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I'm wondering if anyone else has this problem - not wanting to eat outside of your home? I started on my quest to better eating about a year ago, and at first I was just choosing what I thought were better choices when I ate out - like a soup and Greek salad from Panera instead of something gross from McDonald's. But now that I've read so many books on food and the reality of how most of it is grown/raised, I find that knowledge preventing me from enjoying eating out or dining at my friend's houses. I ate Panera for the first time in a long time a few weeks ago when I was traveling and I felt sick, gassy, my hands sort of swelled right after I finished my greek salad, so I went to their website to see what was really in this "healthier than McDonald's" food, and I found that the base of my salad dressing was soybean oil (which my mind figures is probably from GMO soy and rancid) and it contained MSG - ack! <a href="http://www.panerabread.com/menu/cafe/salads.php" target="_blank">http://www.panerabread.com/menu/cafe/salads.php</a><br><br>
My sister had a barbeque to celebrate my nephew's birthday and everything she offered me I gave a kind "no, thanks" - but my mind was screaming, "DON'T EAT THAT IF YOU WANT TO LIVE TO SEE GRANDCHILDREN!" The drinks were full of dye and cornsyrup (again probably from GMO corn), the potato chips cheap junk from the dollar store, the beef from the grocery store (my mind started replaying the MEATRIX cartoon), and the potatoes topped with her miracle food = I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Spray! (I didn't mention they oiled the grill down with Crisco). The party ended with store bought cake with frosting.<br><br>
My husband thinks I'm a snob, and my mom is constantly apologizing in a sort of sarcastic way because her food is not all "organic." I don't feel like a snob. I don't think I'm better than anyone. I want to enjoy food with my extended family at parties, but I Can't! My mind starts replaying all the information I've read about factory farming and the dangers of margarine and MSG and transfat, and I can't put the stuff in my mouth. I feel like if I do I'm damaging my body, the same body I'm trying to keep healthy to get pregnant. I want to explain to my mom that I don't mind if some of the veggies in her soup aren't organic - I am much more opposed to the Velveeta that she melted in it and the MSG in the seasoning she topped it with.<br><br>
Sometimes when away from home from hours, I just don't eat. I try to think of something that is natural I can grab and snack on, and if I can't think of anything, I just hold out until I can get home and have some raw milk and a farm fresh egg with a piece of sour toast and butter!<br><br>
I know I'm rambling, but I guess what I want to know is if other people are dealing with this problem of not wanting to eat outside of their homes and also any tips for traveling or dining with others? TIA! I'm starting to feel like a crazy woman! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">
 

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Oh, I hear you. I DREAD eating over at my IL's because MIL is a margarine-loving, cheapest-meat-possible, organics-are-a-waste-of-money, food-hating crappy cook. I love her, I really do, but...<br><br>
Eating out... if I can choose the restaurant, I eat somewhere that serves real food. We have places like that here - a charcuterie/deli that uses real fermented sourdough bread and makes their own charcuterie from local, pastured animals, has raw cheese, etc. For dinner there is a brasserie that has the same sort of things. But, we are very lucky about that here, and to be honest - I don't eat out a lot any more.<br><br>
But I totally know what you mean about other people thinking you're a food snob. You know what though? There are WAY worse things to be snobby about. Like clothes, and cars, or pets... Food IS important.<br><br>
I will eat the food my MIL serves, though, and I am polite about it. I avoid all the stuff that comes out of packages though. But the (overcooked) factory-farmed chicken and whatnot I will eat. It is not frequent and it's not going to kill me, and I eat as little as possible which helps me stay on my diet <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">. Food is social, too, and as much as I deplore other people's eating habits I don't think it's right to spurn their food. You can try to potluck as much as possible - that serves the dual purpose of introducing other people to your awesome food and providing food that you feel comfortable eating.
 

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Someone suggested lots of lacofermented foods to get your gut ready to deal with all that crap.<br><br>
I just eat the few things I don't mind as much (very small portions) but there are some things that I never ever eat. I just hope that there are a couple options that aren't totally terrible.<br><br>
I guess you could just bring along some of the lower fat traditional foods and say you're on a diet. Maybe fresh fruit and veggies with your own "low-fat" dressing.<br><br>
I also second bringing your own dish, then if everything is really really bad you have one option at least.<br><br>
It's annoying and takes a lot of thinking and planning ahead but totally worth it.
 

