Sunday, May 6, 2007


In the raw food world, many things are referred to as "transitional foods." Raw crackers and breads, fancy recipes, rich desserts, and sweeteners such as agave syrup are often lumped into this category. These are foods that are supposed to serve as substitutes for your formerly loved foods until you finally accept the ideal diet: raw fruit and vegetables in their natural state.

Some folks decry the use of "transitional foods" because it's argued that you have to DEAL with your food addictions and emotional eating, rather than simply transferring those habits to a different sort of food.

Yes, yes, yes, I say. I am ready. Intellectually, totally there. Today, my husband gave me a thousand reasons why he couldn't possibly live without corn on the cob or chocolate. (To which I said, then don't live without it... nobody's trying to make you do anything!) But my thought is, what exactly do these foods mean to us? If I eat something that hurts my body and yet I am emotionally attached to that food, what does that mean? Is food really my friend? My lover?

Millions (maybe billions) of people survive on a diet primarily made up of a few simple foods. Are they unhappy because of it? Aren't there hundreds of delicious foods that I love and make me feel great while making me healthy. Of course!

The problem, of course, is transition.

When I hear the word transition, I automatically think of childbirth. Transition is the stage of childbirth in which the cervix finishes dilating. It is the most intense part of childbirth (at least for women who have not been given drugs). Contractions are intense and come one after another with little rest. Intense surges of hormones often cause women to feel drugged or sleepy during this stage. Emotionally, this stage of labor is when most women will experience self-doubt. They will often say things like, "I can't do this." or "I can't be a mother." or "Make this stop." Fortunately, this stage is usually the shortest stage of labor and is soon followed by the empowering pushing stage and the birth of the baby.

Transition is a rite of passage. It prepares a woman for the dark side of parenting, for the crises of faith that can occur and be overcome. A woman who has seen the depths of despair and come through it to the ecstasy of birth is one powerful mama!

So perhaps I can't skip transition as I change my life either. Perhaps I have to face all of the doubt and pain and beat it back before I birth the wonderful new me.


Anonymous said...

Ahhh.. transition. Be it in childbirth or life -- it seems like it sucks during the process, but we are so happy for it when it is all done!

Greenmama said...

LOL! You are so right.