Thursday, December 26, 2013

Smart Snacking is a Choice!

Chris Newcomb, M.Div.

 As I write this article, I am snacking on this bowl of veggies in between paragraphs.  It is filled with nature's goodness: barley, black beans, carrots, snap peas, corn, red peppers, and a nice, light Italian sauce to add flavor!  It truly is delicious and I am grateful to have it as a mid-morning snack!  What snacks will you feast on today?

Now that the holidays are over, many people will be staring down the scales to assess the cumulative damage done from excessive snacking.  For many, a howl of discontent will rise from within as they realize their failure to exercise 'smart snacking' during the holidays.  This could, in turn, lead to more excessive unhealthy snacking.  Choice, at this point, would seem to be out the window.  

However, choice is never too far away.  And while some of us may have eaten more than we planned, we can always plan on having a little more gratitude in our lives.  To be fair, gratitude, much like smart snacking,  is often a difficult thing to cultivate in one's life.  Life, as most of you know, is not perfect. Things go wrong.  Bad things happen to good people.   And good things happen to bad people.  It is not always fair.  Through it all, however, we always have a reason to be grateful even if we have to search for it.  

As we embrace gratitude, it may be helpful to think of life as a series of snacks.  And smart snackers snack on gratitude.  For example, we snack a little bit on work every day.  Ok, maybe that's more like eating mom's asparagus but I digress.  Just kidding!  Since it is the holidays, if you have a job, be grateful!  See, it's all a matter of perspective!

Besides work, we get three meals a day to snack on, if we choose.  Personally, I eat 6 small meals a day so I do quite a bit of snacking.  And the holidays are built for snacking!  Pies, cakes, ice cream, cookies, egg nog, and a host of other artery-blocking foods are available to increase your gratitude quotient.  So is exercise but again I digress!

Everyday we get to snack on the sunshine, the breeze, the trees, the birds, cats, dogs, flowers, crazy drivers, slow drivers, old people, young people, white people, black people, tan people, pale people, short people, tall people, persons lacking size, persons of size, not to mention cars, football, jewelry, and tennis shoes.  We snack on TV programs, movies, songs, concerts, plays, symphonies, amusement parks, cafes, water, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and the internet and cell phones (of course).

You see gratitude is a choice.  I can think of a million reasons why life stinks, if I put my mind to it.  That's the problem, I can't afford to put my mind to it.  When I do, it's not a great place for me on the inside.  You probably feel the same way.  And did you know that It's the same way with addiction? When people lack gratitude, they increase their chances of acting out their dissatisfaction through addictive behaviors involving chemical substances.  

Just as gratitude and 'smart snacking'  is a choice, addiction is too.  Of course, many of you will say that you have no choice but to practice your addiction.  And truth be told, in a strict biological sense, you didn't when you were out using.  It is a brain disease.  However, with help, you can continue to stop practicing your addiction.  

Remember this: you're not responsible for being an addict.  You're just responsible to stay clean.  It's not your fault.  You didn't choose it.  You didn't plan it.  And it's not fair.  However, you deserve more from life than destroying yourself.  You are all you (and we) have!

Why not snack a little bit more on recovery through gratitude this holiday season?  It won't ruin your appetite.  If anything, it will whet your palette for the main course, which includes things like blessings, forgiveness, restored relationships, freedom, success, confidence, financial security, renewed health, and so on.  

If you or  someone you love is in need of detox off of opiates, alcohol, benzos, Methadone, or Suboxone, please do not hesitate to call Jennifer Pius or Amy Stewart at 1-877-773-3869 today.  We're here for you.  Sobriety, like gratitude and smart snacking, is a choice.  Make the right choice today!  

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