I think it really depends on the question. A lot of people turn to food to meet their emotional needs but does it really help? When I’m having a challenging day I often think a quick trip to Starbucks or a chocolate treat will make everything better but it won’t. I look to coffee, chocolate, soda or fast food to feel better. Doesn’t that sound ridiculous?
I’m not saying I’ll never eat those things but I should think about my motivation. I’ve said to myself, “I know this ________ will not change my situation but I’m choosing to eat it anyway.” I’m not sure if that is any better, I hope the fact that I’m not completely deluding myself makes it at least slightly more favorable.
If the question is “how can I get healthy/lose weight/reverse a medical condition?” then I believe food is the answer. We have been poisoning ourselves for generations and seeing disease overcome us. Many individuals think changing their diet is far too drastic but view heart bypass surgery as a regular or unavoidable part of life. There is a problem here. Surgeries like getting tubes in children’s ears could be completely unneccessary with a simple diet change. Asthma suffers find relief and give up their inhalers; diabetics are able to eliminate the need for medication.
I think back to 1 year ago when I was still transitioning to a plant-based diet. I was still having some bladder problems and getting frustrated that I wasn’t symptom free. It’s been one year since I last had a urinary tract infection; in 2011 I had 7 UTI’s. You can read more about my story here. My husband will be sharing more of his story soon as well.
I think most of us have a really messed up view of food. We don’t look at it as a way to nourish and fuel our bodies but as entertainment. I’m guilty of this as well. I’m much more objective when it comes to my kids. My 3 year old will say he is hungry, I’ll offer him an apple but he isn’t hungry for an apple, he “want’s something kind of new and different.” I am rarely “hungry” for a salad but if I was truly hungry I’d eat one. Instead I’ll grab something else, usually something less healthy.
So back to the question, “is food the answer?” No, food will not meet an emotional need in a healthy way. Yes, the food you eat may be killing you. Yes, eating a whole food, plant-based diet can help you overcome your health issues and live a fulfilling (and delicious) life.
Just so we are clear, I do love Starbucks, chocolate, and other goodies. I enjoy them occasionally and I don’t feel guilty. Yes, sometimes I want to turn to them to make me feel better but I know those things won’t bring me life or health. When I have a desperate longing and start looking for a fix I’m better off praying and asking God to meet that need than drowning it in sugar.