An advent of ideas 12: forbidden foods?

Anyone reading my posts here will know that I have concerns about the fearfulness around food which exists for some people, for some even a morally tinged good/bad issue and the way in which food avoidance is almost a hobby (just as dieting can be) I was interested recently to read Beyond Temptation, a book about overeating based on a programme which sees the idea of 'forbidden foods' in itself as a trigger to overeating - a cycle of abstinence and bingeing.

I'm a vegetarian and have been for 20 odd years... but that's for the health of the chickens. I liked meat and fish but one day it just no longer felt right and it has been no struggle to stick to it, even though it has sometimes meant going hungry. I also buy organic as often as possible (and it is usually possible) - again, that's largely about wider issues rather than my own health. When I had my vegetarian moment, I was already on a gluten free diet and again that wasn't difficult to stick to as it was controlling all my original symptoms. I was never tempted to eat gluten and if I had it unknowingly, I was ill and ill enough that it was a powerful incentive. I gave up the gluten free diet (this was years ago when it was not as easy as it is now to avoid gluten) when it was no longer effective (these things do change) I cut out citrus for a while on the advice of my acupuncturist but didn't see the results and I really enjoy my 100ml (well, up to the waves on my juice glass) grapefruit juice to wake up my taste buds of a morning.

This is different from a strategy used because your circumstances mean that announcing that you don't eat X, Y or Z is the only way to secure necessary cooperation from those around you, or changing your lifestyle and finding that you no longer enjoy particular foods that much (and enjoy healthier foods more, or other activities more)

1 Reply

  • It seems a great shame that what can be such a pleasant experience, (eating food), has become almost torture for some people. The industrialisation of the food industry has given us cheap food, which is often unhealthy, addictive and fattening, whatever the calorie count may be. There are emotional triggers to overheating, there are also hormonal/biochemical triggers which are almost impossible to resist.

    I am interested in your elimination and then reintroduction of gluten into your diet. I have had to be gluten free for many years, and would never eat it again even if I could.

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