Food’s Illusions that I Recall

I’ve looked at love from both sides now

From give and take and still somehow

It’s love’s illusions that I recall

I really don’t know love

Really don’t know love at all

Lyrics based on Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell sang about how our perspective can change about love. She knows the pain that happens when we see the other side of something that is dear to us. The moment when we see what we thought was real was really an illusion; where we once saw love and comfort, we experience betrayal and pain. As I begin 2020, I am seeing food from a new perspective.

For my entire life, food has meant:

  • Comfort
  • Reward
  • Escape
  • Love

I am a food addict. It is both how I show love and how I feel loved. It is what makes me forget the pain around me. When I’m happy, I want to go out to eat. When I am sad, I want to bury the pain in an order of chicken fingers and fries. When I don’t feel good, I want food so I feel better.

With the new year of nourishing me, food must have a new focus. It is now fuel rather than friend. For a long time, I have known of the importance of diet in how we feel both physically and emotionally. I have been eliminating things from my diet for many years that I determined I had a sensitivity to. But it was always hard to maintain this way of eating.

After a decline in health from falling off the clean eating wagon, and a reality check of seeing where my MS symptoms could take me, I decided something had to change. I could go on another expensive medication with scary side effects or I could get serious with my diet and exercise. No more playing around and eating well for a week or so. It is time to take my own health seriously.

I read the book “The Wahls Protocol” by Terry Wahls (find it here). It is a great resource and I was going to use it as my guide before I found “The Best Bet Diet” at They have some similarities but I think as a starting place the Best Bet Diet is a better for me. Both view food as nutrients for our bodies, using food as fuel. It is about keeping out the things that will increase MS activity and eating the things that will best nourish our body.

So, in a nutshell, my plan is to stop eating:

  • Dairy
  • Gluten
  • Sugar
  • Legumes
  • As much processed foods as I can

There are other foods I’ll limit and some that I will increase. I will try to add as many nutrient rich foods as I can. I will admit that vegetables are not my favorite. As I ate steamed beets the other day, I kept reminding myself it wasn’t about pleasure in eating them but about adding a variety of nutrients to my diet. I have found that I like kale chips. And I even cooked greens for the first time in my life.

A new perspective often brings change. Change is hard and seeing food as fuel means I’ll be breaking up with something that has held an important place in my life. I am good at making food behave – meal planning, recipe hunting, cooking. But as with any break-up, it’s more than avoiding each other. It’s about nourishing the body, soul and spirit. A new perspective means looking at all of life differently.

I’ve looked at food from both sides now. For most of my life, it was my friend. But now I know I was seeing it all wrong. This year I’ll break the illusion and learn to eat to nourish my body not my soul.


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