Food for Thought

This week I answered an invitation to blog about Food, by posting on Blog Action Day 2011, October 16, 2011, which happens to coincide with World Food Day, an observance endorsed by the UN General Assembly in 1980.

There are so many avenues to take in a discussion about food, so I’m going to try to keep my comments focused on personal, local, and regional aspects, and try not to globalize too much.

If you haven’t thought about it much, you may not recognize that the deepest conditioning that we receive in life is through food.  From the time we are born and receive either our mother’s milk or formula, we are being taught about taking in nurturance for our bodies.  As we grow we learn to eat the foods that are presented to us at our daily meals.  These foods are cultural, perhaps from an ethnic tradition or region of the country we live in, or an area where our mother, the traditional meal preparer, came from.  We are taught what is good for us, or not so good for us.  As small children we don’t get to choose so much the kinds of foods we eat .  Later, when we learn about sugar and McDonald’s and are faced with school lunches that aren’t like what Mom makes, we begin to adjust our diets, for good or not.

I began eating at my mother’s breast.  What she ate, I ate.  As I grew and could tolerate more foods, I ate what the doctor and child experts said were the right foods to eat.  When I was five I developed asthma and my mother suspected that there was a connection to the 40% Bran Flakes I ate for breakfast.  As it turns out, I’m allergic to wheat.  For years I ate bread – LOVED bread, craved bread, made bread, and served bread – in all its forms (cakes, pies, cookies, etc.) – not realizing how I was harming the cells in my body.  And I bear feelings of guilt sometimes when I remember that my son began eating at his mother’s breast too, and she drank milk.  And years later I realized that he was allergic to it.  You know, “milk is good for you, you need three servings a day”, etc.

I passed onto my children the same ideas that I’d grown up with and followed the same “current thinking or science” about food and what is a healthy diet.  Now in retirement I’m still learning what is good for ME according to how I feel and what I feel about what I learn about food, and supplements.  There is no “One Size Fits All” diet for humans.

I’ve looked at the Atkins Diet, the South Beach Diet, Diet for a Small Planet, The Body Type Diet, The Blood Type Diet, Your Last Diet (from the author of Potatoes, Not Prozac, about sugar addiction), and others.  They all have their valid points; however, what is right for ME?  Not all people are supposed to be vegetarians, regardless of their spiritual practices.  Not everyone is supposed to eat only raw foods.  It just gets ridiculous to see all the proselytizing that goes on about food.  It’s like religion, and politics – and it’s so confusing!

Our bodies are amazing!  MY body is amazing!  It does the very best it can regardless of the food I put into it.  If it’s the wrong kind of fuel, my body sputters and keeps on going, until it can’t anymore.  That’s when it breaks down and disease (dis-ease) begins.  Being in touch with my body, and considering what is good for it – not by what others say is good for it – helps me to be on the right track.  It’s also important that when I take in food, whatever it is, that I do it in a WAY that is right for me, so I can digest it in the way that is best for my body.

In the past year I have lost nearly 40 pounds.  I did it by changing what I eat., which means for me, no wheat and no dairy.  I eat in a manner that many might consider radical, unappetizing, boring, and just plain no fun.  But it works for me.  My blood work for cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose, and all the other measurements are in range for what is considered “normal”.  My blood pressure has been lowered 30 points, and I no longer have to take medication to keep it down.

Not everyone should eat as I do either.  I have had some advice about what and how to eat, which has helped me.  Each person, when he/she is born, has a way he/she is created to take in nourishment – not just food, but also things that nurture or nourish one’s well-being.   I have been following the information I have received for ME, and for me, it is working.

Food is personal and supports our lives so we can be whole and free, and not homogenized like milk.  Consider whether you eat something because everyone else says it’s good, or healthy for you.  Maybe it is.  Maybe it isn’t.

Note:  For more information, see these links:

http://www.un.org/Depts/dhl/food/index.html

http://blogactionday.org/

http://www.worldfooddayusa.org/ .

You might also enjoy seeing this short video from Jovian Archive:

http://www.jovianarchive.com/Media_Library/Videos/14/RaZen?itemId=201

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