We’ve all been there. Confronted at family gatherings or in the store by an arsenal of delicious food-like concoctions. We want it, we crave it ….
…I’ll Just Eat a “Little Bit” of that thing that I know my body doesn’t like…
Or, we’re in the middle of an experiment with ourselves, trying to learn whether or not your body likes something by keeping something temporarily out of our diet (allergy avoidance test). Maybe we’re trying to avoid sugar, or gluten, or dairy, and see if our health really does respond favorably. Maybe we’ve read how hard gluten is on the gut, and we want to give our gut time to heal and calm down.
…I’ll Just Eat a “Little Bit” of that thing I’ve vowed to exclude…
Okay, so you think you can have just a little of something, despite that you know (or suspect) you get a bad symptom from it, or that you have decided to spare our body from dealing with. A symptom is your body saying that it did not benefit from the substance. That is your body saying “no thank you”. So, what is the harm of just a little bit though?
Your brain tries hard to rationalize a bite, it would taste so good, what harm can a little bit really do?
I’ll go out to the woods. And grab just a *small leaf* of poison ivy. Then I’ll give it to you so you can rub it on all your precious bits…
It’s just a little bit, right? What is the harm of just a little bit? Based on your (rationalizing brain’s) own argument, you should have no reservations about this, right?
Of course we wouldn’t want to rub even a small leaf INTENTIONALLY on our bodies. We wouldn’t do that!
So, why then do we do it on the INSIDE? Because we can’t *see* the damage to our intestines? Can’t *see* the cause and effect? That is where knowledge comes in. By learning and staying aware of this, we can make more informed choices as to the role and power we have in maintaining the health of our body. We learned that poison ivy causes a histamine reaction in the body. A reaction that takes days to show up, but WILL show up. Cause and effect. Thus, we choose not to trigger the cause. Always. Even a little bit.
That doesn’t mean that you have to abstain from everything. No. I’m talking about allergens here: if you are eating something that your body is ramping up its immune system army in defense of. We don’t want to consume things that do that – that is inflammation. Chronic inflammation leads to disease. This is often an evolutionary experiment to figure out, one of the many journeys we have in life – and it all starts by becoming aware of your inputs, and becoming aware what adverse effects may be going on inside your body (possibly silently for days before manifesting, just like with poison ivy). And that if you are running an experiment (e.g. removing a certain food for a while), then this is why it is important to be absolute and vigil in avoiding it.
So that you know. You will really know if it causes suffering in you or not… if you thrive more without it.
And knowledge is power.
Then you can choose to go back to eating it or not – but at least you’ll finally have the facts. Maybe the pleasure of eating the food outweighs the misery of the symptom … it all depends on how high your stakes are … but at least you’ll know. You’ll know that the power to choose is yours.
Facts obtained by listening and observing YOU. Reconnecting to the messages YOUR body is sending you. Science is great – but the ultimate source of information has always been YOU. We always scramble to read the next scientific breakthrough that will somehow “fix us”, but like Dorothy and her ruby slippers, we’ve had the Definitive Answer Guide all along within us…you just have to give your body time to speak…
P.S. This photo is actually Virginia Creeper, not poison ivy – though many people can’t tell the difference. I think this is an important metaphorical reminder that looks can be deceiving – always read the ingredient list! And be suspicious of all sauces, gravies, creams, and seasonings in restaurants – ask your waiter/waitress, they are usually very supportive and understanding.