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Same here. I made myself the promise that I would not start being rude to friends and families and worry about eating what they serve me...but I do end up eating mostly the veggies <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br>
We eat really really well at home and we eat at home almost all the time...I try hard not to worry about things when I am away from home.<br>
A few weeks ago someone gave us a spiral sliced ham ( used to love this) and I was going to eat it but I just could not bring myself to do it...it totally grossed me out....<br><br>
Tanya
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> I totally know the feeling. It's kind of interesting how there are people out there whose diets have nothing redeemable about them.<br><br>
We rarely eat out anymore (having a baby kinda helps that along) and when we eat at people's houses both DH and I end up eating around the 'bad' foods. If someone asks my opinion on food, I really try to hold my tongue and just give the barest of info and see if they bite. Sometimes people are interested. Sometimes they're not. I haven't openly refused any food though, aside from what's religiously forbidden. I just take a small portion and sometimes don't finish it all.<br><br>
What I have a really hard time with is "Well you are careful how you eat and you still have heath problems and <SoandSo> eats whatever he wants and he's a picture of health." And then we find out that <SoandSo> actually takes 4 different pills every day, for blood pressure, reflue, etc etc. People seems to discount these as conditions you can do something about.<br><br>
Other thing is when low fat vegetarians complement me on my skin and hair and sigh "I can never have that." Some part of me wants to shake them and tell them to eat something good and you'll see good results. You can't live on lettuce alone. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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HI -<br><br>
I'm brand new here, but I fully understand what you are going through. There are many things that I formerly enjoyed, which now make me literally sick.<br><br>
Were we not raised on those former foods, we would have been sick eating them from the very beginning - which is a rather frightening thought (especially for me - 40 years late!).<br><br>
I still eat at family and friends houses, but if it is something I know I will get sick from, I avoid it. DH found out the hard way when I would simply leave certain things on my plate, but in the interest of "politeness," I don't do that in public. I do avoid a lot when I can though!<br><br>
We travel a lot, and so restaurant eating has become something of a game with me. There ARE things you can eat in public!! You just have to figure out what your tolerances are, and know what to look for. You can only avoid so much in restaurants, so need something to fall back on.<br><br>
It took a while for my family to understand - I showed them an experiment with raw milk that set them all on their ears... One glass of raw, one of store-bought - leave on the counter for a full week. I have no problem eating the curd, so that was a point in my favor. The smell was what got their attention first, then the runny nasty water that poured off the store-bought but not the raw. Its a good thing to show people, if they even entertain that much.<br><br>
Once they saw that, they were ready for some short articles from Dr Mercola and WAPF, and some other sites I have since found. Some of them will never come around, and I try to eat before I go. That way, if I pick or avoid, it is an honest endeavor.<br><br>
I have to say - in your sister's case, she is lucky its you and not me. I would have flat out refused to eat, and possibly not been overly tactful. (Its not one of my strong points anyway.....)<br><br>
As for Mom, that is a tough one. I don't know what to tell you about that, other than maybe trying to sit down and discuss it with as little emotion as possible. She might be interested in more info - ya never know. Sometimes people are more frightened than anything, and of all people, one's parents don't deal well with the thought that they are not taking the very best care of their children. If its a pride thing, approaching it from the "This is why I do what I do" standpoint might go farther than you could ever imagine!<br><br>
DH - he will learn. Mine came to the people food via all the pet food recalls of late. That was what finally got him to start listening - especially when I mentioned that Del Monte was one of the companies involved. Since he does the cooking round here (I bake... just my thing), it was interesting for a while. I've been 9 years working on him!<br><br>
I've always grown a garden, so fresh, unpoisoned veggies have always been available at least seasonally. I've also always worked at farmer's markets, so what I wasn't growing I could just "come home with".<br><br>
Have patience (more than me!), and strength - you are doing the right thing!!<br><br>
Blessings,<br><br>
Sue
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>newmom80</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7888325"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'm wondering if anyone else has this problem - not wanting to eat outside of your home?</div>
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Absolutely. We go over to my parents' house every Sunday for supper, and my mom is a terrible cook. She doesn't make anything from scratch, but instead uses chemical-laden commercial sauces and seasonings for everything. Just last week she was proudly showing me this product she bought that turns the beef gravy dark brown with only a little squirt. Yuck! I can only imagine how much MSG is in that stuff. And every week there's salad with commercial soy-oil dressing...this wasn't gross to me even a little while ago, but now that I've read up on TF I just can't look at those foods the same way.<br><br>
However I do still eat it. It's my mom, and I don't want to be rude or hurt her feelings. She is very sensitive too, and if I said "I won't eat that salad unless you make dressing out of olive oil" she would be more than a little bit miffed. I don't think one meal is worth ruffling feathers over.<br><br>
I do try to share what I've learned with her--but it falls on deaf ears. For most people, the idea that animal fat is better for you than margerine and canola oil is just WAY too out there. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Maybe if I will just be extra enthusiastic about more natural foods like butter and eggs it will rub off on her a bit.
 

