Many Questions

As adults, my daughters have adopted many practices, namely in the way they eat and the way they treat their bodies, very different from the ones with which they grew up.  I must confess that on many occasions I have questioned their decisions with some skepticism, which they have often taken as criticism rather than as an effort to understand their thinking.

It is likely that many of you who grew up in the 50’s and 60’s hearing the snap, crackle and pop of Rice Krispies, thrilling over Kraft macaroni and cheese, loving Wonder bread, being immunized against polio and smallpox will understand my dilemma.  After all, none of those things seem to have hurt us, right? Then, as adults we tried to feed our family good foods and follow recommended procedures to keep our babies healthy.

So, where did it all change?  Why have processed foods, food coloring, gluten become taboo?  Why are people with health issues seeking alternative measures?  I’m not sure I have any of the answers, but here is what I think.  Simply stated, many of the foods we eat have changed more rapidly than our bodies.  They have been genetically manipulated, injected with pesticides and other chemicals to the extent that our DNA has not evolved to accept them.  This appears to be particularly true of wheat and other grains which have been traditional staples in our diets.  The consequence is that grocery aisles are increasingly filled with gluten free products, and it is possible that other grain based foods will also be displaced.

While my diet is not totally free of all the things said to be of questionable value, much has changed in the way we eat due to dietary restrictions among other family members.  The easiest change is to eat all natural foods, the hardest is to eliminate gluten.  I have been amazed at all the foodstuffs from cereal to soy sauce that contain gluten, and when it comes to baking without wheat flour I have been a total failure.  Maybe it’s an acquired taste, but I haven’t found too many gluten free recipes that I’m crazy about.  Incidentally,if you want to read more about gluten and its impact, go here to read an interesting article sent by my daughter.

As for medicine, that’s an area where I have no expertise as I am one of those lucky people who is seldom sick and rarely sees a doctor.  That being said, it does appear that what we think of as modern medicine often treats the symptoms rather than the cause of illness, leading people to other sources for relief.  Whether or not alternative medicine is more effective than traditional treatment is not for me to say.  It may well cure allergies, fatigue or infertility, but does it cure cancer?  Quite honestly, I hope I don’t have to find out.

In my lifetime, advances in medicine have been significant and certainly the market is flooded with drugs, the warnings for which sound worse than the symptom they treat.  While many people in this country take those drugs, I heard on a morning TV show discussing health issues that 80% of the world’s population relies on alternative medicine, including homeopathy and acupuncture, for their primary health care.  That must give some cause for thought because more than half of the medical schools in this country are said to offer courses in alternative medicine as part of the curriculum.  My chiropractor son-in-law refers to it as being one of the tools, along with traditional medicine,  in a tool belt meant to keep people feeling their best.

Who knows where all the new information we are receiving will lead?  Some of us will stay with practices that are familiar and comfortable while others will explore different avenues.  As for me, I will do my best to prepare foods that nurture my family’s bodies and hope with many of the rest of you that I don’t have to go looking for answers related to my health.

i love your thoughts, so jump right in and share yours


12 thoughts on “Many Questions

  1. My kids aren’t that different from us. They do exercise more, but they are not gluten free.
    One of my gsons has severe allergies to dogs, cats and peanuts. He ended up in the ER Cmas night as one of the guests put his coat that had dog hair on it on gsons bed. They were all breast fed for the first year, so there goes that theory about it preventing allergies.

    A lot of the young ones drink a lot more wine than we did, so maybe they trade one vice for another?

    1. You are right about the wine and it converts to sugar….go figure.

  2. As you know, my husband is a physician. He started to embrace alternative practices a few years ago, starting with his own health care. He is nearly 60 years old, so it’s obvious it took him awhile to jump on board. He thinks the 2 can work hand-in-hand, and has even taken a number of courses that will help in that regard. I guess different things work for different people in different eras. A friend’s grandmother died over the weekend at the tender age of 102. She ate pork fat and red meat regularly, cooked with real cream & butter, sipped a cocktail (or 2!) every day, didn’t exercise, and loved her Twinkies and M&Ms. She was thriving on her own and relatively healthy right up until about 7 months ago. Conversely, I had a friend who was very physically active, ate absolutely right and did all the things one would think would keep them healthy for years. He died of a stroke at age 18. (This was years ago.) For that day and time (the 70s) he was considered “odd” for doing the kinds of things people do as a matter of course these days. So who knows? Even the AMA and the FDA change their minds about things at the drop of a hat!

    1. I’m right there with you when it comes to knowing people who have lived both ways and have such different outcomes. My very good friend who died a couple of years ago is a great example of healthy living habits, and it did little good. All the information we get these days can be very confusing, but there is good in some of it as I have seen in my own family.

  3. If gluten bothers you, do without it. Otherwise enjoy the fact that it makes bread and cakes rise. I’m totally with you on natural foods!

    1. I’m glad the Rice farmers’ market is close by.

  4. I will look this up when I get home. I will tell you one thing, I can’t afford to eat gluten free and it is very hard to find in the store here.~Ames

    1. in Houston, gluten free has popped up everywhere from cupcakes to pizzas, and you are right. It does have a price.

  5. A worthy conversation for sure. You know my thoughts well enough, so I won’t write a book about them here! 🙂 I do agree with you that our food supply has changed faster than our bodies. Glad you liked the gluten article. You couldn’t pay me to go back to feeling brain-fogged and lethargic everyday. I just wish gluten weren’t the culprit, because you know how I love good bread and flour tortillas!


    PS – JD will be honored that you liked his tool belt illustration!

  6. A really great post. Yes, things HAVE changed. You should have heard my Dad talk about how differently chickens were being raised today!

  7. Oh yeah, where’s the recipe for those yummy looking eggs in your post?

  8. shirley@housepitalitydesigns February 23, 2012 — 8:48 pm

    My hubby is reading “Primal Blueprint”…he has eliminated breads, potatoes, pasta, etc from his diet…He is a very fit guy..He exercises daily and plays senior softball competitively. I do not follow his diet to the letter, but I try..I have to do it slowly or I will not be successful. He has lost weight (really did not need to) and he says he feels better..He takes no medication whatsoever..he takes a full regimen of vitamins..I do, but not as much as he….He is a very health conscious man. I try to buy all natural, organic foods when possible…My son and family are very health conscious too and they make certain that their daughter has a very healthy diet.

    Great things to think about…great post…

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