Memories, traditions, and faileos. **updated**



This picture has nothing to do with my post, but I thought I would at least give you something pretty to look at!

There is this thinking that by coming up with grain free alternatives to foods from ones former “non paleo” life, that it is just a set up for failure. That by making and eating foods that are fashioned after the gluteney sugary messes one used to eat PP (Pre Paleo), the brain is just being fooled into continuing a dependency on the foods being eliminated. While I agree with this in theory, the same people turn around and say “BUT, in moderation as a rare treat, I SUPPOSE you can got for it”. Again, in theory, I agree that a rare treat is allowed. Just as some rare cheating on a special occasion is not against the law.

But here is the issue I have… for me, some recipes are too emotionally charged to NOT find a way to make them work.

Every time I make my Papa’s chicken noodle soup, I remember him making it for me when I had the chicken pox. It’s a story well known within my family. I got maybe two spots, but the evening they showed up my grandpa (Papa) called and asked if needed anything. Being like, four, of course I had absolutely no qualms about asking for his chicken noodle soup. (ALWAYS WITH ALPHABET NOODLES!!! That was very important.) A few hours later, practically in the middle of the night, Papa showed up with a pot of chicken noodle soup big enough to bathe me in, and a tootsie pop bouquet. This recipe is honestly sacred to me. The entire time that I am making it, every bowlful I eat, is a memory of Papa. (For the record, it’s probably technically more of a Italian wedding soup.) This is a recipe and memory I am unwilling to give up. It’s not that I’m dependent on noodles, or anything else actually IN the soup, it’s that the act of making and eating it is a memory so important to me, it’s as close to a prayer as I can imagine. The noodles may be replaced with something, and there may be almond flour instead of breadcrumbs in the meatballs, but it’ll be as close to the original as I can make it. This is probably lesser on the scale of faileos, as it’s soup for fuck sake.

Another example. Every time I dig into a plate of pancakes, I’m transported back to my childhood. It’s Sunday morning, and my Dad is listening to the Sunday Jazz Brunch on the radio, and whisking melted butter into a decadent pancake batter. I won’t say it was every Sunday, but it felt like a LOT of Sundays. This was an act of love, and it made me feel cherished. I’m not saying that every day I am going to make pancakes, but I’m not going to worry about a dependency on something being fostered by having an occasional treat.

I’m not arguing that these need to be occasional treats. I’m not saying that care doesn’t need to be taken; it absolutely does. However, food that are so closely related to memories, or foods that are family traditions… Sometimes it’s worth it to find a way to make it work, hell or be damned. Only you can answer what is right for you… I can tell you that I’ll be finding a way to make my memories and traditions work for me.


It should be noted that these are by no means my only food memories. I pretty much learned every cooking basic from my mom. My Aunt Steph and Uncle Ed, and my Uncle Ted are responsible for opening my eyes to so many different food things. And there was the fateful “pork chop in a self cleaning oven” incident that just proved that you can pull good food even out of a GIGANTIC mistake 😀 (Sorry again Steph 🙂 )

I guess the most important thing is to keep in mind that it’s OKAY for food to be important in family traditions, but it’s also okay to change your relationship with food, adjust the traditions, and still keep the importance.

3 responses »

  1. I’m right with you. When you can make food more than just something you stuff your face with, and focus on the experiences and people around you, it’s a lot easier to stick with a diet.

    • Oh my God Linda, I’m pretty sure that Congo bars fall under the “I don’t stand a chance of paleo’ing them but now I really really want one” category. I think in order to make them paleo, you would have to change them SO much that it would be something totally different. And if I had talked too much about them, I would have needed to eat one on the spot 🙂

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