“How can you stand it?” That’s what they say when the bread is delivered to the restaurant table. I don’t have the slightest bit of sadness at abstaining from the loaf or the butter that comes alongside it. It does remind me of all I’ve lost by giving up foods that irritate my body. Here’s a short list: • Arthritis • Life-long fight with overwhelming depression • Fluctuations in body weight • Brain fog • The inability to breathe during exercise • Lack of circulation in my extremities • Headaches • Problems with my teeth and gums • Regular yeast and fungal infections Yes, I think that is a pretty good list. These things affected my life everyday, not to mention my pocketbook. (Root canals are very expensive!) You know how a good bed salesman gets you to spend your money by telling you that you spend one third of your life in bed? I wish I could sell a good lifestyle that way, since it affects 100% of your time here on Earth. Self-love, self- respect and self-value is a gift we can only give ourselves. So when the bread comes, I inhale deeply and give thanks that at least I can smell it without consequence, and I remember (and celebrate) all I’ve lost.