Thursday, February 10, 2011


You've probably heard about the Abundance vs. Scarcity Mentality that has been applied to everything from everything to economic systems to interpersonal relationships. Well, I'm going to stretch it out a bit and apply to a healthy diet.

The Scarcity Diet:

I've done this diet so many times. The "I Can't" diet. I can't have that, I can't have this. I can only eat these few foods and only so much of them.

  • 8 oz sugar free fat free yogurt topped with 1/4 cup fat free granola
  • 6 oz of low fat soup topped by 1 tablespoon of fake sour cream
  • one cookie
  • 1 rice cake topped with 2 tablespoons cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup of low fat no sugar ice cream
  • 8 chocolate chips

Food is rare, it it limited, and lots of times it is fake. You better sit down and enjoy every bite because, honey, there are not very many bites. And they don't taste very good.

It only takes one "meal" to feel deprived. Along with that feeling of deprivation comes the distinct feeling of not being nurtured, a cold empty longing for comfort. Then you get greedy and if your 10 year old eats a rice cake with Nutella you might freak out and yell about needing every. single. one. of those cardboard cakes! For crying out loud.  After all, you are starving! Everyone must suffer! Heaven forbid he pours whole milk over your expensive diet granola (that tiny box will fill up exactly one of his cereal bowls). Heads will roll!

The longest I have made it on The Scarcity Diet is about 1 1/2 days. So my family and friends only suffer a bit before I dig out the Rootbeer Ribs and Cap'n Crunch and gorge, trying to erase the impoverished suffering I have forced on myself.

This poverty of food, of nourishment, never works. At least not for someone who loves food.

The Abundant Diet:

I love food. I use it to nurture. I use it to celebrate. I use it to show my family I love and care for them. I use it when I am upset, bored, lonely. Food is a big deal to me. The Abundant Diet works because I can have as much food as I want. An endless supply of food needs to be eaten. Everyday I need to eat at least:

  • 1 pound of raw vegetables
  • 1 pound of cooked vegetables
  • 1 cup beans
  • 5 pieces of fruit
  • 1/2 cup of starchy food (whole wheat bread, brown rice, potatoes)
  • nuts and seeds

Have you ever tried to do this? It's too much. Food is plentiful. Its spilling out out of my fridge and out of the fruit bowls (yes I have more than one fruit bowl now). I am full. I feel nurtured. I need to share it. Come over and eat my food! Please! I have too much!

I'm no longer measuring, weighing, counting. I'm just enjoying. My emotional needs are being met and my physical needs are more than being met.  I no longer crave food to make me feel better, to fill a hole, to comfort me. Food has become a joyful thing I do rather than a constant obsessive fight.

I am satisfied.

How are you eating: Scarcely? or Abundantly?


Cindy Marsch said...

Brilliant, Robin. And so true. I'm scurrying over to share it on the Dr. F. member site. Some folks I know there need this reminder!

26 pounds down in a bit over three months

Kacy said...


Thanks to Cindy for sharing this on the message board!

~ Kacy (

Lisa-Marie said...

The scarcity diet. So sad. So scary. So true. So me.

I want to be as brave and motivated as you. Is it ridiculous that your way of life scares me? Did you used to feel that way? Afraid of it?

Jessica said...

I haven't felt deprived one day since I stopped sugar. There is so much to eat, and I am so full without that nutritionally purposely food. And I'm down 15 lbs in 5 weeks.

(I do admit to yelling at people for eating my kashi cereal. That stuff is expensive!)

Emily said...

This is a Perfect Post. a PP. I'm going to link it on right now!


princess singular said...

What a wonderful/fresh way of looking at life! Thanks!!!

Miss Mary said...

Great post Robin! I love this mentality. I think it works much better for people who love food. I love food! Thanks so much for the awesome reminder :)

Elizabeth said...

This post is SO TRUE in every aspect.The best part of eating a plant based diet is that the "dieting metality" in your head (and stomach) fall away. It is liberating not to be consummed (haha) by food and what it does to you.

Kristen said...

Ditto everyone!

queenieweenie said...


I LOVE this. One of my resolutions this year is, "NO MORE DIETS"!!! I have been on the diet roller coaster for as long as I can remember.

I have been up reading "Eat to Live" for the past 2 nights...fascinating. This way of eating really speaks to me-I am intrigued.

Off to make a green smoothie (My new red Blendtech is in the mail. I can't wait!!!)

Thanks for being so amazing.