When My Food Brain Has a Mind of Its Own

Today I experienced something that I dread, something that happens to me that I hate more than anything I deal with in my life and I would give anything to be free of it.

My favorite tea is Stash Chai Spice black tea. I get it at the Jewel grocery store down the street but I found out this week that all the Stash teas are being sold off at clearance and they’re being replaced with other brands. I’ve also bought Stash at Target but visits to two stores revealed that the tea selection has been pared way, way down. No clue why. So I decided to go off in search today for other possible retailers and for any remaining stashes of Stash that might be left at other Jewels.

I headed off to the Whole Foods in the Lakeview neighborhood. As I got off the Red Line train and was walking the few blocks to the store, I began to think about specific bakery items that I know they would have at Whole Foods. The bakery is exceptional. Thoughts of cheddar biscuits, brownies, chocolate croissants, and cinnamon buns started swirling around in my head. I resisted the thoughts but my mind fought back with various bargaining strategies. I entered the store and the war going on in my brain escalated. I was very aware of the northeast corner of the store where the bakery is. I did not want to walk in that direction. I wanted the thoughts to go away and I began to worry that once they started, they would torment me the rest of the day.

I happened to walk past a promotional display of a greens drink mix that I use and I chatted with the young guy giving out samples. It was a good distraction for a few minutes. I walked to the back of the store to find the tea aisle so that I would not walk directly toward the bakery. They did not carry Stash teas at all and I hurriedly left the store. I had a feeling like I had to escape.

I went by a Jewel and scored EIGHT boxes of Chai Spice at a reduced price. I decided to walk on toward Lake Shore Drive and wait for a bus that would drop me at my door. I sat on the bus and found that my brain had moved on to other bargaining-type thoughts of what I might eat today. I did not want ANY of those thoughts in my head and they bring me a great deal of anxiety. The bus I was on often switches drivers in front of my regular grocery store at my corner. I ended up getting off the bus and going into the store. It’s very familiar to me so I don’t feel any heightened anxiety when I am in there. I decided I wanted milk to make my tea more special. Maybe that would get me through the day and into tomorrow when the thoughts would be gone. I walked past the meat case where they put the clearance items. I spotted a beautiful thin-sliced ribeye for 50% off so I snapped it up.

I don’t eat meat like that more than maybe once or twice a month anymore, if that much. I broiled the steak and I feel like I won’t have to eat again for a couple of days! Beef is extremely filling for me now. I am not experiencing any pastry fantasies at the moment but I don’t think it’s because I ate meat. I think I just got myself through the experience and I kept going. I dodged it. I got my brain doing other things and for now, I am OK again.

I find it a troubling experience to have thoughts I do not want to have and to struggle to rid my mind of them. I know that only those of you who share this will understand and everyone else will have theories and even criticisms but I know there is a simple explanation. I have a Food Brain and it has a mind of its own.