Coffee, Donuts, Cigars and Grace

Photo by Alice Pasqual on Unsplash

I started a 90-day naturopathic detox and reset program a few weeks back, and can already feel some significant changes occurring in me. The program starts of with the basic diet eliminations for week one, sugar being the primary target. and advances to eliminate additional ingredients, while adding supplements to repair and restore gut health. Caffeine has been one of the biggest withdrawal impacts – one has to wonder why I drink it if the withdrawal is that crazy. I may never return now, as I my good friend at has created my favourite Asphalt dark roast in a Swiss Water Process Decaf! (Note: this is not a paid advertisement)

The changes I am noticing are foundational, and significant as such with one of the most impactful being that I feel myself wanting to choose foods that will make me stronger, not just more comfortable.

If you know me, you know I enjoy a good donut or three. It’s been a longstanding attachment, and I have rarely if ever been able to pass on one when it’s offered, and more often than not I have gone back for more, even when I am feeling full. It’s not hard to see how mass donut consumption would not be good for my health.

However, the foundational shift is not limited to my diet. It reaches further into other lifestyle habits, such as smoking. I enjoy the occasional cigar or pipe. The people at the tobacco store do not know me by name, nor do they recognize me as a repeat, for the purchase of a pouch of pipe tobacco is more of an annual, or bi-annual event.

This arising foundational shift is mostly rooted in a single question: “What do I expect this (insert your favourite addiction/attachment) to do for me?”

There is a verse in the bible that I have contemplated often: “The power of sin is the law.” It resonates as true for me when I think of donuts. If I say, “don’t eat the donut they are bad for you”, and I keep reinforcing this thought, the whole of my occupation is the donut. I may gradually overcome my focus on THAT donut – but then struggle with my focus on the 2nd and 3rd.

The more I resist, the more I consume, whether it be that day or the next.

There is another verse in the bible that suggests a strategy: “All things are permissible (through grace), but not all things are beneficial (for growth)”. I can eat the donut, or smoke the pipe, but what am I expecting it to do for me? When I analyze this for myself, I find that I have attached emotional comfort to both donuts and cigars. What I really want is to be healthy and strong, clear-headed and positive, but I choose a short-term emotional comfort and sacrifice my goal.

Not only do my decisions limit my own growth, but they impact the growth of others, especially those that I lead. If my health suffers from donut overload, then I am not on an optimal foundation to lead, inspire, encourage and equip others.

This where I especially love grace.

There may be consequences for me eating too many donuts, but there is no judgment. I don’t need to feel guilty about the last donut(s) I consumed. I don’t need to feel dammed to a future of hopeless addiction to donuts. I am free to find new pathways to the emotional comfort that I seek. The donut may have tasted good, but I am also finding that my palette is changing as I give up sugar and sweeteners. Even carrots taste better!

Grace allows me the freedom to grow, and also to be transparent, so that sharing posts like this might inspire others with hope.

So…this really isn’t a post about diet. It’s about addictions, attachments and grace. If you have things in your life that need to change so that you can grow, lose the judgment, find the grace, and ask yourself the questions I have suggested above. Reach out if you’d like a little support in navigating the change.


David E White - Expanding Your Leadership Resilience