Independence Day — Freedom

“Seek freedom and become captive of our desires.  Seek discipline and find your liberty.”       — Frank Herbert

I had to google Frank Herbert to find out something about him.  I had never heard of him before.  This quote of his struck a chord with me, though, as I was trying to pull together some thoughts about personal freedom during this Freedom and Independence Celebratory week.

And, of course, I was thinking about freedom in the context of food, and the freedom, or lack of it, that I sometimes experience.  Let me roll with this a bit.

It’s easy enough to say, “I’m a free person.  I can eat anything I want.”  So, we run with that and end up solving the choice issue that we see in this picture by wolfing down that pretty piece of cake.  Free?  or Enslaved?  If I  were that person, I would spend some time telling myself how much I enjoyed that cake. I deserved it, after all, as I worked hard all day, put up with some idiot drivers, or a hang nail, or something.  I am entitled to treat myself to something wonderful.  And, by golly, I enjoyed it.  But then what?  In a few minutes the remorse sets in….the “why did I do that to myself? thoughts, the talking down to ourselves, berating ourselves for our lack of control.  We were free to eat the cake.  We ate the cake, and now we really don’t feel as free as we feel out of control, and trapped by our own lack of will power, or whatever.  In short, we feel anything but the freedom that seemed like such a good thing a few minutes ago.

The truth is that there are so very many foods out there that are actually addicting…..primarily those with fat, sugar, and mostly the combination of the two of them.  They are as addictive as any other drug substance around, plain and simple.  (If you want a good dose of this line of thinking, read Michal Moss’ new  book, Salt, Sugar, Fat, his Pulitzer Prize winning expose` about how the food industry works hard to keep us addicted to things they sell us, with very little or no concern for our actual health.  It’s a great read.)
But I digress.  My point is that often what seems like freedom when we are craving this food or that, we perhaps   we choose it, not because of the freedom we pronounce, but our addiction to it. Sorry thought, and yet, I think, certainly true for me sometimes. You decide for yourself.

I think Frank Herbert, who turns out to be a great science fiction writer of the 20th century, has it right in his quote above.  The more we can curb our appetites, so to speak, make choices of food that actuallly support our health and well-being, the more we can walk past those “I gotta’ have that cakemoments and live in some real freedom —  free from remorse, free from self-recrimination, free from unwanted pounds and other unfavorable health consequences, free to live and celebrate the joy of life and the many other gifts that come to us in this wonderfully free country.

So, celebrate our many freedoms well this week.  We’ll be joining family out of town.  My rule of thumb for these big festive, fun meals is to contribute something that I really want to eat.  I’ll probably make a good kale salad and the blueberry pie, the recipe for which I published here last week.  Be good to yourselves.  Your family and friends will actually appreciate you more for giving them some real honest to goodness nutrition. And good nutrition can also be delicious and delightful.

Happy July 4th!  Happy Freedom! Oh, and if you’re interested in the book I mentioned, you can click on the Amazon icon in the sidebar here and get it very quickly.  Enjoy!

Let me know about your holiday celebration and how you like the book!


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