Today I enjoyed being with family in Oklahoma, in honor of my great nephew, Kaleb. On his actual birthdate I featured a blog post about this charming five year. On this beautiful Saturday, I had the opportunity to be with Kaleb in a day long celebration.
Being away from home has its challenges on a plant based diet. It requires planning and preparation. I had my morning celery juice before leaving the house. Breakfast smoothies travel well in a plastic cup. I drank a banana, peach, strawberry one on the way. And I carried in my own food. I knew there would be birthday cake ahead to tempt me!
You see, today was a test for me. So many of our celebrations involve food. And there is nothing wrong with that. We eat to rejoice, to honor someone, to mark a special occasion. And we also eat to comfort ourselves, ease boredom, and relieve stress. On this journey I am changing my relationship with food. I am focusing on eating to nourish my body with the healthiest of food choices, so that I feel my best. Right now, I eat to heal. I was curious to see if I could skip the cake today, without compromising the celebration.
My sister Debbie and niece Ashley helped by serving fresh fruits and veggies as snacks. What an encouragement! It wasn’t difficult to have a salad for lunch, and at the end of our day together, have a plain baked potato with green beans at a restaurant.
When Happy Birthday was sung, the candles blown out and the cake cut, I could rejoice in the blessing that is Kaleb, and pass on the cake and ice cream. Instead, I arranged my afternoon treat of an apple, celery sticks and dates on a brightly colored Pokemon party plate, and enjoyed it. The cake was adorable…and did not tempt me at all.
It’s not willpower that carried me through. It is the desire to feel good and live in a healthy, pain free body that guides my choices. And it helped that I planned ahead and had a suitable treat to snack on while others had cake.
My take away from today was that celebrations are about the people involved, not the food. I had fun with Kaleb and the rest of the family…playing, chatting and laughing…and the birthday boy didn’t care at all whether I had a piece of cake, or not. What mattered to Kaleb was that I was present, and spent time with him.
I passed the celebration test today. I can do this, without offending anyone or compromising my healing journey. This is good to know. My younger daughter is getting married in October. And I will be there to celebrate!