Sometimes I have a real moral dilemma with this health journey. The more I learn about the body and how it works and what makes it feel better, the more this feeling sets in. I find it particularly challenging when it is around people that I care about.
It feels like there is a great mystery around the foods that we eat. Like we need to figure it out, like there are so many secrets and codes to it all. Most people seem to be on a perpetual diet, trying to find one that is definitely going to “work”, or looking for a quick fix solution to get pregnant. “Oh, I heard that drinking cherry juice is going to help with my fertility, maybe I should try that.” We are forever searching for a quick fix, an easy answer to get all that we want from our food.
Unfortunately most people are largely misinformed about the foods that they eat. They believe that as long as our diets are “balanced” that we are all okay. What “balanced” means seems to be a whole other question, when we start to delve into the reality of what we typically eat. We seem more concerned with getting enough protein, avoiding fats and sugars than really focusing on the key element of what food should provide: nutrition. That is ultimately what food is designed to do: give us nutrients, minerals and vitamins, so we can thrive. We have been sold to by all the meat and dairy companies to believe that protein is the most important element for our bodies. Babies milk only contains 20% protein and the reality is, we get heaps of protein just from plant foods and nuts. I have never heard of anyone with a protein deficiency.
So, this is where my dilemma comes in. What do you do when you know what would make someone feel better, lose weight or achieve whatever goals they want? Do you tell them? Do you leave it alone because perhaps they are not willing or open to hear, that actually they need to cut out a whole bunch of foods that they really love? Do you wait for them to ask you?
I find this hard sometimes. Ultimately, am I not being selfish in not sharing what I know? Is there not some sense of obligation to provide what I know and then have that person decide if they want to use the information or not?
I compare it to a mechanic. If I had a friend and he was a mechanic and I pulled up in my car and it was making all sorts of squeaky noises. I would expect my mechanic friend to offer to help me out, that he would be willing to give me an idea of what might be wrong with my car. I would be very annoyed with him, if he knew that my car was in need of serious repair and he simply chose not to say anything, because I didn’t ask.
Perhaps it isn’t as simple as that. Perhaps people don’t realize that the little signs that their bodies sends them are signs of an imbalance. Perhaps they have chosen not to see these little indicators as hey, their body is still functioning really normally… right? Most people don’t think it is serious when they don’t go to the toilet for a day or two, or they have perpetual headaches, or they have trouble sleeping or waking up. Most people don’t analyze what comes out and how frequently, how they feel after a meal or why they feel tired in the afternoon. A bit of extra weight and catching the flu frequently is normal in most societies.
Unfortunately most people also consider it just “bad luck” or “bad genes” when they develop a disease.
I know when I met up with my aunt over Christmas, she is still mystified by how many of her friends have developed cancer or heart disease or any other condition. She cannot understand why it seems that so many people are getting sick. To me, it feels like there is a massive elephant standing in the room. It is in each kitchen fridge in Germany—the mystery lies in all that food that you are eating, each and every day!
I think the real thing is that we need to change. Change and commitment is not what comes easily to most people. We struggle to do a regular exercise program and now we have to change every meal we eat? That is just too hard. People want a quick fix and we are used to a quick fix—take a tablet for a headache, a sleeping pill if you can’t sleep and drink a coffee to wake you up—sorted! Right?
I watched a movie by Charlotte Gherson the other day. She was talking about health and people and the interviewer asked her why they don’t focus more on disease prevention. She simply said, “It is a waste of energy. People will not change, until they are forced to.” I found this kind of sad. That means that the only way to change the world is if every person develops a disease and is then forced to change.
I am hoping that the world will become more awake about the connection between our diet and our health epidemics. I am hoping that eventually more people’s lightbulbs will go off and they will see the big elephant in the room.
Point is, do I tell them about the elephant now… or do I wait for them to get really sick before they will change?
What are your thoughts? What do you do?
This Post Has 8 Comments
Good point Tais. Everyone has to take their own journey. As long as they know, is my main point 🙂
It’s difficult, very difficult. I have a friend who’s lactose intolerant and she keeps eating tons of cheese! She gets really sick, but just won’t stop. I have questioned her but she simply says she loves cheese. I guess you should warn once. People most of the time know what they’re doing, know that it’s bad for them, and they do it anyway. So, being a good friend is warning once. You’re not their mom.
That is interesting. I can imagine many of us do actually suffer from leaky gut, so perhaps protein deficiency is more likely – though no amount of eating it, would make the leaky gut problem go away of course 🙂
Thank you Ann-Marie for sharing your thoughts and for the appreciation 🙂 I will keep sharing and caring!
Love it! Thanks Emma. So well put 🙂
Food can be a real tender topic for some, just as an FYI. For some, those “comfort” foods are a huge coping mechanism (and ironically, what is helping to cause their conditions). I now treat the food topic similar to vaccination or religion, if you give your opinion, do it very carefully.
I was actually deficient in protein when I was tested.
I had been eating mostly vegan for years as it did help my endo some. I ate tons of beans, nuts, nut butters, tofu, whole grains etc. apparently though, I had leaky gut from Gluten intolerance, and could not absorb protein properly. When I cut out gluten, took some supplements to fix my leaky gut, and began eating meat again, I started feeling better. When I am done breast-feeding I will resume eating less meat and see if I can go back on a more “pure” diet.
Hi Melissa, I see this with my friends who suffer from IBS, eating irritant foods every day and drinking prescribed solutions by night to ease the symptoms!It frustrates the life out of me, I think we as people can be precious about our diet habits, we use food to celebrate as well as survive and it’s hard being restricted at those times, I would always encourage people to try their best as there’s no doubt our diets have a huge affect on how your body feels. Your site is so important as it plants the idea that you can change things simply by following the advise, and allows us to take in so much information, our very own endo library! Thank you to all who contribute here sharing your experiences 🙂
This is a tough one. I like your example with the mechanic with his knowledge of the body of the car, & how this relates to someone’s knowledge of the human body. But I’m not sure that most people really care as much to make that correlation these days. Health is something, like you mentioned, only to be considered when something goes wrong. Until that point, ‘life’s too short’, so do what you like unto your body, & little things like infections, headaches, tiredness etc are all just parts of life. BUT, I’m sure, like me & so many others, you see a slow shift beginning to occur, whereby more & more people ARE awakening to the fact that much of the ‘food’ being mass produced today is frankenfood, & our planet & our bodies are becoming more & more toxicated from our modern ‘quick fix’ lifestyles. Kris Carr has a huge following & spreads the word about disease prevention. I’m of the belief that you shouldn’t feel bad about offering good advice to people, but just make sure that you’re fully prepared & ready in those many cases where your advice seems to go unheard or brushed off. Keep sharing knowledge where you feel it ‘could’ be worthwhile. Just because someone brushes off your advice today, doesn’t mean that advice won’t be taken up at a later date – when that person will be thankful. Good things spread, but only when shared! People don’t like change but people always DO change.