Good, Bad and Food 4

credit: Fybrid

credit: Fybrid

I have resolved to eat less sugar, since it is, as I shared on Tuesday, a huge comfort to me, just to have around. It occurred to me rather painfully that my reliance on sugar’s presence in my house was kind of weird. I knew it had become a behemoth, a delicious and chocolate covered idol.

I decided to put the kybosh on sugar during Lent, except on Sundays (and my birthday, which falls both during Lent and on a Sunday, so no extra lenten birthday loophole for me), which as we know, are not part of Lent.

On Sunday, after church, I prepared a healthy lunch for myself and ate it while reading a few of my favorite blogs. Then, I made a pan of decadent brownies from scratch. I poured the batter into a heart-shaped pan. I waited for the timer, patiently, because I was planning my indulgence.

When they were done, I cut myself a single square brownie, onto which I added a dollop of peanut butter, a drizzle of fudge sauce, and a generous mound of whipped cream. I had planned it into my day, and let’s face it, I had been looking forward all week to this.

I sat under a cuddly blanket and I savored every bite of my little treat.


Some of you will read this with a sense of shame.

We have been taught that there are GOOD foods and BAD foods. We make the wacky logical jump that eating bad foods automatically makes us BAD. Most of us who adhere to this jacked up logic, sadly, do not make the mental jump that eating salads make us superior beings. We just know that eating GOOD food only makes us less BAD, because while we eat the stupid apple, what we really want is the flipping brownie. And so the shame goes and grows.

One principle I learned from Weigh Down Workshop is that there is no such thing as GOOD and BAD foods. Do you know how liberating this idea is?

There are, obviously, healthy choices and less healthy choices. There are apples and there are brownies (a la mode, with hot fudge sauce and peanuts, but where was I?). There are smart portion sizes and there are binges the size of a small SUV.

Apples aren’t inherently good, neither are cakes or chips inherently bad. They simply are combinations of edible chemicals, vitamins, minerals, fiber, etc.

Food exists to fuel our bodies. Some fuel will give us higher quality energy, but to group foods into GOOD and BAD makes for a dangerous set of curves ahead, and not just the ones at hip level.

If it’s true that there are no good or bad foods, how would that change your thoughts about food? Could you imagine enjoying your food?



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4 thoughts on “Good, Bad and Food

  • Laureen

    Well, since I have a whole theology of food & feeding people, I do think about enjoying food. And I find that I actually think about it more & enjoy it more since becoming vegetarian. Exploring new foods, being creative because meat is no longer the centerpiece, has been surprisingly liberating. I’m such a rank amateur when it comes to cooking & spices — my one defining meal is tacos — but it’s such fun to read the glossy cookbooks & think about quinoa and lentils, and perusing Trader Joe’s to find a new dish for dinner. And chocolate? Puhleeze, if ever there could be a good food, that would be it. Once again, you rock the blog. Food for thought, pun intended.

    • Jennifer Post author

      Well, when you put it in biblical context, it is interesting. Even the epistles are rife with talk: everything is good, but not everything is beneficial. At the same time, don’t cause your brother to stumble. So, food is food, and when we are feeding others, what a delightful thing. It is communion and community. See what I did there? We need to move away from devaluing food and more more toward valuing ourselves and others.