"Our behaviors, especially those surrounding food are formed when we are children and they tag along into our adult lives whether we want them to or not."
We live in a country full of different healthy food choices, yet we still choose to eat the same three foods day in and day out. Why do we stick with the same food options repeatedly?
This is an interesting issue to analyze. Our behaviors, especially those surrounding food are formed when we are children and they tag along into our adult lives whether we want them to or not. Maybe you were forced to eat something that just didn't resonate with you when you were a kid and left a mark. Possibly, you grew up with only processed foods and never really got a taste for whole foods. Or maybe its a matter of preparation. A lot of us have this stigma around vegetables and the like. No taste. No fun! You are the chemist here and you can use some creativity to add fresh spices or new oils. Cut up some fresh ginger for example and add it into something and taste the foods come alive. Today, most of us get 60% of our calories from the same three foods: Corn, wheat & soy. Any processed food will contain some flavor of one of these three and its not uncommon to have a trio of them all together. Its really no surprise we don't eat anything else. If we are getting 60% of our calories from these three things alone, it doesn't leave much space for other foods unfortunately. Wheat has a unique property that actually makes us want more of it and we do this all day meanwhile filling up on these things leaving no room for other options.
Then the unthinkable happened. I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in 2003 and I limped along for many years until I finally had the flare to end all flares. In 2015 following a series of very difficult years, I found myself in the midst of a never ending flare. I couldn't get the bleeding under control even with many rounds of steroids. Next stop was "remicadeville". I stayed on the train and didn't get off at this stop though. Instead I caught the next train going an entirely different way.
It was at this point that I really opened my mind, body and spirit to new things. I started a restrictive GAPS diet that really taught me how to eat. Through sensitivities and allergies I learned to appreciate new foods because the foods that I had been eating for so many years caused my body stress. I didnt even realize it until I started listening! My diet went from an 80-20 split of processed foods to whole foods to one of all whole foods. The diet that I have today is very clean, grain and refined sugar free and it has saved my life! It really has saved my life. Food is indeed medicine! It can either build you up or break you down.
I find myself enjoying things like butternut squash for the first time ever. Or how about getting some extra calcium from sardines since dairy is out? I visit the farmers markets regularly and my personal well being has become my priority. I never would have imagined that my plate would have become so diverse and alive with color, but it has. And this is not a fad, but rather a life long change for me.
I continue to add new foods all the time and I can honestly say that I appreciate every bit of it. When we limit ourselves to a set of certain foods, we are putting our body in a difficult position to maintain balance. When we consume processed foods over whole foods, our bodies go into a mode of protection rather than creation. All processed foods are seen as toxins to the body and the amount of energy that is used to process these processed foods is remarkable.
Jump on a new train for yourself! If you are feeling fatigued, worn out, itchy, skin irritations, headaches, crankiness, losing weight or putting on weight uncontrollably or any of the thousand things that plague us today, switch it up. Food has so much more to do with our health than most of us give credit to. Get the book Wheat Belly and discover things about wheat that you may have never known. Try adding in new foods and switching out those processed ones with something whole. There is no magical cure for anything in our lives. The one thing I know for sure is that the very plain diet of old was a monkey on my back and contributed to much of the issue that I am trying to reverse now. Nobody is immune from autoimmunity! Work on variety and if you would like to work with someone to help you to design a path to health, please by all means contact us here.
Ian Sandage is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner who speaks from the personal experience of someone with autoimmune disease and the highs and lows of a health journey