What’s Eating You?

September 14th, 2012

I’ll tell you what’s eating me lately: eating.

80% of conversations at my old yoga studio revolved around diet. One teacher was a militant vegan, sporting political T-shirts and talking about how, even in India, it was difficult to find purely vegan food, so he ate KitKat bars. Whuh? A regular customer was a CrossFit coach and introduced us to the Paleo diet (no grain, no dairy, mostly veggies, and lean, grass fed meats). There were people on the Master Cleanse, in which all you consume is water with lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and honey. I’ve known people to do that regimen for up to a month. A less publicized part of the cleanse is drinking a gallon of heavily salted water nightly, then blasting it all out the other end.  Yikes! A lof of the time people seemed more interested in these special diets to just lose weight than for health or spiritual reasons.

One day, between classes, another roundtable discussion of vegan/paleo/master cleanse/kombucha began, and suddenly I burst out, “It seems silly that we obsess over this stuff when there are so many people in the world desperate to get any food at all.”  I’m not sure that was received well, but everyone did promptly hush up.

What we choose to eat is highly personal and emotional. We all have unique physiology, so not everyone will feel healthy with the same approach. It doesn’t help that big agribusiness, deceptive marketing, and completely uninformed doctors confuse us further. For example: Americans are consuming loads of low fat/non fat foods now, but why are we fatter than ever? Once eating nuts caused high cholesterol, now studies show they lower cholesterol. A friend told me recently his doctor wanted to put him on cholesterol medication — my friend is in his mid-30s and his cholesterol is 180. Grrrrrr!

Let’s make food about celebration rather than restriction. If you honor and celebrate what you put in your body, it’s unlikely that Doritos will qualify. Pay attention to how your body feels after eating certain things.  Learn about and appreciate who grew the food and how. Finally, sloooooow down and enjoy! Check out a movement that’s doing just that: the Slow Food Movement.



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