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I can empathize with your concerns. I love my parents and in-laws to death, but they don't know much about nutrition (or show much interest in learning more). My mom has started buying more organic foods, though, so we can usually find something healthy to eat when we visit (yippee!). At family gatherings, however, healthy foods are VERY hard to come by.<br><br>
I used to feel really upset about the rather dismal options at family events, but I've now developed a different perspective. I could avoid eating any of the food or restrict myself to a few choices I've labeled "acceptable," but I personally don't think that's a healthy or balanced approach. I’ve come to believe that obsessing about food "purity" and avoiding social situations because of concerns over food signals an unhealthy preoccupation with diet.<br><br>
Don’t get me wrong, I truly believe in the vital role diet plays in overall health. I just think that focusing on food to the point that it interferes with your relationships or makes you feel constantly fearful about your future health is itself harmful.<br><br>
This is just my opinion (and maybe I’ll be flamed for this), but if you’re eating an overall healthy diet, an occasional piece of store-bought cake at a birthday party or a piece of meat that isn’t grassfed/free-range isn’t going cause permanent damage to you or cause you not to “live to see grandchildren.” Anyone who is truly that fearful and will go for hours without eating to avoid certain foods might benefit from some self-reflection about their food attitudes. Is your diet based on a sensuous, satisfying and enjoyable relationship with food or is it based on fear of bodily contamination and future doom?<br><br>
Again, just my thoughts. As I said earlier, I’ve struggled with this myself…<br><br>
-Angie
 

