I grew up on a farm. In addition to an orchard my parents always put in a large garden every spring. It produced a bountiful harvest to can quarts of green beans, tomatoes, tomato sauces & juices, corn, peas, beets, and pickles . . . .enough to last a family throughout the winter, with plenty of surplus leftover to sell along the road. From mid-July until school started every fall, snapping beans, shelling peas, shredding cabbage, shucking corn, and washing tomatoes, pickles, carrots and beets for preservation were a huge part of summer.
Most farmhouses had a “summer kitchen.” It was a nifty, second kitchen; away from the main part of the house and used for the stifling hot process of canning the vegetables, making jams and applesauce, and baking fruit pies and apple cakes for the freezer. Since residential air conditioning was practically unheard of when I was a kid, the house stayed cooler by not heating up the regular kitchen.
In the southwest corner of this room was an old gas stove. I was taught from an early age to respect the pilot light that remained continuously lit. As in all gas stoves, the purpose of this pilot light was to serve as the ignition source for more powerful flames; ones that could produce the necessary heat to cook and preserve food.
My mom would strike a small, wooden match and hold it near the burner. Instantly it would ignite into a full, explosive flame.
Fast forward about forty years. I’m now a fifty-year-old woman who has lost weight and restored health by nourishing my body with high-nutrient, plant foods. As a result of flooding my body with nutrients, combined with consistently abstaining from the standard American diet, addictive cravings for high fat, high salt, processed & sugary foods have been eradicated from my life.
Because of this, I’m routinely asked:
- “How closely do I really have to follow Eat to Live?”
- “How many times a month can I cheat and still have success?”
- “I’m not hard core, but I follow the plan about 85% of the time; that’s good enough, isn’t it?”
Of which my classic answer to all three questions is, “It all depends on how hard you want to make it on yourself.”
It’s much easier and simpler to give 100% right from the beginning and keep the pilot light of addictive cravings extinguished, than to be continually fighting obsessive compulsions that are brewing beneath the surface. Been there. Done that. And it’s hard, hard work to keep cravings from becoming an all-consuming monster. In fact, it’s exhausting because it’s a next-to-impossible feat to accomplish!
Plus, it only takes the tiniest spark to ignite the pilot light of cravings to full power again, and that’s THE most dangerous place to live!
One can do all the work of routinely preparing and eating high-nutrient foods, and get the majority of one’s health restored; but it may only take an emergency phone call, or a sudden traumatic event, or a stress-filled day with the kids to instantly ignite the raging flame of addiction.
It’s just not worth it.
Give yourself a break today and make life so much easier.
Give 100% and extinguish the pilot light!
image credits: tomatoes, flickr by MaplessInSeattle; match, flickr by Samuel M. Livingston