If you’re in our private Facebook group, you KNOW Lyndsey Hafer-Williams. You know her enthusiasm, her perfectly crafted adjectives, her zest, her radiance, her brilliant sex analogies, her fire, her sass, her spark for life. If you’re like me, you look forward to her weekly meal plan updates and frankly, ANYTHING else she has to share with us. If you’re like the Dirty meal plan wizards, you create recipes with Lyndsey’s reaction in mind and when a recipe is particularly amazing, you text each other saying “I can’t wait to experience Lyndsey’s review!”
It was a no-brainer to reach out to Lyndsey and ask her if she would consider writing some guest posts for us. Given how protective I am over the content of our emails / website, this was a big deal for me. But I didn’t hesitate. I reached out and the VERY NEXT DAY she sent me a beautiful piece. The day after that she sent me another and another. I have been waiting to share her words with you for weeks, and today’s guest Fuckery from Lyndsey is the first of many that you can expect to see.
She is a gifted writer and if you’re in our Facebook community, you already know that you FEEL her presence on the other end of her words and it’s easy to get lost in her vivid voice, not wanting it to stop. Well today, we have more Lyndsey for you!
“What is it about eating all these fruits and vegetables that has made you so deliriously and ridiculously happy?”
That was a question recently asked of me by a dear, lifelong friend. I might mention that this question was posed to me as she was munching on a huge stalk of celery that was artfully attached to her second Bloody Mary.
We met as babies when we were placed alongside one another in the church nursery so many years ago. And no matter where this crazy life has taken us we’ve remained side-by-side. We grew up together, experienced all our “firsts” together, took sides, dried tears, leaned on shoulders, picked each other up, laughed uproariously through many long nights, spoke hard truths, shared our joys, and also grieved our heartbreak.
On occasion we’ve been known to put on our big girl granny panties, straighten each other’s tiaras, and hold the other back from any hasty action that would land us in the Big House.
We have also waged a valiant war on Fat together since I can remember. I can guarantee that individually and as a cohort we’ve probably been on every single diet that was ever created. We’ve also fallen off that damn proverbial wagon together many times over. She and I love good food, good drink, and good times! We are actually rather dangerous together…
Her question, though, got me seriously pondering how produce has been able to elicit such an epic and joyful response from me. Produce for God’s sake! It’s just plain old fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, and spices. How can those little things cause such a transformation in my life that it makes me want to climb up to the rafters and scream from the rooftops over the happiness that I’ve found? How can a new meal plan from Clean Food Dirty Girl cause me to dance around the house shouting Hallelujah and bring it on!?!
I think I finally figured out why this way of eating has become so life changing and transformative for me.
This year I will be 45 years old. I have been in some form of therapy/counseling since I was an overweight teenager. According to all the experts, I have used food to comfort myself, soothe difficult emotions, stuff down horrifying trauma, and smooth out all the scary edges. According to all the experts, I have used food to celebrate victories, to fully relax, to express happiness, and to show love and concern. According to all the experts, this is wrong and I must stop immediately. The prescription for this affliction (obsession?) with food is very simple to treat. I must do the following: Eat to Live. Do not Live to Eat. Consequently, I have literally spent the last 30 years fighting food.
But you know what? Those well-meaning experts? They were wrong! They missed out on telling me the most CRUCIAL element of that prescription. They probably didn’t know. I had to figure it out on my own.
Here it is:
It’s OK to love food down to your soul!
It’s OK to find immense pleasure in taste.
It’s OK to obsess about all the gorgeous colors of food.
It’s OK to think about and wonder about different textures and how they might play together in the mouth.
It’s OK to dream about menus and meal plans and cookbooks.
It’s OK to find incredible empowerment just by being in your kitchen surrounded by delicious smells of food roasting, baking, and bubbling.
It’s OK to demonstrate love for your friends and family by creating phenomenal meals that they enjoy.
