You’re not supposed to talk about religion. So let’s talk about religion! And about food and nutrition! And about ME!
I find there are social and psychological aspects of discussing food and nutrition with people that seem to be as touchy as discussing religion. I wanted to explore this to see if I could better understand it (I don’t get it). To me, food and nutrition are the BEST discussion topics EVER! Ask anyone I know, they will tell you I can’t stop talking about this stuff. Since I find it so entertaining and downright fun to talk about food and nutrition, I don’t understand the sensitive nature it can evoke.
While this is a concept I’ve been thinking about for some time, I was inspired to write about it now because earlier this week I posted a comment to an article published online by the Huffington Post about the paleo diet and paleo lifestyle. Which by the way, I LOVE that paleo is being talked about in such a public, high-profile forum! Here’s the link to the article.
And here is my comment.
Not only did someone comment to my comment and mention religion, but when I was reading other comments, some compared paleo to religious, dogmatic propaganda. All that was being presented was food and nutrition related information. How did people go from reading about the paleo diet and lifestyle, to comparisons to religion? Inquiring minds want to know! Well mine does at least!
The italicized text that follows is from this resource, not my brain, so don’t shoot this messenger!
Food and nutrition can be a very touchy subject for many as the topic encompasses a variety of different aspects from preferences, to heritage, to religion, to culture…
So feelings and beliefs around food and nutrition, like religion, can be extremely personal and deeply rooted in one’s self. It appears then that food and nutrition, and religion [and culture] do share similar social and psychological properties.
Given these similarities between religion, and food and nutrition, I thought I’d do a comparison to see if the paleo lifestyle is “religious” like some of the comments on the Huffington Post article suggest. I found the following noting what purpose religion can serve for folks on http://www.wiki.answers.com. Here’s the link.
Have I mentioned the italics are not from my brain?
- Religion and its leaders have historically built a base of monetary gratification exceeding that of its followers.
- Some believe that religion is for achieving enlightenment, progressing to heaven or paradise, or to enable worshipers to seek help in the present life from their God or gods.
- Religion is simply the way people organize themselves. To say I’m a Baptist/Catholic/Jewish means you organize the way you worship God in that particular fashion.
- The purpose of religion is to establish a base for human creation and to try to understand why human beings are here and to quell the never-ending desire to understand the human origins.
- The purpose of Religion is not only to teach Morals and guidelines to follow through life, but also to teach hope. Through Religion people feel more comfortable with the fact that one day we will all die, because they believe they are going to a better place.
- The purpose of religion is that people can have hope and not just think when you die you rot, but for example say you were really scared about your next swimming lesson you would pray to your god and you would have hope that it would be alright.
Here is my honest and personal take on each of these points, paleo style. Really, these are my [a little revealing] truths.
- There are a lot of folks that do make their livings off of promoting different lifestyles, including the paleo lifestyle. And there are followers of these folks, clearly I am one of those followers.
- I was seeking help and relief in my present life from the Gods of my screwed up digestive system. And food is necessary for survival much to the dismay of my tummy.
- I call myself paleo and I organize my lifestyle according to that classification.
- The purpose of nutrition (for me) is to establish a clear understanding of how my body functions and metabolizes nutrients so that I can perform at my best physically, mentally and emotionally. Paleo has helped me create a basis for balancing these things. Before I converted (pun intended) to a paleo lifestyle, I wasn’t properly fueling my body so I had fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and was a cranky biatch (among many other issues that paleo has either significantly improved or completely resolved).
- The paleo lifestyle has taught me that there is hope, and the digestive issues I’ve had for most of my life don’t have to be a battle to fight for the rest of my life. Paleo has brought me to a better and healthier place.
- When I’m eating out, it’s hard to know exactly what’s in the food on the menu. Sure you can ask about gluten, soy, etc., but sauces, dressings, seasonings. Who the heck knows what you are getting. Before taking my first bite of my meal at a restaurant I always think to myself, “Fingers crossed, tummy don’t fail me now.”
There you have it. Those that provided the commentary on the Post’s page might be on to something. It appears that I AM preaching the paleo lifestyle I practice. From now on you can consider me a PAP, a Paleo American Princess. And yes, I will say that my feelings and beliefs about food and nutrition are extremely personal and deeply rooted in MY ‘self.’
I found this exercise interesting. And I learned a bit about myself in the process. Can I get an AMEN? PALEO is my religion.