Home on the Range.
All our lives, no matter where we grew up or what our family’s social, educational or financial situation was, we would in the most part have eaten a fairly tight range of food.
That range was where we felt comfortable, safe – at home – if you will. And probably something we always – even now – are happy to reminisce about and go back to.
though you may have seen that not everything served up at home back then was good for you and have changed your diet, I know I’m fairly safe in saying that you still eat a fairly tight range of food.
So what? You might say.
Well, here’s the rub… Unless you are an exception, that range gets smaller and smaller over time. Maybe in an imperceptible way, but that is what happens.Even
Have a think about it for a second… I’m sure you can think of maybe two, three, four or even half a dozen or more food ingredient, dishes and even complete meals that you have not had for a good time. And there is no doubt a reason for that.
It might be a change of season meant that home made soup was no longer something you wanted and when next fall came around – well anyway – whatever the reason, it just didn’t get back on the menu. It could be those home grown vegetable, fruits or salad ingredients didn’t get planted this year because… Well you know the all the very convincing reasons why things don’t happen.
We all have good intentions but life has a habit of getting in the way – if you let it. And sometimes frankly, it seems you can’t stop some things happening even if you want to.
And that is certainly true that when you’re going through those situations, but what about afterwards? Why – when normality is restored – don’t we get back on track?
In many many cases it is because a new ‘normality’ has become our comfort zone and we just don’t see that things have changed. Even when those changes put us in a slightly worse off position.
But anyway – getting back to food.
Our digestive system also gets comfortable digesting the certain range of foods that we habitually eat and in doing so adapts our microbiome to suit. After all the body is very efficient in using resources and won’t necessarily encourage or produce microbes and enzymes that just are not going to be used. Which is all fine and dandy while we stay in that particular zone* but not always comfortable when we move out of it.
It is no surprise to me when people complain after eating something they have not eaten for a long time that it now disagrees with them.
This most often comes after going out for a meal to an old favourite restaurant and then finding that Mexican, Thai, Chinese, Italian Indian or any other of the named cuisines no longer agrees with you.
The real problem here is that it’s more of a case that you no longer agree with it because your body no longer has just the right mix of digestive tools to handle it. It’s almost like your body has forgotten how to.
And that is such a loss both to you and your good health.
Why..? Because for us to get the most out of what we eat, food should always be fresh, tasty, interesting and varied.
That way we can be sure we are giving our bodies all of the building blocks it needs to promote our good health physically, mentally and emotionally (yes – there is a heck of a lot of emotion attached to food). Just think of even the
simple things like the wide variety of herbs and spices that many cuisines have as base ingredients such as curcumin, turmeric, garlicand so on.
If even one of these is no longer in your diet – you’re missing out!
So what is the best way to deal with a shrinking range of food?
Simply and consciously start to expand it again! Gently at first so your microbiome has time to react – and enjoy those new or renewed culinary delights.
Why not make a point of going to a new restaurant and trying something well… New!
But be sensible. Don’t over indulge the first few times. Like I said – give your digestive system time to recover its previous abilities.
Of course one way to help seed that process is by eating probiotic and digestion aiding fermented foods such as kimchee or proper sauerkraut (more on that in a later edition). Or you could simply add some of the spices gradually
to some of the things you are currently eating. You’re intelligent and more than capable of seeing what you personally can do to make worthwhile changes – of that I’m sure!
The bottom line is – do whatever you need to do in order to widen your ‘comfortable’ range of food and get out of the old zone (aka *rut) and into a new ever expanding range of culinary heaven and feel the tasty bliss of new foods as you try more and more of them.
Your body will thank you for it.
And I am sure your taste buds won’t complain much either.
All the best until next time,