Last week I went to teach an 8pm yoga class. After having just taught another class, clear across town.
When I got there, I found a box of store bought chocolate chip cookies, left by a student. Ripe for the taking. I thought: YES! Cookies! I’m hungry. Thank god. And I started eating one.
A student, who’d just finished class, started shaking his head at me.
Him: So bad.
Him: Cookie. So bad.
Him: Flour. Sugar. Butter. Chocolate. So. Bad.
Me: It’s not the cookie that’s bad. It’s your relationship to it.
Basically, if you put a cookie in your body, thinking it’s bad, it’s bad. But for me, I was hungry. I’d been running around all day, it was 8pm, I hadn’t had dinner, and I was fixing to spend another hour moving and talking, trying to provide inspiration, exercise and relaxation. Cookie wasn’t bad. Cookie was good. Cookie was real good. So good, in fact, I had two.
You may recall the French Diet. You know, the folks who thrive on wine, meat, cheese, butter and baguette. And they get to be skinny while doing it.
Or there’s the case of my grandfather. Who lived to be 3 months short of 100. And was driving, had a full head of black hair, and all of his teeth… into his 90s. He thrived exclusively on my grandma’s Southern cooking, bourbon and giant cigars. He also walked… 3 hours a day.
I’ve tried vegan. Vegetarian. And even spent 9 insufferable days doing Paleo. I’ve juice cleansed. I’ve smoothie cleansed. I’ve “liquid food” cleansed. I’ve taken all the detox pills. I’ve salt flushed. Name it. I’ve probably tried it.
In the final assessment (to date), I can only conclude one thing: It isn’t the food. It’s your relationship to it. If you eat anything with shame, guilt and remorse… it’s bad. If you eat it with love and gratitude, to your health… it’s good.
Would I argue a steady diet of cookies, over one filled with fresh fruits and vegetables and lean proteins? Hell no. Of course not. But I’d argue emphatically that the occasional cookie ain’t gonna kill ya. And to the contrary, sometimes… cookie GOOD.