I've been trying to decide which chapter these thoughts applied best. they could just as easily fit in response to Living By Bread Alone or Summing Up Diet.
I wanted to talk about how our eating habits are trained in such a way that we're no longer in touch with our bodies' needs. How many of us were told "to finish everything on your plate" ( when you weren't the one that loaded up your plate) or "no snacks before dinner" or "no dessert unless you eat your vegetables"?
When I had my kids, I realized it happened even before that. A lot of babies are raised on formula rather than the biological mother's breast milk, which I really think is the ultimate natural food for babies. Then, babies are often weaned and given solid food very early on. A lot of mothers feed by volume -- X ounces of formula or one 4 oz. jar of baby food, etc. Ã‚Â I went with breast feeding on demand and self initiated weaning with my kids, BTW.
(Another issue here is the breast feeding mother's diet which directly affects the milk, and that adds a whole another wrinkle to the situation. I remember my older DD used to nurse voraciously whenever I ate lobster. DH noticed it too and he used to laugh that she already had an expensive taste.)
Then, given the availability of produce regardless of seasons, imported from around the globe, we are hard put to instinctively recognize the right food to eat.
I've encouraged my DD's to eat according to their bodies' needs and to "forage" for food according to what they require. Ã‚Â They will sometimes only eat vegetables and fruits, refusing to eat meat/protein for several days running; then surprise us by eating a lot of meat. Sometimes they'll only eat chicken and other times, they'll devour lamb or one will insist on fish and the other will load up on edamame, etc.
Oh, I admit it doesn't always work. bottom line, it requires that an assortment of food is kept available for them to choose from, which I can't always do. Even though I accept a fairly wide range of unusualnesss, I can see when they've fallen into the trap of cravings/addiction cycle to certain types of food and start eating too much of something or other. Generally, they lose their sense of balance from too much prepared foods, snack foods or simple carbs like sugars and refined flour. I sometimes find myself in the trap too. Ã‚Â I usually feel a craving for (i.e. Needing to eat) brown rice when that happens... Weird, huh?
I think it might be working when my kids say things like -- "I can't finish this pie because it's too sweet" or "I don't feel like eating candy, I think I'd rather have cheese" or "I don't know why but I can't stop eating these pumpkin seeds" then a day or two later "I think my wanting those pumpkin seeds are over because I haven't touched them since when I put them down" ....
Do you remember in Mary Poppins, The babies John and Barbara lost their ability to talk to the birds and understand what the wind is whispering to the trees when they learned to speak human? Are we now trying to recover that lost ability?