Diet Choices

My diet choices are based on the reading and study I have done of the experiences and knowledge of others confirmed by my own observations of the results I experience from the various dietary choices I have made. When I feel a malaise, I ask myself why?  What did I eat to bring this on? What works for me may not necessarily work for another. But by study, research and observation, I think we can each learn what works for ourselves.

I rarely eat after dark. I found myself eating after dark in social situations, even though I knew it wasn’t best for me. I finally asked myself why? What do I owe these other people? I am the one that has to live with my choices, not them. At evening gatherings where a little something is served, I can politely decline. And with a pushy hostess, I can politely decline again and again. It’s my body, it’s my choice. However, if there is no way out of it, and you absolutely have to eat something that is on your avoid list, if you chew very slowly and thoroughly it can go better for you then if you eat quickly.

Really, the whole thing of social eating is wrong any time of day. It is wrong to chew and swallow food while carrying on a conversation. Some people just won’t let you eat in silence. Do you really need to have those people around when you eat? These are the types of questions I ask myself. It’s a cultural thing. We grew up with it. Our parents wanted to know what happened in school at the dinner table. A parent wanted to chew us out for something we did while we were chewing our food. The emotions escalated while we were eating, and we learned to live with it, we learned to adjust. But as adults we are empowered to make different choices than those forced on us as children.

So far I have named two rules; 1) do not eat after dark and, 2) do not eat while carrying on a conversation. Already, I am appearing quite radical, and you may be tempted to discontinue reading further. In a world where obesity, diabetes and eating disorders are running rampant, maybe I have a point. Maybe returning eating to a personal time of bodily nourishment during the hours the body has traditionally evolved to do it before our taming of the night with our artificial lights could be part of the solution. With job responsibilities and shift work, it may not always be possible, but it can certainly be a goal to aim for.

We human beings are primates. We are carbohydrate eaters, and fruit is packed with the carbohydrate our bodies need. I begin the day with fresh fruit. If dried fruit I is all that is available I put it to soak the evening before. On days where there is responsibility early, I eat earlier. I prefer to eat around 10 in the morning on days when that is possible. If eating melon, I eat it by itself or with berries. Otherwise, I begin with orange or kiwi and then go to sweet fruits such as mango, pear, banana, half an avocado, et cetera. I eat four or five pieces of fruit, and that’s enough for me, that’s all I want. Then, if I want to, I eat a small handful of nuts. I only weigh less than a hundred pounds, so a larger person may want more than what I want, but the key is to eat what you want. If you have problems with loose stools, it could be that you are eating too much, too often or too late at night. You could be toxic from bad dietary habits up to this point, and changing to a fruit breakfast may need to be done gradually.

I know there are diet philosophies other than the raw food diet philosophy. I was a strict raw foodist for several years, eating fruit and nuts for breakfast and salad and nuts for dinner, but for the last several years, I find that gently cooked starchy vegetables are better with the salad during the second meal of my two-meal day then just the nuts or nut pates. With me it is, what about the starch? Other primates have jaws more powerful than ours and spend the whole day chewing. We have other concerns besides our bellies, and have adapted to a diet of primarily vegetable starch, including beans, whole grains, winter squash, potatoes and other tubers, all consumed without extensive refining or processing. In the industrialized age there is a lot of food refining and processing going on. But I believe we are better off eating food as close to its natural state as possible.

Meals in the industrialized portion of the world are leaving a large footprint on the earth. Rainforests are being cleared for factory farms. I don’t eat anything from an animal for several reasons: kindness to animals, concern about the environment, concern for the poor of the earth, concern about water quality, and, last but certainly not least, my health! It is a lonely stance at times. I’m always checking ingredients, inquiring, is it vegan? For B12 I get a ferment a couple times a week at least, either kombucha, sparkling probiotic, miso, amasaki, saur kraut, kimchee, tempeh, soy or almond yogurt,  but wine or beer doesn’t count because commercial liquor, although fermented, does not contain a single beneficial organism. In Jesus’ time wine probably contained probiotics. A brew fermented by tying a cloth over the top of the container, simple and low tech, is going to yield a batch rich in beneficial organisms and low in alcohol, probably 2% alcohol or less. You can drink all you want and never be the least bit impaired. You might feel pretty good because of the vitamins! It won’t keep indefinitely, it will turn to vinegar, and it won’t satisfy a craving for alcohol.

The reason I eat is to nourish my body. I find other ways to nourish my soul and my spirit.

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