In this first book on the topic written from a Catholic perspective, award-winning writer Mary DeTurris Poust offers personal, hard-won wisdom on the complex relationship between food and spirituality.Mary DeTurris Poust draws on the rich appreciation of meals she first gained at the tables of her childhood in an Italian-American family, leading readers into reflection on the connections between eating, self-image, and spirituality. Like Geneen Roth in Women, Food and God, but from a uniquely Catholic point of view, Poust helps readers spot ways they use food to avoid or ignore their real desires--for acceptance, understanding, friendship, love, and, indeed, for God. Poust draws from scripture and the great Catholic prayer forms and devotions to assist readers in making intentional changes in their use of food. She also offers reflections on fasting, eating in solidarity with the poor, vegetarianism, and the local food movement.
My Review of CRAVINGS - A Catholic Wrestles with Food, Self-Image and God
If you are like me and have read every diet and nutrition book out there and are still disappointed with the results or lack thereof, perhaps Cravings, A Catholic Wrestles with Food, Self-image, and God by Mary DeTurris Poust is the book for you. I bought this little book about two years ago and just this August finally decided to crack it open and I’m awfully glad I did. First let me say, if you are looking for a diet and exercise plan you will not find it in the pages of this book. If you are looking for quick weight lose tips, again, you will not find it here. But, if you are looking for a real solution or a meaningful guide of self-evaluation and discovery of what motivates us to eat or overeat then perhaps this book is for you.
In Cravings, Mary DeTurris Poust tackles some heavy issues that caused me to pause and self-evaluate my relationship with food. Cravings showed me, as well as it will any reader, that most likely our hunger goes deeper than the need for food, but a spiritual hunger that only we can fill with a relationship with God. She talks about mindless eating and the emotions that make us snack or binge. She talks about loving ourselves where we are now in order to work on the self we want to be. She tackles our attitudes about food and why, how, what and where we eat. Although she does not offer a diet or food plan, she does talk about what has worked for some people she knows and she talks about getting our family and table back to basics. Buying good, wholesome, if possible local meats and produce to get the most nutrition and vitamins out of our food. Like anything else, our meals should be a celebration of taste, family and love, giving thanks for what our bodies are going to consume. As she points out in various ways we are what we eat, and if we want to be whole and temples of the Holy Spirit the food we buy and consume should reflect just that. Her ideology is not strict, but one that makes sense and can change our lives and attitudes about how we feel about ourselves and the food we eat.
I liked this book for so many reasons, but the number one reason was it made me evaluate why I was constantly snacking. I kept a food diary as the author suggested and wrote down what I was eating and how I was feeling at the time I was eating it. What an eye opener!! Most of my snacking occurred when I was stressing or had an unpleasant task ahead of me. It made me realize that some of my eating was not from hunger, but mindless, stress related eating that left me feeling worse the next day. If nothing else, the self-awareness I obtained from this book was invaluable. It also made me aware that I was not always turning things over to God or asking for help from a friend or family member when I had too much on my plate. We all stress about the lack of hours in our day when all we need to do is reach out and ask for help. The second thing I liked about the book was the author used herself as an example when giving examples or pertinent information. It helped to know that she experienced many of the food related issues I did. Being vulnerable and putting herself out there made me realize that food is not always the issue. Changing attitudes about what I was eating, my self-image, and my willingness to spend time with my family and a God who loves me would go further than any diet could. Last, but not least, I treasured the Food for Thought section at the end of each chapter. The personal questions related to the chapter topic was invaluable. I recommend everyone to read these question and take the time for self-examination. It’s amazing what you may learn about yourself.
I recommend Cravings, A Catholic Wrestles with Food, Self-Image, and God by Mary DeTurris Poust for anyone who wants to try a different approach to better health, mindful eating and an improved spiritual connection to God. I recommend when reading Cravings you take the time to savor the words, ideas and questions contained within. No matter where you are in your life journey, Cravings has something to offer to everyone.
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