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Food As Medicine

A LOT of people ask my why I named this blog Medicinal Marzipan. It’s one of those “branding” things that you really need to have a good quick elevator pitch to describe, but to this point it’s something that I’ve fumbled with. I’ve said things like, well my nickname was Marzipan in college, and um I’m hoping to help some people.. errr.. and so I just thought of it one day. But I’ve done some thinking, and the answer to that question really should sound a little bit more like this:

I believe that food has the power to heal people.

I believe that we can repair our relationships with our bodies, decide to relearn how to honor our body’s needs/wants, and can learn how to eat in a way that is not restrictive or obsessive or complicated or scary or overwhelming.  I believe that once we repair our relationship with food, nothing needs to be “off limits” or considered indulgent or a “cheat” food.

Marzipan

image by cooldudeandy01

When I was a very little Marzipanling, I would travel every year or so to visit my father’s family in Germany. In their town, there was an EPIC cafe/bakery that sold marzipan shaped like every possible animal/fruit/vegetable possible. I loved it. I loved the almond taste on my tongue. I loved the shapes and colors. I thought it was the most delicious possible food I could imagine.

I chose Medicinal Marzipan, because I believe that these “treats” or “cheat” foods or “sweets” or whatever you like to call them can be eaten and enjoyed without the world tumbling down around us.

That we can re-pattern our association with these types of forbidden foods, and learn to live along side them without panic or binge. That once we free ourselves from no I shouldn’t or ZOMG do you KNOW how many calories are in that we can be free from the powerful grip our minds have over our habits of overconsumption and addictive behavior.

stack of marzipan chocolate

image by adriennf

Mostly, I believe that people can change.  People can learn to live comfortably with food. People can learn to live comfortably within their own skins.

I am not saying that it is easy, or that I have all the answers. I am, however, saying that the diet industry isn’t working. Hating yourself into a size six is not a solution for sustained, happy living. Taking all of your favorite food and throwing it in the trash is not the way to make peace with it.

We can recover from our pasts. We can move forward. We can pass on healthy habits to our children. We can sit in the house with a pan of brownies, and not wake up to find ourselves covered in chocolate, feeling sick to our stomachs. We can eat a cheeseburger, without relegating ourselves to shame and despair. We can choose to take care of ourselves.

22 Comments to Food As Medicine

  1. June 16, 2011 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Couldn’t agree more. This pretty much sums up my food philosophy. Beautiful pictures. I’ve actually never heard of marzipan

  2. June 16, 2011 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    This is a wonderful post.

  3. June 16, 2011 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    This post is so wonderful I can barely stand it!

    Food doesn’t want to be labelled good or bad. It would be ashamed if it knew how it had been treated. You are so right that food does have the power to heal people. Not with some magic qualities that will fix every ailment but with a healing power of non judgemental, body and soul satisfying love.

    Not only learning how to have a healthy relationship with food but actually regaining it the way it belongs.

  4. June 16, 2011 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    YES! Yes to all of it. Food can be medicine for our hearts, minds, and souls, not just our bodies. My last two weeks have been a great testament to this very concept. Thanks for reminding us.

  5. June 16, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Amen sister. AMEN.

    “Hating yourself into a size six is not a solution for sustained, happy living. Taking all of your favorite food and throwing it in the trash is not the way to make peace with it.”

    I can’t tell you how many times I try to explain this to people regularly, but you probably already know that!!

    Thank you for writing this, it is fantastic.

  6. June 16, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Lovely post and I agree that food heals. Simple as that.

  7. June 16, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Your brilliance just does not quit. xo

  8. poptartyogini's Gravatar poptartyogini
    June 16, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    i couldn’t agree more or have said it better myself. let them eat poptarts! i know i do.

  9. June 16, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    Am I the only person who isn’t in total agreement about this? While I do agree with “food as medicine”, for me food can also be “poison.” And for me, that absolutely means that I cannot have many of the “foods” (they are not really foods but rather science projects) that I love to eat in my house. I love myself much more when I am not obsessing about those “foods” and compulsively returning to the kitchen for yet another slice of them. I actually have made peace like nothing I have ever experienced. It doesn’t mean I NEVER eat those things, it just means that for the greater part of my days they are not in my consciousness. If I am at a party and I indulge, I would be embarrased to do the things that I would do in my own home, so the indulgences are tempered and don’t cause me to hate myself.

