Even though I’m not Christian, I love Xmas. I’m blessed to have been brought up by a family who honours all religions and spirituality. My mom always makes sure we have an elaborate Xmas dinner. One of our family traditions that date back from to my great- grandparents, is making Xmas pudding. We choose a day to get together and make two huge puddings. Everyone knows the Thumbadoo pudding is laced with brandy, those family members who come home and claim not to touch alcohol have been caught having extra pudding! My grandfather, the late Rama Thumbadoo, used to dress up like Santa Claus and put all our presents in a pillow case, slung over his shoulders saying ho ho ho!! We remember this fondly as children and even though we’ve all grown up, we still feel the need to shake each box under our little Xmas tree.
Unashamedly, the one thing I love more than exchanging presents this time of year is the food! Everyone who knows me, knows that I have an intense passion for food and cooking.
Some of you may have noticed many of my facebook statuses describe my midnight kitchen raids. I have loved midnight snacks since I was five years old. My cousin was staying over for the holidays and we were bored as hell one night. We crept into the kitchen while my parents were asleep, made toast, and spread lashings of melrose cheese spread on it! I don’t know whether it was the time of night or the thrill of being awake while my parents slept, but that piece of toast tasted like heaven to me! Up till today, you will always find a jar of melrose cheddar cheese spread in our fridge.
Another one of my favourite memories that has been defined by food, was when I was fourteen. A friend and I had gone to fetch a book from a former boyfriend’s home after school. It was the first time I had seen where he lived, and my heart sank when I walked into his family’s one bedroom flat, five people were living there. His sister insisted we have something to eat. I felt a little uncomfortable, wondering where we were going to sit but she had already started clearing space on their little table. She warmed up something that smelt absolutely amazing on their hot plate- their previous night’s supper which was dhalgosht. For those of you who don’t know, dhalgosht is a lentil and mutton bredie. She toasted bread and poured hot, sweet cups of tea for us and we sat down to eat. There was no mutton left in the dhal, yet the flavour lingered. I dipped the toast into the bredie and remember thinking this was the best tasting dhal I had ever had in my life. Today, I still make sure I have sweet tea, toast and dhal the day after I cook it, to remind me of that precious moment.
Food has the power to invoke feelings of love and comfort. When I first lived in Jhb, Twisters used to deliver food to our office. I would wait for their mini van anxiously, and would order the same thing everyday, a huge apricot jam doughnut. It was soft, light and oozed jam, making my fingers sticky and sweet! Since I hardly had a social life, I would spend every Saturday night at home, with nothing but a big bag of Doritos, cottage cheese and coconut-covered marshmallows for company. Food was my friend. If I had to go to the bathroom at night, I would make a detour to my fridge and sneak a piece of white chocolate and smile as I fell off to sleep.
Food gave me comfort and gave me a feeling of complete bliss! The smell, taste and feeling of food in your mouth is an incredibly sensual and comforting feeling. It’s no wonder people fall easily into the trap of gluttony! Gluttony is considered sinful because an excess of any pleasure in life, can become an addiction.
Falling victim to a constant sweet tooth can manifest as diabetes and sores in the body. Eating too much salty things encourage high blood pressure. The body is a clever machine. When we eat too much, the body knows how to let us know when we have overdone it. Obesity, tummy aches, toothaches, headaches. We throw up when whatever we have eaten or drank does not agree with us, it’s our bodies way of rejecting the contents that upset it in the first place.
Gluttony feels like winning the lottery. You feel happy only when there is an excess of food or drink or luxury items. Sometimes people who are gluttonous do so to show off. They feel a need to prove to others they have more than plenty and flaunt this. If it’s food you’re after, you get a high seeing or smelling something delicious and your mouth salivates awaiting the moment you get to taste it. If you’re bored or heartbroken and find that a tub of ice cream or chocolate cake is in the house, you go crazy, devouring it like a wild beast, only to regret it moments later. It’s craving a moment of pleasure, feeling safe. Drowning out your emotions and concentrating on filling your tummy in the hope of forgetting your troubles for a while. This is when food becomes an addiction and an obsession. Often when we have eaten way too much, we become lazy and tend to sleep afterwards, how unhealthy!
Like anything in life, moderation is key! Food should serve to nourish us. We are living in a time where we have the best medical assistance when required. Still the best way to stay healthy is to pay attention to our bodies and remember that it is our soul’s vehicle here on earth. The more care and respect you show to your body, the stronger you will feel in your mind and spirit too.
The next time you feel tempted to pig out on something you know you will regret later, ask yourself whether you’re eating because you’re really hungry. If the answers ‘I’m bored / this is just something to do / it tastes good so I don’t want to stop’ that’s gluttony! Have the power to resist and know that your body will thank you for being disciplined later! (I promise to take my own advice and resist the urge to have that second helping of garlic prawns tonight!)
Love and light,
Your Resident Psychic & Spirit Medium,