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Think about the following aspects of forgiveness. When you forgive, you no longer build an identity around something that happened to you. You realize that there is more to you than your history with your partner. The past is put into its proper perspective as one part of who you are in the present. When you forgive, you recognize that you no longer need your grudges and resentments, your hatred, your self-pity. You don't need these negative emotions as excuses for getting less out of life than you want or deserve. You do not need them as a weapon to hurt those who hurt you or to keep other people from getting close enough to hurt you again. You no longer want to punish the people who hurt you. People often ask Dr A if she raises her children exclusively on a whole-grain, plant-based diet. Dr A: The answer is that at home I cook exclusively plant-based. I feed them lots of lentils, beans, and greens. Initially, I would tell them they had to eat the food that I prepared because it was healthy. Now, they love the food. It takes trying 10 times to love something. Now my kids ask for spinach, hummus, and lentils. But if the kids go to a birthday party and eat macaroni and cheese or chicken, or we go out to dinner, I don't stop them. I am not running a dictatorship and forcing them to eat a diet that they will later rebel against. Kids need to figure it out themselves. Call me alarmist, but I'd rather be prepared. I'd rather know that I can put food on the table than bank on becoming the next Ray Charles.

These are the tough trade-offs that truly test your desires. What will you be satisfied with? So, you really want to learn a musical instrument, huh? You want to be so good that you play live gigs and actually get paid to be a musician? You want to form a band who plays together regularly on the weekends? You want to get so good that you start touring and sign with a label? That means you need to find a job and work your butt off on nights and weekends with the band. That means you probably need to say no to TV, to social media and to those Tuesday night hangouts you used to go to. You realize that you truly do not want to even the score; I found my way to forgiveness when I began to set boundaries and tell my boyfriend what I needed from him. I asked for very specific things, and when he responded positively it softened my heart. I asked him to talk to the children, who were seventeen and twenty. I knew they knew a lot, but technically it was still all a big secret. I was looking like the bad guy because I was so angry and depressed. So together we sat and talked to them. We did that with some guidelines from a counselor. It took a lot of courage and I am grateful. I asked that he change departments at work and he did that. We offer them a healthy lifestyle at home, and I hope that, with time, they will realize the difference in how they feel when they eat the foods that are good for them. Truthfully, with a few exceptions, my kids love to eat plant-based!

A healthy diet is not about any one food. It is not about eating three grams of fish oil or flaxseeds. It is not only about kale or limiting yourself to eating just walnuts or vegetables. It is also not about eating high-fat, processed foods and then adding nuts or kale and expect to make it all better. It is about the whole thing. When people try to tease out what is great about the Mediterranean diet, a plant-based diet, or any diet for that matter, they often are looking for that one magic food that is going to heal them. We have to put work into this lifestyle and learn how to complement foods, so we get a balanced diet. Magic foods don't exist. That means you may become a pariah so your excellence with the band can be realized. This is why it's important to figure out what you'll be satisfied with. Would it be awesome if I could sell out theaters playing music for thousands of fans? Yeah, that would be really cool! Have I come to grips with the fact that I won't drop my current work obligations, live in poverty and see if I can hit it big? Am I content with this reality? Have I set up an alternate goal that I'm more confident I can achieve? Yes I have. Will it still require me to practice three to four hours each week, every week to attain this goal in a timely manner? Yes it will. He didn't want to but he did it anyway. I was just too upset all of the time to know he was working next to one of the people he acted out with.

I asked him to change his cell phone number. I asked a lot of things and he actually did them. That was all part of the process, but I think his willingness to hear me and to respect my requests helped make it possible for me to begin to forgive. Forgiveness is the most challenging thing of all. Well, forgiveness and trust. I have learned over the years that forgiveness is a process totally about me, not about another person. It's about what I want for myself. In the Big article of Alcoholics Anonymous it is suggested that what you want for yourself, you pray for your enemy. There is no one ingredient that makes our health better. It is the whole thing--a balance. Once we understand that, then true healing can begin. YOUR PRESCRIPTION FINDING YOUR GOOD FOOD BALANCE Try to decrease oil intake in general. No oil is really good for you. Try to be creative by using water or orange juice to saute. If you want to add oil for taste, the best oil is probably flaxseed oil. However, you cannot heat flaxseed oil because it makes the good fats unhealthy. Do I also understand that this timely manner could be as long as a four year period, or more? I knew this before starting my first lesson.

What are the results of asking these tough questions and resolving to be content with my reality? I can live happily satisfied and genuinely impressed with my own progress. It's amazing how my music teacher tells me how quickly I'm learning this material, when really, I've just been doing the same thing ever since starting. Three hours, every week. What about writing this article? It means that all of my writing needs to occur on weekends and evenings and early mornings, while I'm not at the office. Because, if I want to make sure I can pay the bills and continue to save 30% of my income, I need to keep thriving at my job! I wouldn't be thriving at my job if I skipped meetings with clients and dropped the ball on my action items! I believe that forgiveness is manifested through prayer for his or her well-being. That is how I have come to forgiveness. Real forgiveness started for me when, through education and being in therapy groups with addicts and their partners, I was able to see this as a compulsive disorder that affected his brain and hijacked his will and his soul and, in that process, mine, too. It is not about me or even him. As I call it, it is a cancer of the soul, our souls. We are a wounded couple, thirsty for healing. That was the beginning of compassion, true compassion, and a lot of grieving for me, for him, for our families, our losses, our lives. It was not about judging; Soon after that I started having glimpses of the gifts of the pain and that was the beginning of my new spirituality. Coming from a highly religious background, I think I had a warped viewpoint of forgiveness; It's best to use flaxseeds in baking or add them to morning cereal, shakes, or oatmeal. Consider eating them in a salad.