  10. June 16, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    I totally agree with this. I also hate when I go out to eat (not often, really broke) and there’s a woman two tables over talking about the calories in her salad, shut up & let us enjoy our food.

    P.S. Marzipan is the bomb!

  11. June 16, 2011 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    I love the way you write. Well, more the way you are. Gentle and loving.
    I have to admit, I was wondering what the name was about. Even googled Marzipans :)

  12. June 16, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    Amen!! You are wonderful Marzipan!! I call it the sweet spot…it IS possible. I am living proof…and even as I say that I know that it’s not always a 24/7/365 proposition. There are times when I am not in the sweet spot but I know what it looks and feels like so I practice :-)

  13. June 16, 2011 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    the funny thing is, i kind of have to relearn what my favorite foods are. i love all foods. but not all foods love me. there are certain foods i literally need to physically remove from my life in order to reach the happy, non-obsessed place you’re describing. i hope one day to reach it and to flourish in it. food DOES heal. but in order to heal, i must choose the foods that love my body the most.

  14. June 16, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    One thing I can’t stand/makes me really sad is when I ask someone what a food item is (as in, “ooooh that looks yummy what is it?”) and they describe the food AND include the number of calories. It’s as if calories have become an adjective, like “chocolatey” or “cheese-filled”. “Oh this is a burrito, with black beans, cheese and cooked peppers – only 350 calories!”.

    Food should not equal math. :-/ I wish everyone could ENJOY eating.

  15. June 16, 2011 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    I second or third or fifteenth the appreciation of your writing. But what I really wanted to say is congratulations on finding your simple, clear-as-a-bell description. It’s a perfect fit for the work you do here!

  16. June 17, 2011 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    This is a great one! Short and sweet and super powerful. Love the idea that, above all, we can change and feel comfortable with food and with ourselves.

  17. carmen boan's Gravatar carmen boan
    June 17, 2011 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    “Hating yourself into a size six is not a solution for sustained, happy living.” Well said. Thank you.

  18. June 18, 2011 at 1:49 am | Permalink

    “Hating yourself into a size six is not a solution for sustained, happy living.”

    Oh goodness, yes! I’m very, very slowly working my way out of self-hate. It’s hard, but I can do it. Thank you for this. :)

  19. Natalia's Gravatar Natalia
    June 18, 2011 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Hey Marzipanling,
    thank you for this beautiful post. I love your blog and at times when I feel really bad about myself and I am close to falling back into old eating habits, I visit your blog and re-read certain posts. Your words comfort my alter ego, “the little insecure, self-hating me”. Thank you for that, Marzipanling. Just that you know you have a fan in Berlin, Germany!!!!So, if you want some delicious German Marzipan (it is so yummy…but the best is Marzipantorte!!!!!), feel free to tell me and I will send you a box of yummy yummy Marzipan!

  20. June 18, 2011 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Seriously… so beautiful! choices, healing, power – really touched so much – thank you!

  21. October 3, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    My father is German too, and we would go and visit his family every couple of years. Maybe it’s just something about German food, but there are tons of healing-y type foods that I have that stem from my visits there. I think a lot of it, for me, has to do with the memories that are attached to certain foods that comfort my mind and give me that feeling of safety and peace I had when I was a child. I feel the same way about certain books and songs and movies. Even if the movie is bad, or the food isn’t “healthy”, it still leaves me feeling happier than I was.

    Of course, just like everything, I had to learn not to overindulge in my nostalgia…sigh.
    Jess recently posted..Hiatus IIMy Profile

  22. June 3, 2012 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    This was one of the first reasons I fell in love with your blog, I just absolutely love and adore marzipan (it’s really popular here in Denmark as well, just north of Germany).

  1. By on June 28, 2011 at 9:39 am
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I’m Mara Glatzel. I’m an intuitive coach and writer. I guide women home to themselves and teach them to create lives brimming with supreme self-care. read more
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