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Thinking Out of the Box

If that plate of food was a pill...

June 5, 2014
Charles Laquidara - Contributing Writer ( , Maui Weekly

I have so little willpower that in order to keep myself healthy and stay away from foods that I believe I shouldn't eat, I actually have to quit them instead of consuming them in moderation, as is usually recommended.

Even though I love the taste, I don't eat meat, fish or any animal that is killed to eat. (Let's just say it is a matter of personal choice).

But in the past, I was unable to eat steak moderately. If I tried eating a big T-bone only on Thursday nights, for example, before long, I would end up eating it about three or four times a week. Because I have no willpower and cannot give myself the "moderation" options, I haven't had a piece of meat or fish for more than two years now.

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and Another Thing...
Charles Laquidara

Ironically, this makes people who know me think that I have tremendous fortitude and will-power, which couldn't be further from the truth. Every once in a while, I see a big juicy fillet on a plate at the restaurant table next to me and my first inclination is to run over to the patron and say, "Excuse me, but are you going to finish that?" So I have to switch to DEFCON 3 and pretend that the steak does not even exist--that it is just a "fantasy." (It's sort of like if you have a fantasy about being intimate with a movie star on the screen, how you hastily remind yourself that it "ain't gonna happen" and then move on to more realistic thoughts.)

That being said, I am not sure that the following "willpower" concept is earthshaking or even innovative, but let's put it in the "high-minded" category and see how it flies:

Most of us think nothing of going out to buy supplements, vitamins and prescriptions for our health and healing. We take one pill to help us sleep, one pill to lower our blood pressure, one pill to aid digestion, one pill to un-stuff our noses, etc. There is no question but that one teeny-weeny pill we are putting into our mouths is pretty potent stuff.

Are we absolutely sure that each bite of food we eat doesn't have the same effect on our fragile systems as those powerful little pills that we are taking? Might every little morsel of food that we put into our mouths affect our body in more ways than we had previously imagined? If so, shouldn't we consider rethinking our conditioned attitudes about the whole eating experience?

Every time you sit down at the table, picture that food in front of you as "tons of milligram-doses of medicine" instead of as "full plates that are there to be emptied," because arguably, the food is just that--powerful ingredients of matter and energy being absorbed and filtered throughout your entire body.

Thinking out of the box this way, we may automatically choose to eat with more discretion and care. We may savor the food more and we would not only lose a few unwanted pounds, but we might even live a decade or two longer.

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