It has been about a year since my doctor called me to say; “Your allergy panel came back. You are allergic to wheat, dairy, eggs, white fish, and several environmental allergens. You are going to have to change how you eat.” A phone call that seemed so overwhelming and upsetting at first, but now seems like a life saver in retrospect.
Not only did I have to change what I eat, but also how I think about food. I have had to read labels, ask questions, and experiment to see if a reaction occurs. Most people would think of these tasks as annoying or oppressive, but I see them as enlightening.
Through personal research about wheat and dairy products, I have come to learn how prevalent they are in our society. They are prevalent because they are cheap and easy to mass produce. And marketers use words like “natural” to make us think that these products are good for us.
These findings have led me to further research vegan diets as well as diets based on local products. I have learned that they aren’t “diets” but ways of life… these eating plans urge people to really examine what we put into our bodies because what we eat affects us. And there is no coincidence that our American diet has led to such high rates of high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, cancer… at least higher rates than other countries’ with vastly different diets.
I know more about food now than I ever did, and I think that is a blessing. Unlike people who eat mindlessly, I actually know what I am putting into my body and how it affects me. Most of my foods have one ingredient and aren’t packaged. I urge you to also take a greater insight into your diet. I believe that you are what you eat, but also that you can always make that better.
So, I am renewing my food vows for the next year… I will only eat food that is good for my body, that is less processed than how I used to eat, that is more plant and animal based than factory based, and food that makes me feel good. I hope you do, too.
For more inspiration, read my upcoming review of Mark Bittman’s “The Food Matters Cookbook.” A wonderful insight into the idea that what we eat matters to our bodies and where it came from.