The Gratitude Diet
Our modern society has a pretty Victorian attitude when it comes to food. How many of us have had arguments with our loved ones about which food they should eat? How many of us have played up the various health consequences of eating (or not eating) various foods? I think it is fascinating, and also liberating, to see food/dietary self-regulation in the modern era in this light.
It says to me that what is happening in our society around food has generated a backlash among those that are paying attention. No matter where you stand on the meat-eating question, I would wager that everyone reading this is left aghast at what industrial agriculture and animal husbandry is doing to our planet, local bioregions, plants, and animals that live among them, and (most critically) ourselves.
There is absolutely no way to guarantee that your food is “safe”, or know that your dietary preference is “the right one.” And the discourse involved with this topic reminds us of a word that shares a similar root- discord. It’s always fascinating to see the social consequences we dish out (pun intended) to each other for signaling that we eat the “wrong food”. Just because it’s local, doesn’t mean it is grown without toxic pesticides. The same applies to “organically grown food.” Certain pesticides are allowed that you would never want to spray on your own garden, but many of us feel better knowing that the food we buy has an organic sticker on it. Why is that? Perhaps it is because we prefer the comfort of thinking we are “eating right” to the discomfort that arises when we confront the possibility that we might not be.
The way to navigate your relationship with food is to simply pay attention. How do you feel when you eat? Not all “healthy food” is healthy for everyone. Is a smoothie healthy for you? Do you “eat right” and still suffer from G.I. distress such as bloating, gas, constipation, etc.? If so, perhaps the issue is not with some sort of supplement deficiency or exotic dietary change. Perhaps it is much simpler- if you eat salad every day and your digestion is off, try not eating salad. If you drink a smoothie for breakfast and you feel tired afterward, perhaps smoothies aren’t right for you. If you suffer from G.I distress, ask yourself- is “eating right” supposed to feel like this?
Personally- I practice the “Gratitude Diet.” I am grateful for the food I have. There are so many people that don’t get to choose between any types of food. I hope we can all practice the Gratitude Diet no matter how we choose to nourish ourselves and our family. None of this is to advocate ignorance around what we eat. We should strive to discover exactly what is in our food. The toxic “cides” in our food are not to be ignored. The consequences of factory farming are real. However, gratitude for food is a better place to start than righteousness. Food is so very personal, it is best to simply live and let live.
-David Bonilla LA.c