Tuesday, May 25, 2010

feeding the cat

yesterday i had a cappuccino-coconut milk ice cream smoothie for breakfast. yup, just a quick left, a jag to the right and a short jaunt down the road from the ol' millet porridge standby.


nutritional detours aside, what i am part giddy, part stymied about is the fact that i have spent a year of motherhood without the company of caffeine (see footnote.) why did nobody tell me?! is this why strollers have consoles that are a perfect fit for a large cup? is this how mamas keep their houses clean?

while i appreciated my altered state for a good half hour,what i came away with was more than an erratically completed to-do list. see, i've always been caffeine free. no, not to become the patron saint of sleep deprivation or because i'm a goody goody, but because it actually feels terrible in my body, unless the circumstances are just so (i.e. i'm hydrated, i've eaten, i'm relaxed, the sun is at exactly the right angle-that sort of thing...) regularly going without caffeine means that when i do encounter its rich-bodied goodness, i have a FULL experience of its influence- and it ain't for sissy's.

caffeine changes the
entire tempo of my body and mind: my heart rate increases, my body temperature changes, my thoughts move like a thoroughbred. now this is not to make a 'for' or 'against' case about caffeine. it's simply a reminder that we are constantly under the influence of what we choose to put in our bodies ( yes, i have re-worded the "you are what you eat" cliche, but not without feeling very passionate about doing so). eating on the run, eating the same things every day, eating overly flavoured foods- all of these things give the body mixed messages about what nourishment really is. perhaps more importantly, it doesn't allow the eater to really experience how a particular food or drink makes them feel. this, THIS, my friends is the key to knowing what is "right" for you to eat.

when you feel lethargic, jittery, calm, or clear after eating consider that you are listening to the conversation between food and your body. if you can't hear very well, try taking a break from your habitual foods. start by picking 2 of them: one that you feel truly does your body good, and one that you have a serious crush on but have a sense that it might just be leading you on. commit yourself to a 7 day fast from both of them (going longer will certainly up the ante, but i am trying to prevent any panic here). after 7 days, have a date with said foods ( i suggest spacing them out by a day). then give yourself fully over to the experience of eating (or drinking). no distractions. just you and your beloved.

now what do you notice? are you instantly pleased, satisfied, or heartbroken? does instant pleasure give way to a headache, cravings or a mood swing an hour later? or do you realize that half the day has passed and you still feel nourished? what did your body and that coffee or kale or peanut butter sandwich talk about?

i know, i know it seems like a lot to think about all at once. but for all of you that are hungry to know more about how to eat "right", i say this:

curiosity doesn't kill the cat, it feeds it.

1. in case you didn't know dear readers, something as fine as coconut milk ice cream actually exists. no dairy, no soy, not even refined sugar...just straight up, real deal, frozen love.

2.and before you tease me relentlessly about my coffee buzz, it wasn't just cappuccino flavoured ice cream, it's made from REAL coffee and REAL coffee beans. geez....


  1. I had a similar caffeine-inspired experience on the weekend. I can see why people get into it, but my relationship with caffeine is much like yours (love it when the stars align)... I love reading your writing ;)

  2. I keep coming back to this particular post of yours... I really like what you said about "things give the body mixed messages about what nourishment really is."

    Another great post and topic, Meghan.

    (from Patricia C.)

  3. hoping u keep writing........you do such a great job of info & fun!! u rock meghan!!