Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Purple Sweet Potatoes, Too Philosophical?

What's better than sweet potatoes?  White Japanese sweet potatoes.  What's better than white Japanese sweet potatoes?  Purple Japanese sweet potatoes!  What do you do when the season is over and you can't buy them anymore? drive all around town to every specialty market you can think of buying and hoarding as many as you can store in your fridge and pantry.......oh, is that just me?

I went through this with Delicata squash about 2 months ago....and let's see....corn and tomatoes in the summer....let's not forget the Xmas candy and fruitcake on sale.....  The reoccurring theme is the feeling of missing out, the feeling of not getting enough, and the feeling of lack.  Sometimes I feel this rush of urgency to stock up.  But I'm getting better and better at recognizing when the habit of hoarding starts to erupt.  And for me it's simply a habit I acted on much of my life to fill some sort of need.  The "need" isn't what is wrong, how I act out, through habits and behaviors to try and have that need met is what I'm learning to change.  Change in a way that gives me greater benefits.

Hoarding has gotten a lot of attention is the past couple of years because of TV shows exposing this disorder.  It's can be a very serious situation and I'm not trying to make light of it by comparing it to overstocking my kitchen with sweet potatoes, but there can be a fine line between "stocking up" and "hoarding", when it compels a person to act in the same ways out of some kind of fear.  Fear of not having enough is what compels me.  My need was to feel secure.

We all have childhood, teenage, young adult, and even "old" adult, psychological "stuff" that leaves a deep enough impression on us that we develop habits in order to protect ourselves....habits that may no longer give us the relief we were looking for.....but I'm not going to get into all of that.  What I do want to offer is that I know, for a fact, that the more aware I become of the habits and behaviors that lead me to act in certain ways, that are no longer healthy, the easier it is for me to change them.  And I do, and I am, everyday.

I did not buy extra Delicata, I did not drive all over town for purple sweet potatoes....although I did buy 5 fruitcakes on sale....hey, I said I'm working on it! (you can freeze fruitcake!)  Anyway....reminding myself I have enough, reminding myself that there is always more of anything I could want, and if not, something else will take it's place.  There is no shortage of wants, there is no shortage at all....of anything, there's more than enough.

Some might say, "well that's nice for you, but I don't have near all the things I need, much less want".  I'm not talking about "reality", I'm talking about how I feel.  If I lie in meditation (or just sit still and quiet), and visualize having all the things I want, right in front of me and really feeling what that would be like, then there's nothing I can't have.  It's the feeling that changes me, not the "having".  How many times have you purchased something thinking it was going to make you feel a certain way, and then you felt the opposite, or at least not as good as you thought it would?

I can have a purple sweet potato any time I want it.  All I have to do is close my eyes....but I've moved on....

This subject may, can, does, relate to overeating, at least it did for me, and I hope to write more about it.


Diana said...

My Dad was one of the "best" food hoarders I knew...when a sale came on he was first in line! I remember growing up seeing our pantry's crammed with stuff he found on sale. It was all stuff we used, but in complete crazy amounts. Then the candy.....this is where I got my "weakness" from....every holiday, the day after he was there. Valentine's day...all those hard little heart shaped candies with the saying on em....we had bags, bags and bags of them. My closet floor was full because he ran out of shelf space. I still love those, hardly do I eat them though, they just bring a smile to my face when I see them now! Crazy how items, whether it's a nick-nack or a kind of food, how strong those emotions can be that tie us to them!

It's not having what you want. It's wanting what you have.

microage said...

I love them, but the only place I can find them anymore cooked in the traditional way in Japan is in Nara.

Tracy Reifkind said...


I was never that bad, but I was bad! I'm just glad that it's unusual that I shop in a large chain grocery stores that often, so I rarely walk into all of those commercial holiday goodies in the first place much less the "day after" sales.

If I feel the urge I'll buy Mark his favorite Yorks peppermint patties because I won't eat those....99% of the time that is!

But I certainly remember the days I couldn't unwrap those "fun size" snickers bars fast enough to get them in my mouth!

Tracy Reifkind said...


I bought these at the Japanese grocery in my neighborhood (I live in Japantown!), and although I simply roast them (or microwave...shhh!) they also sold them cooked. It looked as if they were cooked/boiled in water? Yuck. Not appealing, at least not to me.
Would you know how they are prepared in Nara?