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What Food Is Really About


I’m back from vacation with a tale about healthy eating for you all!

After reading this article, I became inspired by the idea of not only how we eat but WHY we eat – and how changing our perspective on consumption can not only help us lead a healthier lifestyle but also make eating more enjoyable and special.

I am half Italian and there’s no doubt that Italians, as well as many other ethnic groups do, use food to show love. But in a world where there is an epidemic of child obesity, an alarming increase in diabetes, it is good to start to think of other ways to show love.

I have a charming story that illustrates this concept:

A friend of mine was struggling with weight loss, with consequences that included reflux and heartburn, poor exercise tolerance and joint pain. She was under a lot of stress taking care of multiple family members including her gravely ill father and she was rewarding herself with foods that were not compatible with her health goals. She had a tendency to binge: once she opened a bag, she’d eat the contents.

Her son became very alarmed that she might get sick or even die from the consequences of her bad habits. So he made a banzai run on her house and took away all the corn chips, candy and more that she would be the first to admit she didn’t need.

He made her go for walks with him. She came home after a particularly stressful day and went to find a bag of chocolates she had bought to find they were gone. She called her son who said:

“Mom, I took them and I’m going to keep taking them until you’re healthier.”

“I need my chocolate, come on, it was dark chocolate, which is good for you.”

“Mom, you know you’ll eat the whole bag.”

“ARRRGHH. Bye.” She hung up.

A few days later, she was told that her father was gravely ill, and at the emergency room, while she was at his bedside, he died. She called her son and asked him to come say goodbye to his grandfather. When he came in the room, he ran over to her and gave her a huge hug. He slipped something into her hand. She opened her hand. It was one little delectable dark chocolate, enhanced with genuine love.

It tasted better than a bagful ever had.

So maybe don’t bring cookies next time. Go to a farmer’s market and get a multicolored basket of local produce. Make a fall basket with some spices, like cinnamon and star anise, candles and a tea towel. Bring a fragrant pineapple. Make friends stop what they are doing, do a 10-minute YouTube exercise video, take a walk, go for a bike ride or go watch a sunset.

Or maybe bring a little special dark chocolate to share.

As always, have a fabulous weekend!

Dr. Emily Nolfo

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Mary Keenan #

    a great story and very appropriate. I would love the basket of vegetables also.

    September 6, 2013
  2. Rob #

    I love this story!!

    September 7, 2013
    • It’s true, one of my patients who is a visiting nurse.

      September 7, 2013
      • Mary Keenan #

        I agree it would be a great treat to receive nice veggies in place of another box of candy Mary

        Sent from my iPad

        September 7, 2013
      • Do it for someone else and see if they pay it forward! Thanks for reading!

        Emily Nolfo

        September 7, 2013

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