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Food Guilt, health issues and resisting industrialization

 
Posts: 18
Location: Oregon (Portland Metro) Zone 8B
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I really don't know where else to talk about this. I was watching a video today about vegetable oils and their negative health impacts and I just found myself feeling concerned and frustrated. I know logically that the best way to increase my longevity and overall health in life is through diet and exercise. I am not exceedingly unhealthy. I have a normal body weight, I exercise in some form (walking, gym, disc golf, gardening etc) 3-4 times a week, and I eat a mixed diet of processed foods and home cooked meals. But I just feel so utterly frustrated by just how HARD it is to eat an ancestral or ideal diet in this global industrial civilization.

If I were to be in my ideal health I would be eating essentially an unprocessed diet with whole grain freshly milled non rancid flours, no vegetable seed oils, no industrial foods etc.


But I cannot do that and the reasons are manyfold. First of all I have a history with a severe eating disorder, any sort of restrictive diet for me is very triggering and can create a re-incidence of anorexia. Secondly I have a number of chronic mental health issues that impact my ability to executive function including cooking for myself, preparing food, food textures/flavors, remembering eating meals etc. I REGULARLY struggle with low appetite and I can get in slumps where I just don't eat. Then add on the barriers of industrial civilization wherein healthy food is EXPENSIVE and time consuming to produce and make consumable. And there just seems to be secret terrible ingredients everywhere, it's hard to even navigate a grocery store without CONSTANT advertisement and bombardment, Farmer's markets are expensive as fuck, and food prep is exhausting after seeing 5+ psychotherapy clients in a given day. So even if i'm cooking at home it feels like i'm introducing toxicity into my life like through GMOs, unsprouted/rancid grains and flours, weird unpronouncable additives etc.

And trust me i'm already doing a lot. We eat grass fed beef and lamb that we buy in bulk. We cook as much as we can manage. We eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. I rarely consume sodas except as a treat a few times a month. I only eat candy here and there as a treat. I buy chips in small packages so im not eating several servings at a time. etc etc.

sometimes it's just an uphill battle to get ENOUGH food and energy into my body let alone the RIGHT food.

I am so frustrated by a system that is not evolved for someone like me. I have a hunter gatherer's brain. I like to meander, pick things up, talk, move around and spend as minimal time as possible being a "productive member of society". I wish I could go back in time and keep some of the aspects of modern life like medicine  while keeping the aspects of indigenous societies that we evolved for like walking, gathering, tight knit social communties, and real fucking food.
 
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I've been (slowly) trying to improve my overall diet and I found some handy suggestions through nutritionfacts.org, including a major one - don't remove anything from your diet, instead add the foods you wish to eat more often (in my case, plant-based, whole foods), and usually as you add these new foods you'll naturally reduce your consumption of the other, less desirable foods. But there's never a "this is no longer allowed" mentality. I was eating a lot of packaged/processed stuff, and started by adding one unprocessed, organic dish that I could vary the ingredients a bit so it wasn't monotonous. Eventually I added a few others and most days I'll eat at least one of these for a meal, maybe two, but maybe none. I try to avoid shaming/guilting myself into it as that just adds stress. Instead it's more of a "here are easy options available to me when I feel like it". For example this morning was steel-cut oats and red lentils, they have a similar cook time so I mix them 50/50 and pressure cook them for 4 minutes, then add a cup of frozen berries and some ground flax seed. Hands-on time is 5 minutes, total time 20 minutes and I make 3 servings in the Instapot that way. Hits a bunch of Dr. Gregor's "daily dozen" checkboxes for healthy foods to aim for. I apologize if any of that comes off as "here's how to fix XYZ", not intended that way, just an example of what worked for me in a similar sounding situation.

