By Hilary Eades
When I hear “Let food be thy medicine...,” I think of one thing alone, comfort. Medicine is supposed to heal the body, and I honestly believe that food can heal the soul. Being in college I believe this more now than ever before. Being on the 15-cents-a-package ramen diet can really get old and quite frankly just become depressing. College can be rough, with the stress of school and all the other drama that can occur; and sometimes you just need a little pick me up. Now just trust me on this, ramen is definitely not the answer for said pick me up. Ask anyone who has been away at school for a while what they would want to eat if they could pick anything and it’s almost guaranteed that they would say a home cooked meal. I think we all want this because having a little piece of home is like having our own little revival.
For me personally, the most “healing” food would be my grandmother’s Bunny Cakes. For as long as I can remember she has made pancakes, from scratch, shaped like rabbits. While I am now nineteen years old and seeming too old for these, I will never be able to out grow Bunny Cakes. I remember waking up to the smell of pancakes and developing the most enormous grin on my face; Bunny Cakes always meant instant gratification in my world. However, now that I am older, eating at my grandma’s is more than just being happy; I now realize that it takes me back to that place of safety and when life was so much more simple. Eating them momentarily heals me of any issues I may currently be facing in my adult world. I feel comforted.
Another food that can carry me away instantly is cookie dough. I understand that this may not be the healthiest of snack choices; however, what works simply works. If I am feeling particularly stressed out about school, money, or boys (emphasis on the boys), then I grab a tub of cookie dough and shove my face full. I have no earthly clue as to how or why this makes me feel better, but somehow it works like a charm every time. I have shared this method of revival with a few of my closest girl friends, and they have all agreed that its magic. We have been known to sit there on the floor with our sappy movies and tub of cookie dough while the world begins to not seem so harshly cruel for a few minutes. This may just make us sound like a bunch of fatties, but for that short moment it does not matter. We are comforted, we are healed.
These are two different ways food can be medicine; however, they both have to do with comfort and healing. While one takes a person back to happier times, the other simply makes the world go away completely for a while; both leading to a brief renewal of the soul. So I do not know if Hippocrates was thinking about girls shoving there face with cookie dough at the first sign of stress or a five year old gleaming over Bunny cakes when he made the statement “Let food be thy medicine...”; but that is what comes to my mind when I hear it. Soul food, its not meant to be healthy for the body, but to help heal the soul; to bring someone back into their own place of comfort and peace. They are healed and revived.
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