Monday, February 23, 2009

taste is deceptive, part 1

Some background info:
A few fairly popular ideas regarding taste:
  • If it tastes good, then its ok to eat.
  • If it tastes good but you know its bad for you, then its ok to eat in moderation.
  • Food addicts are all fat and overweight.
  • If someone is skinny and fit, then they cannot be addicted to food.

Habit: you enjoy doing something, but once you find out it is bad for you, you stop doing it. You "break the habit".
Addiction: you enjoy doing something, and once you find out it is bad for you, you make excuses to keep doing that thing.

Part 1 will address the first bullet point: If it tastes good, then its ok to eat.

Even with natural whole food, this notion is FALSE. Let's look at fruit: its juicy, sweet, and delicious. Does this mean that all fruit is OK to eat, in however many quantities that we want? In the past, I would probably say yes. After all, your body knows what it needs, right? But now I am not so sure.

Haven't you ever thought that food might have an agenda?

Let me explain. Fruit has seeds that are spread by the animals that eat it. Fruit "tries" to be eaten so that its seeds will be carried away by the animal, pass through its digestive system, and then end up somewhere else. Its a nice symbiotic relationship, but it raises an interesting question.

If we crave some fruit, is that because of our own body's survival skills, or the fruit's survival skills? In other words, do we actually need the food or is it just tricking us?

It gets even more complicated once you introduce cooking. The whole concept of cooking is to make food taste better. There is no condition in which cooking food makes it better for us. It might make unedible"food" (i.e. food that we shouldn't eat ever) edible, however the heat by definition destroys most of the good stuff along with the bad stuff. Now we're not just fighting natural deception, we are fighting our own deception. Now, it is almost impossible to tell if we want to eat for the right reasons or not because everything that we eat is designed for us to want to eat more.

I was with a group of friends one time and we were eating so I pulled out an avocado and began to eat it. One of my friends gasped in horror, she seemed genuinely concerned that I was eating it without any salt. Looking back, I can see that she was deceived by salt. When she ate avocados, she put salt on hers to make them taste better, and then who knows she could maybe eat two or three whereas without salt she might not even be able to eat all of one.

This is because once you remove the issue of taste, you will never overeat. Think about water - you will never over-drink water because it has no taste. If you feel thirsty, then you drink until your thirst is quenched and no more.

Its hard to take a definite stand on the issue because to me God designed food for us to enjoy. However, we have been so de-natured from years and years of eating horrible unnatural food that our Creator never intended us to eat, so it has become really hard to enjoy foods the way that he wanted us to.

For me, though, I believe that eating to fulfill nutrient needs, i.e. when I am actually hungry, is the best reason to initiate eating, and during that time is when I can give thanks and enjoy the food. Eating this way is when I am the most satisfied physically and emotionally (if you think emotions aren't involved, read the subsequent Parts)

I have developed a simple test to determine if I am really hungry, or if I just want to eat. I ask myself this question:

If I was eating something else right now instead of what I'm "craving", would I still want to eat?

What I've been learning is that for me most of the time the answer is NO, just like the salted avocados. Does that mean that I am personally always in the right mindset to act accordingly? No, but I think that admitting that we are deceived by taste is the first step towards realizing dietary health. The next step is wanting to do something about it.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Why I am making this blog

I know two big things in life.  Stating them alone like this might seem weird - it is weird to me - because realistically I am a messed up person, and some think that when messed up people talk like we know something, we are just being hypocrites or arrogant.  Well, I can't say that I'm not either of those things but I try not to be.

1) I know God.  My heartfelt claim is that I know the way to heaven, happiness, salvation, etc.  I have been through a few bouts of depression where this concept seemed hopeless but I can honestly say I believe it and live accordingly.
2) I know how to be truly healthy, or at least where to start.  I can easily say that most people are doing it wrong and are foolishly (because of lack of education or unwillingness to react to an education) accepting disease/illness.

These are big claims, I know.  

Everyone sees life through his or her own pair of eyes.  We just can't help it.  When we are exposed to a new concept, it is automatically filtered through what we already think we know.  Having a truely open mind is almost impossible, especially today with sensational news on TV, propaganda, widespread crime, scandals, etc... you almost have to shut the door on new ideas.  That difficulty is also compounded by human weakness and selfishness.

Why am I making this blog?  I have found that my knowledge and beliefs cannot be forced on other people.

If you are thinking "no duh, of course you can't MAKE people believe whatever you want", then either you have never really believed in something or you just don't care about other people.  I always heard this adage growing up and thought I knew what it meant - you know, be accepting of everybody and stuff like that.  Well, its not so simple.  The concept really kicked me in the face when I started actually believing in stuff whole-heartedly.

Imagine you had the cure for AIDS.  Cancer.  Tuberculosis.  Imagine you had a real "magic bullet".  And once you found this magic cure, what would you do?  Of course, you would try to share it with everyone!!  You would publish it wherever you could, talk to everyone about it - you would probably never stop talking about it for a very long while.

Ok, that was easy enough to visualize.  We daydream about stuff like that all the time, or at least I do - being a superhero and whatnot, helping people.  However, in reality no one listens.  We all reject the truth unless it is easy.  Call it craziness.  Refuse that we can change.  Now, if you really believed in the cure and you really cared about the people, then surely you would persists in your attempts to deliver the truth, no matter what.

Its hard knowing so much, or thinking you do - "With great power comes great responsibility", and that goes for knowledge too.  If I see someone who is depressed or downtrodden I want to tell them about God.  If I see someone who is always sick or tired, or who has a disease, I want to tell them about the raw food diet (the diet our Creator designed for us).  I get really excited because I have the answers!!!  It is so hard for me to keep my big mouth shut!  Not only that, but you'd be surprised at how quickly people realize that I am different in those areas - moreso with diet because it’s not every day you see a twenty-something American male downing bananas and salad at a cookout.

So, that's why I've made this blog.  I've come to realize that you can only say so much. Here, I write down my petty thoughts that I unfortunately can't zap into people’s minds, which I suppose is for the better.  This way, those who know me can only endure maybe two or three rants in person, and the rest of it they can read about (if they actually want to).