Raise your hand if any of the following sentences have ever exited your mouth:
I could never give up my cheese.
I could never give up my meat.
I could never give up my wine.
I could never give up my chocolate.
I could never give up my coffee.
Four of those five statements have floated out of my mouth on more than one occasion, so I can appreciate just how real they feel when we say them. But here’s the thing. These statements aren’t true, they’re just code. You might think it’s your cheese, your meat, your wine and your chocolate, your coffee that you could never possibly give up, but it’s not.
Allow me to rephrase these statements to bring them into focus and more in line with reality.
- Instead of saying I could never give up my cheese, you could say instead: I’m scared shitless of giving up cheese because it brings me a great deal of comfort. And when I say great deal I mean that I would choose cheese over a romp in the sheets any day of the week.
- Instead of saying I could never give up my meat, you could say instead:
Giving up meat means rethinking and unlearning everything I have ever been told about food and eating. And the thought of that is totally overwhelming. I mean, where the fuck would I get my protein!? And if I’m not eating meat then I’m going to be eating more carbs and don’t carbs make you gain weight? Or is it fat I should stay away from? Screw it, I’m already confused, hand me that burger.
- Instead of saying I could never give up my wine, you could say instead: The thought of quitting drinking paralyzes me with fear and I can’t think of anything more boring and terrible than living my life without drinking. What the hell would I do without drinking and who would I be? How would I unwind from a long day? How would I have fun? What if I can’t stop? What if the people around me keep drinking?
- Instead of saying I could never give up my chocolate, you could say instead: Chocolate is one of the only things that gives me that burst of feel good. Without it I am fearful of feeling totally deprived. Chocolate gets me through bullshit, stressful times and I rely on it to perk me up and give me a hit of pleasure when nothing else will.
- Instead of saying I could never give up my coffee, you could say instead: Coffee is the only thing that motivates me to get out of bed in the morning and gives me enough energy to tackle my day. Coffee is the comforting balm that guides my morning routine, and the thought of changing that routine sucks.
Cutting the crap and getting really honest about the reasons we don’t want to give something up brings a great amount of clarity because it gets to the heart of our clinging.
It’s not the cheese, the meat, the wine, the chocolate, or the coffee you’re holding onto, my dear; it’s the feelings that these things provide, paired with the fear that they are helping you avoid.
- It’s not the cheese you don’t want to give up. It’s the rush of pure ecstasy that the pleasure center of your brain emits when casein-derived morphine-like compounds (casomorphins) in cheese are ingested.
- It’s not the meat that you don’t want to give up. It’s the personal paradigm shift that scares the hell out of you, and what making that shift would mean for you and the people around you.
- It’s not the wine that you don’t want to give up. It’s the high you get every time you drink and the anxiety and panic that come up when you think about that feeling going away forever.
- It’s not the chocolate that you don’t want to give up. It’s that momentary shot of comfort that you rely on every day that comes from the combination of sugar and fat. Even if everything else is gray and yuck, you know that rush of comfort is easily accessible.
- It’s not the coffee you don’t want to give up, it’s your morning ritual that you don’t want to fuck with. It’s also the fear of making the necessary lifestyle changes in order to have motivation and energy without relying on caffeine.
Finding and accepting the root cause of our clinging is worth it because it starts to peel back the layers and it shows us what we’re really working with. That alone can be eye opening and it might just lead to unexpected changes. One thing that it doesn’t do, is make it any easier to quit the cheese, the meat, the wine, the chocolate, the coffee. Just like quitting any other habit that is no longer serving your beautiful body, it takes dedication and commitment to which there is no secret formula.
In order to stop doing the thing, you have to stop doing the thing. And the longer you go without the thing, the easier it gets. That’s the only formula you’ll ever need.
If you’re not ready to give up the things that don’t serve you, I get it. It took me years and years and years before I was ready to even think about giving up mine. And then I thought about it for years and years and years before I started the process of finally laying them to rest. We all do things at our own pace and in our own time and we must trust our process, even if it doesn’t always make sense.
When you are finally ready to make some changes, know this: we tend to think of our not so good habits as our friends, our comfort blankets, our entertainment, our sturdy rocks, our support system, our relief, our soothing solace, our saving grace, our devoted companion – when really, they are none of these. They are things we do so that we don’t have to face whatever it is we don’t want to face. They keep us stuck. They distract us. They are addictive. They don’t support a healthy body and lifestyle. They might give pleasure, but they zap our joy.
Wherever you’re at on your journey, you’re right where you need to be, my dear. Just make a promise to yourself to always be super honest about why you’re choosing to keep certain things in your life. Give yourself that power.
None of this, I could never give up my cheese bullshit. Because yes, yes you can give up cheese. You just choose not to right now because it’s damn hard and cheese makes you feel good.
So get clear. Get honest. And make your choices from THAT place. Then watch your life start to shift.
Is there something that you’re thinking about giving up and you’re not quite ready yet? Or have you ever given something up that you never thought you would? We would love to hear from you in the comments below!
Plant Based Smoky Ranch Cheese Ball
Plant Based Smoky Ranch Cheese Ball
Makes one 3 1/2" round Cheese Ball
- 1 1/2 cups raw cashews, simmered in water for 10 minutes (195 g / directions below)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon almond flour
- 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper (about 5 turns)
- 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika powder
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped green onion (discard root end)
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans (45 g)
Place the cashews in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
Drain the cashews (discard the soaking water) and rinse with cool water, then drain again. Place the cashews into your food processor, along with the lemon juice, water and vinegar. Process until creamy and smooth, stopping the processor to scrape down the sides as necessary. This will take several minutes. Just keep processing and scraping down the sides until it gets really creamy and smooth.
Add the almond flour, nutritional yeast, onion powder, salt, garlic powder, dill, black pepper and smoked paprika, then process until completely smooth.
Add the parsley and green onion and pulse 4 - 5 times to blend them into the mixture.
Line a small bowl with a piece of plastic wrap large enough to cover the inside of the bowl and overlap the edges. Scoop the mixture into the lined bowl, then bring the plastic wrap up and over the mixture and twist to close the opening. Use your hands on the outside of the plastic wrap to shape the mixture into a ball. Place the wrapped ball back into the bowl and refrigerate at least 3 hours.
Once chilled, unwrap the ball and roll it in chopped pecans, pressing the pecans onto the outside of the Cheese Ball so they stick well. Place the Cheese Ball onto your serving plate and store, covered, in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
Serve with crackers.
Alternative to plastic wrap -- wrap in cheesecloth, form the ball, then store in an airtight container per recipe directions.
Wishing you a happy week. May it be filled with getting honest.