Got the in-laws visiting. We were sitting around the breakfast table, and of course we had to talk about nutrition. I didn’t bring it up, I’m sure. My mother-in-law is doing great on what I’d call a Primal diet. Grandma is clueless that she’s eating Primally. I was finishing off my “Best Ever Liver” to the grimaces of both of my in-laws, when it was suddenly recalled that my father-in-law used to always request liver and onions for his birthday. Until my mother-in-law started cutting cholesterol out of their diet back in the ripping eighties. Man those were fun times. Even without liver and onions.
Her (mother-in-law): “They said cholesterol was BAD for us. Now I guess they’re telling us it’s GOOD for us.”
I, true to my “can’t-keep-the-lid-on-my-emotions-self”, rocketed out of my chair, blew steam out my ears, and konked my head on the 8 foot ceiling. Ouch.
I cannot stand splitting. Black and white thinking. Cannot stand it.
Me: “Cholesterol is not good for you. It is not bad for you. We need, need, need cholesterol to make our hormones, and so it certainly is not BAD for us. But neither do I want it isolated in the Nabisco lab, forced into a plastic bag, stuffed into a cardboard box, and sold for me at Wal-Mart to buy and eat up by the spoonful. Really, it depends on what else you’re eating in your life, like sugar, for example. It depends on your body type. It depends on the battles your body has been through. It depends on a thousand and one variables we don’t understand yet.”
Her: “Well, I just want one of you guys [implying medical doctors] to tell me how to eat! I don’t want to have to think about it.”
Oh. Heavens. If that’s what I’m up against in this world, and in my own mother-in-law, I really should just shut up. Yeah. I should shut up.
Me: “Nobody can tell you how to eat. The absolute best way to eat is to eat a whole foods diet. REALLY a whole foods diet. Then, analyze yourself. Are you left with nagging symptoms like constipation, diarrhea, bloating, stomach cramps, headache, dry eyes, dry mouth, sinus problems, skin rashes, excess weight, underweight, abnormal labs your doctor is concerned about, and so on? If you are, then you need to regroup with that diet you’re eating and take some things out; common troublemakers are things like dairy, eggs, nuts, soy, wheat, and nightshades. Or in some instances, add something in, like whole grains or animal fats. That’s the best anyone can tell you how to eat.”
“Eating for you” is a class in the school-of-life that won’t stop. It’s a constant regrouping. Reassessment of YOUR machinery. Not mine. Not your mom’s. Not the prototype patient used for the medical guidelines. YOURS. Food intolerances will pass, and you will be able to add eggs back in. Weight will increase and it will be time to limit avocados and nuts. I am so angry that my profession has lumped all of us into one group and said, “Eat this way. It is right.”
No matter what, the closest you keep your diet to the way things were produced by that great, magnificent, simple, and complex thing called nature, the closer you will be to health. (No splitting in that last sentence.) If you’re lucky, you will be there. Some of the rest of us will have to tweak here and there and perhaps look a bit beyond food to get there. But food matters.
So, are you waiting for somebody to tell YOU how to do it? Would you believe them over listening to symptoms screaming from your own darn body?
Live Studio Audience, thank you for reading.
Posts in the draft bin: Same as yesterday–short chain fatty acids and pigeon-holed physicians