BEing Blog 14 – Trouble with Food
We now know that food is pivotal for mental health, physical health, mental acuity, skin health, cardiovascular health, weight management, social connectedness, well-being, and the list goes on. What we eat is a cornerstone of who we are. We all know the statistics, we have a worldwide obesity epidemic, and with obesity comes metabolic disease, diabetes, dementia, cancer, auto immune disease, and depression. What many of us don’t know, is that we have thousands upon thousands of people, who silently, privately, fight a daily battle with food. I am one of these people, and this is a taste of my story.
Diagnosed as coeliac in my 20’s, I thought that finally all of my problems would be over. The end to pain, distention, bloating, fatigue. Simple, avoid all gluten and within three to six months your digestive tract will have healed and life without gluten will be a breeze; that’s what the doctor told me. Easy, I thought.
Not so, was the reality. This was the 90’s and ‘gluten free’ alternatives were either not available or less than palatable, but I was on a mission to heal my gut and live a pain-free life. I replaced wheat with rice; rice flour, rice crackers, rice pasta, rice-rice, sushi, curry with rice. Rice was my saviour!
And yes, potatoes; potato chips, crisps, mashed, boiled, baked, roasted. Rice and potatoes became my go to foods, along with chocolate and Chardonnay! I ate plenty of vegies, plenty of fresh fish and chicken; and I felt no better- the pain and bloating continued. As the years progressed, I developed, understandably, a dysfunctional relationship with food.
When I ate, I became sore, bloated and unable to think straight, so the easiest thing to do was not to eat, especially if the result of eating was going to impact on what I needed to be doing. I avoided eating at work, when I was running workshops, when I didn’t want to look six months pregnant due to bloating, or when I needed a clear head.
Thinking back, my food avoidance began years before this, back in my early teens, before I was aware I had a food allergy. My pain was labelled as irritable bowel syndrome, hormones. Anxiety and no solutions were offered. So, I self-treated by avoiding what made me feel bad – food!
My school days I recall were, an apple for breakfast, and apple for lunch I grew up in an apple orchard area), followed by a raspberry liquorice strap from the school canteen, and apple for afternoon tea and home cooked dinner. As the saying goes; an apple a day keeps the doctor away!
Up until the last few years my life has been filled with trying things; vegetarianism, raw food only, gluten free, FODMAP, white meat, no meat, no pulses, and on it went, with no change in how I felt. I followed plans, I followed guidelines, I followed advice.
And, I am not alone. This is a version of a story I have heard over and over again. How can food that is supposed to be sustaining us be making us so sick?
Over the recent half a decade my reading research, trial and error has finally started to pay off, and I have now had three years of being free from the battle with food. I have a careful and mindful relationship with food now. I prefer to prepare everything myself from the ground up and can confidently sit down and enjoy the pleasure of eating.
I am so grateful for the work done by Dr Mark Hyman, Dr Phil Maffetone, That Sugar Film amongst others. I am also grateful for the recipes of Pete Evans which gave me a head start on my new journey in the kitchen.
At BEing we understand that our nutritional needs are unique to each of us. Fresh whole foods are the basis of how we eat, every day. The details rely on us listening our body and its responses to the food we eat, and to moderate accordingly.
All BEing recipes follow the principles of gluten-free, grain-free, paleo and keto eating. We believe that good food promotes good health and is a cornerstone to a happy life.