How I Ate to Deal with Grief

Doretta Lau on food and grieving


The year before my dad died, I stopped eating refined sugar due to health problems. Within a month of the most ridiculous food plan I’ve ever had to follow (I’ve never been into diets or restrictions) my body began to heal and I saw firsthand how what I eat impacts my well being.

Since my dad died, I’ve probably spent hundreds of dollars on slices of olive oil cake and Totoro cookies at Liberty. (The baristas there are the best!) I started eating huge amounts of sugar a few weeks after his death, mostly because I lost so much weight from stress and it was scary and I wanted to feel normal again. My naturopath told me not to worry about it and to focus on getting enough sleep and eating regular meals.

It was nice to experience sweetness in the world, especially when it kept snowing and raining. I ate a lot of Lucky’s salted caramel doughnuts too. And I wrote. Writing is what dragged me out of the darkness and the suffering.

It’s been six months since the funeral. It’s been a struggle knowing that this sugar rush is only a temporary fix and it’s starting to impact my health again. On Monday I’m going to start a twenty-one day sugar detox because I think I’m ready to start making my way back to routine. The first three days are going to be rough, but then I know it’s going to feel great. If you’re about to do a hard thing yourself, I’m with you in spirit! We got this.

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