Experiment of One
Thursday, September 20, 2018
I've been thinking about MOLLIEMAC's blog, "Do I Get Enough?" Riffing on the issue of adequate protein -- particularly on a vegan diet.
Her answer? Yes she does. And she's also recently expressed the relief of returning to her "own" way of eating after a vacation shared with family members.
Insufficiency of protein impedes my own ethical preference for a totally vegan diet -- I can't do soy (history of estrogen positive cancer). And I don't like food products, even with sufficient protein, that depend upon a whole lotta chemicals. I like to eat foods with single ingredients wherever possible: e.g. "mango" on my bag of frozen mango chunks for my lunch serving of mixed fruits.
It does seem to me that most successful maintainers have evolved a highly individualized diet after considerable experimentation -- that "experiment of one" which eventually discovers what optimally supports the needs of that individual. Although ongoing tweaking and adjustments still occur as external and internal circumstances change: such as retirement, or slowing metabolism, or injury requiring less exercise and less calories . . .
But: it seems to me that so many people are evolving individualized diets (nut allergies, gluten intolerance, lactose intolerance, paleo, keto etc. etc.). Some of these are related to weight loss concerns and some are ideological and many are both. For example, while hosting a recent professionals meeting I discovered, too late, that one of the participants is glucose intolerant so could not enjoy the baked goods -- and did not care for the assorted fruit on offer. Yikes.
Is the concept of "sharing food" disappearing in society generally? Has a "fast food" culture (where each person orders exactly what he or she prefers, for whatever reason) eroded the notion that one accepts what's on offer, politely messing around on the plate what one cannot or prefers not to eat? For example, if a hostess serves roast pork: I'm not going to say a word. If roast pork is placed on my plate, I'll eat a polite mouthful of "Wilbur": yes I will. While "Charlotte" spins her web in the corner of my mind. And of course actual food allergies cannot be accommodated with polite messing around -- nobody wants a situation of anaphylactic shock.
How about you? Are you OK with less social interaction around food as the "price" of discovering the individualized food program that supports YOU best?