Ulcerative Colitis Diet: Why It Is So Hard To Eat Stuff That Heals

uc-diet-foodsWhy do we all love bad food and dislike healthy food? Is our body stupid? After all, we get constantly told to eat healthy food. Why isn’t our body programmed so that we WANT to healthy stuff? Have we been constructed wrongly? What is wrong with us?

Hmm, that is an interesting question.

Part of the answer is that most people have grown up in an environment where vegetables were only an afterthought. On the other hand, meat dishes were probably prepared more thoughtfully: everything was timed perfectly, with the optimal temperature, the optimal way of seasoning it, and the optimal length of cooking. For vegetables, it was probably often cooked for hours until they were dead and flavorless, and then cooked some more. No wonder that most of us grew up not liking vegetables. If our parents had cooked steaks the way they cooked vegetables, we wouldn’t like steak either. There are delicious vegetable recipes that will change your mind about eating vegetables, to the point you actually will look forward to eating them.

Then there is the other part of the answer, and in my opinion, the bigger part.

I have read many theories around that but the most plausible theory for me is that our body and our taste buds were created for a different time and a more simple time when food was rare. Let’s go back all the way to the caveman days. In those days, for human beings to flourish when food was scarce, having a programing that told us to “EAT IT ALL” when coming across high-calorie sweet food or high-calorie fatty food would have been great programming. Anyone who was a picky eater in those days thinking “nah, I will just eat a little” would have mostly likely perished because he didn’t make it to the next time when food was available. For those times, our body programming worked perfectly.

Now you may say, surely we are different now than the folks back then. I used to think the same, but not anymore. 1000 or even 3000 years is a long time for you or me, but in terms of human evolution and development, it is just a blink of an eye.

When you read books from famous individuals that lived a few thousand years ago, you realize that while science and technology have advanced, we human beings are still the same, thinking about the same things and worrying about the same things. From that perspective, you and I are no different than an ancient Roman or an ancient Chinese to name just a few.

Lucius Annaeus Seneca 4BC – AD 65, Ancient Rome (Italy)

Almost 2000 years ago in the “Letters From a Stoic,” Seneca writes about a wide variety of topics. Reading it, if you discount his way of talking, it often sounds like something from our time:

On how to judge a person:
• “A man who examines the saddle and bridle and not the animal itself when he is out to buy a horse is a fool; similarly, only an absolute fool values a man according to his clothes, or according to his social position, which after all is only something that we wear like clothing.” – Seneca (4 BC – AD 65)

Seneca is essentially saying that we should value a man by his character and not his exterior stuff like clothing or job. Martin Luther King, expressed the same sentiment about 2000 years later with:
• “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929 – 1968)

Lao-Tzu Around 500 BC, China

Almost 2500 years ago Lao-Tzu wrote in the ultra-famous Tao Te Ching (The Book of the Way of Virtue) about a number of things on how to live a better life. Life tips if you will.

On how to be content:
• “If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.” – Lao Tzu (about 500 BC)

What that reflects, is that 2500 years ago, folks living back then had to deal with depression and anxiety. We, 2500 years later, still have to deal with depression and anxiety.

Technology and science have changed dramatically, but we as human beings have not. I am not criticizing that, just merely pointing it out.

The reason why I quoted Seneca and Lao-Tzu is to make my point that from a design perspective, we were created for a simpler world with less abundance. In a scarce world, having programming in your heads that tells you to “EAT IT ALL” when you come across high-calorie foods like sugar or carbs is life-saving. In today’s world with cheap, tasty, high-calorie food available at every corner, that same programming of “EAT IT ALL” is a recipe for disaster.

The food situation in the US got really bad starting around the 1950s. Until then, even though food was less scarce, junk food places (think McDonald’s, Burger King, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and so on) did not exist. If you wanted fried chicken you had to make it at home. Chicken was expensive in those days and if you ever made fried chicken from scratch at home, it took hours. Even making a hamburger and fries at homes took hours. Back then, there were no junk food places, and the ability of people to eat junk food was limited to weekends when they had enough time to cook and the money to buy the ingredients. There is a really good book “Mean Genes: From Sex To Money To Food: Taming Our Primal Instincts” that explores that topic in more detail.

The point of all this is that, as you change your diet you need to acknowledge that it will be hard and that there is nothing wrong with you wanting those things. But I wanted to heal, so I followed the diets to cure my ulcerative colitis. In order to make it easier on myself, I re-created my favorite junk food with ingredients that are allowed under the Specific Carbohydrate Diet or the Anti-Fungal Diet. Remember, don’t just stop something. Replace it. It is a lot easier.

For example, my favorite junk food is fried chicken. There is a healthy alternative, using a Japanese recipe, where you roast chicken in the oven with salt. Below is the result. Doesn’t it look delicious? Just like friend chicken, but you can eat it under either diet (Specific Carbohydrate Diet or the Anti-Fungal Diet).

chicken

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