From a young age, I even had this sense that I was contaminating my body if I ate certain things.
(However, I wouldn’t say I had the greatest grid for evaluating “contamination.” Fast food was anathema, but starburst candy and pretty much all desserts were kosher. Hmm).
More to it than ditching fast food
Fast forward ten years or so and my husband is reading The China Study, telling me I have to look at these tables that show how scientists can turn cancer off and on in lab rats using diet alone.
A few years later, a dear friend is diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and is prescribed meds that promised a myriad of side-effects as bad or worse than MS symptoms themselves. In hopes of avoiding these, he and his wife radically alter their diet. About a year later, he was experiencing zero MS symptoms (except when he went off the eating plan).
Not long after, in response to basically a lifetime of sinus issues that surgery, antibiotics, steroids, and neti-pots haven’t been able to touch, the Hubs gets food allergy tested and we learn that he is allergic. to. everything. Interestingly, in all of his interactions with doctors, no one ever suggested that the root cause might be diet-based. Having this awareness, he now notices a huge difference in symptoms when he avoids certain foods.
Throughout our marriage, Hubs and I had tried various ways of eating, usually initiated by whatever health book he was reading at the time. I was all about health, but the food roller coaster was getting tiring (especially because the latest diet change he suggested came during my first trimester of pregnancy with #2).
The culmination of all of this was me wanting to figure out the food thing once and for all.
I had become aware enough of nutrition to know that eating well wasn’t just a nice thing to do but was actually pretty essential to the whole picture of personal health–and that food could be pretty powerful medicine.
Where to start?
But the question was, what to eat? Thus began my consumption of copious books, documentaries and websites on nutrition. (When recently asked my favorite book of 2012, I replied, “In Defense of Food” by Michael Pollen. It has been an orthorexic year).
But as my information base grew, so did my confusion. Should we go vegan or did we need animal products? Was eating an entirely raw diet necessary? Did everything need to be organic? Could we even afford that?
As anyone who even touches the tip of the iceberg of nutrition knows, there’s a lot of conflicting information out there. It’s downright daunting.
I kept telling Hubs that we were on the brink of a food “revolution,” but I was so overwhelmed by data–not to mention life in general, new baby, a big move, etc.–that at times seemed contradictory and the prospect of radically changing the way I grocery shopped, cooked, and prepared food. I didn’t even know where the Bastille was, let alone how to storm it.
(You like that? I mean, what’s a post on food without a little Vive la France? And, we are talking revolutions here, after all. Just give me a little time and I’ll go Viva la Revolucion de Mexico on you).
Come on back next Friday and we’ll wrap up our chat about real food–and real revolutions. 🙂
Until then, do you have any neat stories of changing diets/changing health? Would love to hear! Share in the comments.
*One more thing: If you liked the Excellent Books for Children (And Everyone Else) post, you might be interested in this link party of readers over at Jones Design Co today! Everyone is sharing what they’re currently enjoying. Here’s to happy reading!