and lasting energy CLICK HERE!

 

Then I got sick, and started down the road of natural healing.  Of course, all of those paths lead back to diet, nutrition, and cutting out SUGAR.  I would try and fail so many times.

I would decide this was the “last time”, binge, restrict my food, stress would hit and cravings would start, and I would eventually cave and start eating the white stuff again.  Sound familiar?

I thought sugar was the problem.  If I could just stop eating it, everything would be better.  But, the problem wasn’t sugar.

The issue was that I was cutting out my comfort, my stress release, my companion.  Sugar isn’t just sugar for most people.  It’s so much more.  When you cut out a food you love, you’re also cutting out the FEELINGS you experience while eating it. 

Think about it…so many things we do in our society are centered around food and sugar, right?  Besides that, we also use it as a source of joy, comfort, relaxation, companionship, etc. 

Junk food was my self-care. 

Rather than reaching out to others for companionship, I ate ice cream.  Rather than taking a relaxing bath at the end of the night to wind down, I ate peanut butter cups.  Rather than going for a walk to recharge my body, I ate cookies. 

Sugar is not a healthy replacement for self-care, joy, companionship, or comfort. 

Once I realized this, I knew it wasn’t just about taking sugar out of my life.  It was about ADDING some really great habits IN and creating new ways to de-stress. 

What Can You Do Instead?

Sit for a minute and think about all the things you enjoy doing that don’t involve food.  Write down a list.  Maybe it’s drawing, writing, having a dance party, gardening, going for a walk, talking with a friend, playing with your kids, or snuggling with your spouse.  What did you enjoy doing as a kid?  Did you enjoy playing sports?  Games?  Exploring nature?  Write down everything you can possibly think of that doesn’t involve sugar. 

Now, go do those things.  Sounds easy, right?  Right.

Summarize

It’s really that simple.  If you want to kick your sugar habit, don’t focus soley on taking sugar out of your life, because those feelings of deprivation are going to hit sooner than later.  Focus on ADDING in JOY!  Fill that space with things you love - things that are truly going to de-stress and re-charge your body. 

So, what happened when I dropped the stress about sugar and just focused on cultivating gratitude and joy in my life?  Pretty incredible things, actually.  When I stopped believing I was broken, dropped the struggle, and finally let go, I HEALED.  I was always searching for the big secret to my health.  I thought there was one big mysterious puzzle piece that I had missed to kicking my cravings.  And, there was.  But, it wasn’t a superfood, a supplement, a modality, or anything like that.  It was JOY.

Creating more joy in your life will, I promise, radically shift your sugar cravings.  And, possibly your entire life as well.

Now go, enjoy that beautiful life you’ve been given.  Food is just food, nothing more.  Eat up the love that is all around you. 

Ready to dig deeper?  Share in community with people who understand?  Get more tools to help you release sugar's hold on you?  Check out my free video series on how to create radiant health, effortless joy, and lasting energy by clicking HERE!