It’s OK to find comfort and healing in food.
It’s OK to find pure undeniable JOY in eating and savoring every delicious mouthful of food. It’s absolutely OK.
And it’s the FOOD itself that makes it all OK.
Simple, whole plant foods that are here on our beautiful planet were absolutely created to fuel and nourish us. And yes, I’m just going to go ahead and say it. By utilizing these beautiful nutrient filled foods, I am actively LOVING MY BODY! I have also found that using simple plant based foods has produced such beautiful changes in my body and in my health and in my mood. It’s been life changing and transformative. Plant based eating has, in fact, allowed me to start FIERCELY loving myself. I’m even going to go a step further (hold on to your hats!) and boldly say that by eating a diet full of simple, unprocessed, whole plant foods I have not only enriched my soul, but comforted my heart, lovingly calmed my mind, brazenly enlivened my spirit, and most importantly found inimitable peace.
I’m no longer fighting food. I’m no longer breaking food up into parts like a LEGO toy. No more counting carbs, calories, good fat, bad fat, protein, macros, and micros! The delirious freedom that this way of eating brings is magnificent! The thrill of just eating a sensational plant based meal without worrying is like a mountain lifted off my shoulders! I’ve complicated the hell out of my life with an unnecessary and totally fucked up relationship with food and so now I’m letting GO!
I have a lovely life, sweet family and friends, a wife that’s devoted to me, and all my basic needs for living are met. Why would I want to complicate that? My life is not perfect, whose is? However, I can now recognize that it’s a beautiful life. I want to freely and courageously live it out loud. I want to go through every day, choosing to live boldly, authentically, and genuinely. I want to shine brilliantly in gorgeous full-on Hollywood technicolor!
I suppose the simple answer to my friend’s question would be, freedom. I think I’m finally beginning to understand that freedom from all those ugly emotions, like shame and guilt, is the magical key to unlocking all else that you desire in your life.
Freedom to get up every day and choose life, joy, love, happiness, and gratitude over a fight with food is phenomenal. Freedom to move through this world with kindness, compassion, acceptance, and curiosity instead of another diet is incredible. Freedom to choose peace, hope, sustenance, and nutrition over worry and frustration is liberating. Freedom, to not only just live but live gloriously and outrageously, is truly stunning in its simplicity, just like the food that has helped me arrive at this beautiful state of mind.
Contributing writer for Clean Food Dirty Girl
Now that you’re done swooning over Lyndsey’s words, check out today’s Valentine’s Day recipe for Almond Butter Chocolate Chia Pudding. And if you want to test run the meal plans that have totally changed Lyndsey’s perspective on food, download a free sample here.
Almond Butter Chocolate Chia Pudding
Makes 2 1/2 cups.
A medium - sized (1 quart or so) round storage container with a lid is handy for making this recipe.
- 5 large dates, pits taken out and soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes
- 1 3/4 cups unsweetened, non-dairy milk (415ml)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cacao powder
- 2 tablespoons almond butter (with the only ingredient being almonds)
- 3 tablespoons 100% pure maple syrup
- 1/2 cup chia seeds (90g)
- Toasted coconut, fresh strawberry slices, and toasted chopped almonds for topping.
Take the pits out of the dates and place the dates in a heat proof bowl. Pour boiling water over them and set them aside for 10 minutes.
Place the non-dairy milk in your blender, along with the cacao powder, almond butter, and maple syrup. Set aside for now.
When the dates are done soaking, discard the soaking water and add the dates to the blender. Blend until super creamy and smooth.
Transfer the blended mixture to your mixing bowl, followed by the chia seeds. Whisk well and let set for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, whisk again until there are no clumps of chia seeds and then transfer to a glass container with a lid and store in the fridge overnight or for at least 4 hours.
Top with toasted coconut, strawberry slices and toasted chopped almonds when serving.
Wishing you a happy week. May it be filled with sharing the stage with incredible people.