Disc golf is a lot of fun, that was one of my favorite pastimes waaay back in the day! Once my wofati is weather-tight up on Wheaton Lab, I was thinking about making a walkable disc golf course and use a wood tripod on the ground as the baskets. Easy to move them around to change the layout and are totally unobtrusive. I just have to be careful the disc doesn't go rolling off the property!
 
Rebecca Marcella
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Location: Oregon (Portland Metro) Zone 8B
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thank you for this response! I think I'm my meals I'm doing pretty well, we tend to buy bulk ingredientsand stuff.it's snacking that is my culprit because I love to graze and I LOVES SALTY starchy THINGS. I find when I'm stressed i reach for the chips and bread and stuff. I am not obsessed with sweetbut savory oh boy that's where they get me. savory fast food,savory cchips, fried stuff etc

I guess I'm doing better than most but I'm a perfectionist

 
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Rebecca Marcella wrote:sometimes it's just an uphill battle to get ENOUGH food and energy into my body let alone the RIGHT food.

I am so frustrated by a system that is not evolved for someone like me. I have a hunter gatherer's brain. I like to meander, pick things up, talk, move around and spend as minimal time as possible being a "productive member of society". I wish I could go back in time and keep some of the aspects of modern life like medicine  while keeping the aspects of indigenous societies that we evolved for like walking, gathering, tight knit social communties, and real fucking food.



I completely agree, especially the "science" behind "vegetable" oils and powdered eggs/milk is so absurdly warped in the media and official dietary rhetoric that it makes it difficult for me to have a sensible relationship with what I put in my mouth. I do get it from the manufacturers point of view, that science is a part of marketing, especially for products that doesn't taste good, but it's a headfuck to deal with!

I think we are drilled to have a bad relationship with food, drilled to think that our own instinctive inclination to pick what we need for nutrients is "unwholesome" that we should be discouraged from connecting with your own body and it's need for real sustenance but I'm certain that at least in my case it was unhealthy for me to disconnect from myself like that.

I used to have super strong cravings for chocolate, like if I woke up early I could open several doors to reach the kitchen and find the chocolate without really waking up and remembering it. Turn's out it was not just because I was "bad" or "gluttonous" instead I was desperately short on magnesium and dark chocolate does contain a whole lot of magnesium, even if it is difficult to absorb. And once I started adding magnesium flakes to my water in order to get magnesium like we have done for a million years that craving went away completely, and also my health improved immensely.

It's so strange that we are not taught to read and understand our own cravings as a strong sign that we need something and that that something is probably not a daily mountain of marabou!

I know for a fact that my own sense of taste changed a LOT when I started getting proper magnesium, in the beginning the same flakes tasted lightly sweet with a faint bitter kick and now the bitter/salty taste is just overwhelming when taking a sip of that same old concentration.

Why is nobody talking about stuff like this anywhere?
And why did buffalo walk straight across the US only to stop and lick on some stones and not others. Didn't anyone whisper Mmmmmm Marabou to those primitive beasts, why has noone removed those rocks, made some slick them chocolate adds for ruminants and a confusing fog of dietfads, mood stabilizers and insulin to keep them addicted!
 
Mark Brunnr
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I think we are dealing with being "consumers in a marketing society" far more than as "citizens in a healthy society" these days. Very good point about nutrient deficiencies leading to cravings, and too often we reach for the sweet/salty/fatty items that are constantly pushed at us. Our brains push the endless ads/commercials/billboards to our periphery but it still sees the messages. Our brains are smart enough to know which foods that we eat have nutrients we are lacking. I wonder if it then picks from a list of foods, and all those ads are the last thing our distracted brain recalls?

Sadly taking a multivitamin in pill form without chewing short-circuits our brains ability to properly digest it. Chewing/tasting provides our brain with early signals that allows it to start producing the digestive enzymes needed to break down and absorb the nutrients we eat. While our stomach will dissolve the vitamin, I wonder if there's enough time after that for the various vitamins and minerals to be bound and fully absorbed when our body doesn't know what we just swallowed?
 
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