12/26: 365

I’ll be back to the science-y and foodie fun eventually. For a few more days, I’m going to lounge, soak up family time, and get all philosophical-y.

The thing I love most about holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas (setting aside any historical or religious debate, of course) is the opportunity these days present to remember Gratitude. Gratitude, though I often forget, is everything – it’s the only way to truly live. Without conscious gratitude, we are simply existing.

 

And without the Griddle/Alarm Clock Combo, we simply aren't living AT ALL.

The day after Christmas – or any meaningful holiday or day of remembrance, religious or not – I’m not always energized (three slices of homemade pumpkin pie with a sweet coconut flour crust will do that to ya) but I’m always a bit serene. 12/26 is my day to bask in the glow of a frenetic day of family interactions, good food, and the true privilege of having evolved through the primordial ooze into an upright ape capable of pondering concepts like blessings and gratitude.

i'm grateful for family, friends...and the freedom to over-use italics.

 

The CaveGirl way of life isn’t just about what I put in my pie-hole. That would be the biggest cop-out since Columbus Day. It’s about living thoughtfully and appreciating the incredible, nourishing things available to me on this planet, and my responsibility to learn the difference between Food and Products – then, going one level deeper to know what’s been soaked, canned, processed, GMOd, shipped, factory-farmed into submission, or pushed upon us as “healthy” such that it seems like “food,” though it’s truly not. I want to evaluate my purchases, from shampoo to brussels sprout, and know why I’ve invited those things into my life.

Remembering gratitude is what calms my mind and tranquilizes my once-disordered relationship with food (See my post Crashing: A Retrospective). Gratitude is respect; which is why I try to buy local and pastured – out of respect for the animals as well as my body. It’s not always possible, but it’s important to me to try. By doing so I live conscientiously and appreciatively, and that theme has started to permeate other aspects of my life. I have stopped judging myself harshly for perceived faults or binges, thus those urges have faded; I have come to enjoy the process of learning, whether it’s to cook (trust me, boiling water used to hurt my brain) or to love a state to which the military moved me despite the fact that it’s 2,000 miles from my family. Gratitude is why I don’t fear harsh judgment from others as I used to; and why I (try to) respect the journeys of others. Even Mizzou fans.

Yes. Even Mizzou fans.

Gratitude has made me better. I’m not perfect, but I’m trying – and I’m doing my best to be aware of myself, my choices, and my impact on others and the world. My goal is to take that 12/26 feeling across the full 365.

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