Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Paleo & Tao Chapter 76 (Remain Flexible)

We all know that things change. Chapter 76 of the Tao Te Ching reads:

"While alive, the body is soft and pliant

When dead, it is hard and rigid

All living things, grass and trees,

While alive, are soft and supple

When dead, become dry and brittle

Thus that which is hard and stiff

is the follower of death

That which is soft and yielding

is the follower of life

Therefore, an inflexible army will not win

A strong tree will be cut down

The big and forceful occupy a lowly position

While the soft and pliant occupy a higher place"

~Tao Te Ching: Annotated & Explained, published by SkyLight Paths in 2006

Flexibility…and acceptance of change. We innately know this, that change must happen but yet we still fight for sameness, for things to remain as they are. This happens in everything: you pray you don't get downsized out of the job you hate because although you hate it, you're comfortable there. Or you don't want to end a not-so-hot relationship because at least you have someone, you're somewhat comfortable. You don't want to give up grains because getting a bagel on your commute each morning is easy, it fills you up even though it makes you tired later. But you're happy enough, loved enough, and healthy enough right? Thankfully we as People are flexible, we evolve. Find any movie love story and there's a line in it about how one will love the other for the person they are now and who'll they become.

If everything about us evolves shouldn’t then our diet? We were satisfied with breast milk when we were babies, then we grew to like solids and then grew to like still different foods. Who gave us the idea that suddenly because we've reached adulthood that our tastes and our diets should stagnate? If we use our governments age of adulthood of 21, then I supposed to have the same tastes that I had at 21 for the next 80 years? I think not, I’d still be eating vegetarian bologna! When I was 21 I HATED margaritas and tequila with a violent repulsion. Today, a NorCal Margarita is one of my very favorite alcoholic drinks. Maybe not the healthiest of examples, but you know what I mean, my tastes are still evolving!

Growing up I had one brief run in with food allergies and was told I was allergic to chocolate and something in Doritos. After I grew out of those allergies, I really had zero trouble with foods. Well, that is if you consider gaining alot of weight to be "no trouble with food". What I didn't know then was that I had plenty of sensitivities to certain foods but because my diet was so full of inflammatory foods my whole system was inflamed. I had no way to tell which foods in particular were causing trouble as there were so many alarms going off I couldn't tell where any single one was coming from!

So fast forward to 4 years into Paleo and my personal discoveries include finding that I seem to have reactions when I eat;

- eggplant (oral allergy (?) causes lips to burn),

- roasted nuts, including almonds, (get a rash & tingling skin)

- milk, even raw & even raw goat (get itchy neck rash)

- corn chips, I used to consider non-GMO corn chips about once every 4 months to be a good cheat food (causes rash)

I went into Paleo with the idea that I really didn't know what I was doing and I allowed my body to teach me the lessons I needed. Since then I've learned a ton about what food is TO ME. Most importantly I've learned that learning doesn't all happen at once and that getting reactions to things you've eaten doesn't mean you're getting sick, it means you're becoming more aware! If you've been eating very clean then if your body says, "hey, that food you just ate? That wasn't a good idea", now you're in a position to listen....and to do something about it.

I suppose what I'd like you to take away from this is to remain flexible in your journey. Allow yourself to be wrong and allow yourself to change your mind later if you want. If you think you'll never NOT love ravioli or Oreo cookies and that you could never love vegetables, allow yourself to be surprised. There may come a day that you think Oreos taste like sugary-iron-plastic stuff (my opinion now) and that pesto is God's gift (also my opinion). You may discover a staple maybe doesn’t agree with you anymore and that one that you never thought about is now your favorite.

Life is exciting and oftentimes very surprising! Let it be so, go for the ride and discover what you may!

Best :)


COMING UP: How did I discover what food do and don’t work for me, and how you can apply this to YOUR Paleo diet.

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