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Discussion Starter #9
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Mama2Rowan</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7892425"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Is your diet based on a sensuous, satisfying and enjoyable relationship with food or is it based on fear of bodily contamination and future doom?<br><br>
Again, just my thoughts. As I said earlier, I’ve struggled with this myself…<br><br>
-Angie</div>
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I am definitely having some issues with being downright afraid to eat. It's truly not a snobby thing. I read a book recently called "Excitotoxins: tastes that kill" and it had a lot of information about how items like MSG and Aspartame excite the brain and can cause damage, especially to babies. When I go to family member's houses and they offer me my choice of either a diet soda or regular, I can't do it - I am afraid of putting artificial sweeteners in my body when I may be pregnant. I think they are dangerous. I also can't drink a soda that I know contains HFCS because I know that is a chemically altered sweetner that is most often derived from genetically modified corn. I don't want to put that in my body - I feel sad that I ever did. I just politely ask for water, but people think I'm weird because they think if I'm on a diet I should be happy they have diet pop and if I'm not on a diet I should be happy to have a regular pop.<br><br>
I also get really freaked out about meat and milk products which seem to be part of every meal. Mostly I worry about the hormones and the antibiotics. Again, we are trying to get pregnant and the thought of ingesting meat that is full of antibiotics and growth hormones scares me. I can't make myself swallow it. I would rather be hungry all day that worry that I am eating something that might be unhealthy for the baby.<br><br>
The reason I started looking into different types of parenting and then different types of diet was because both my husband's niece and nephew have severe health problems. They have both been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders and have different but equally severe problems - everything from motor skills (not walking until 29 months old) to inability to cope and sensitivity to foods and sounds and textures.... I don't know what caused them to have such struggles. I fear that since both my husband's brother's children have these issues that he may have a genetic vulnerability to these disorders so to speak. I know that I can't control the health of my future children, but at the same time, if certain chemicals that are commonly eaten (msg, aspartame, etc.) are shown to affect the brain then I don't want to consume them. I want to eat pure, real foods. I want to give myself and my baby the best chance possible.<br><br>
When I'm at home and can control what I eat, I LOVE to eat. But my fear of eating outside of the house seems to be growing. I guess I would like to know from people who are like-minded about nutrition if my feelings are crazy and I need to get help or if a lot of food is as dangerous as I think it is?
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2"> It is such a tension, isn't it? I struggle with this, too. It rally helped me to read some non-nutrition books about eating - about the significance (socially, spiritually, whatever) about gathering aorund a table to share food with others. Food is about more than the chemicals, nutrients, and toxins it contains.<br><br>
I find it helpful to keep some balance in my thinking. Eating healthfully is vital in my opinion - but taking a bite of non-pure food is NOT going to kill you. There are billions of people alive in this world who ar alive seeing their grandchildern who have lived on a terrible diet. Many of them have no choice about what they eat, they are just lucky to get something that sustains their bodies, however poorly, from day to day.<br><br>
Sometimes sources that advocate buying and preparing and serving only the purest, most healthful of foods lose their perspective on a global basis - it is all relative. Most North Americans do not have to worry about the quality of their water - it is not perfect, but we do not have the concerns that billions of our brotehrs and sisters around the world do. We generally don't worry about whether we will have something to feed our children or ourselves - we may struggle to afford the best quality food availabkle, but we can sustain ourselves somehow, KWIM? The media can really feed into our fears and give us a sense of doom that is more about making sales than bringing justice and compassion to the whole world. I have a cousin who lives/works in Bangladesh, and the women she works with aren't cocnerned about their omega fatty acids on a day to day basis. I feel self absorbed when I think of those women when I catch myself obsessing over the quality of my food.<br><br>
I am not trying to minimize your fears at all, just trying to broaden the picture. I spent last weekend with my in-laws who do not eat the way I do. I did my best, politely declining some things and reminding myself it was only a weekend. when I came home I prepared a batch of soup that would restore my feeling of health. I have a miserable cold, but in the grand scheme of things, it is only a cold.<br><br>
My in-laws think it is all just me, that I am too sensitive, but whatever. They can continue to OD on processed crap and look and feel worn out if they choose - I am happy to be choosing somehting more healthful for myself and my family.<br><br>
If it is stressing you out too much, take a break from reading about nutrition - read a good novel or something about a favourite hobby instead - that will feed your spirit which is just as important as how you norish your body!
 

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This article might be of interest to some people: <a href="http://www.webmd.com/news/20001117/orthorexia-good-diets-gone-bad" target="_blank">http://www.webmd.com/news/20001117/o...diets-gone-bad</a><br><br>
The physician cited also has several articles on <a href="http://www.beyondveg.com" target="_blank">http://www.beyondveg.com</a> (click on psychology of idealistic diets). The focus seems to be on vegans/raw foodists, but I don't see why the problem couldn't apply to any person who develops an unhealthy fixation on food purity and perfection.<br><br>
-Angie
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Mama2Rowan</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7892425"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Don’t get me wrong, I truly believe in the vital role diet plays in overall health. I just think that focusing on food to the point that it interferes with your relationships or makes you feel constantly fearful about your future health is itself harmful.<br><br>
This is just my opinion (and maybe I’ll be flamed for this), but if you’re eating an overall healthy diet, an occasional piece of store-bought cake at a birthday party or a piece of meat that isn’t grassfed/free-range isn’t going cause permanent damage to you or cause you not to “live to see grandchildren.” Anyone who is truly that fearful and will go for hours without eating to avoid certain foods might benefit from some self-reflection about their food attitudes. Is your diet based on a sensuous, satisfying and enjoyable relationship with food or is it based on fear of bodily contamination and future doom?</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">:<br><br>
(BTW I'm a mama to a Rowan too <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">)
 

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There are two books about TF that address this fear issue - Full Moon Feast, and The Yoga of Eating. Both great books, highly recommended. Sticking to your principles has to be balanced with living in a society that doesn't value the same healthy food as you do and having good relationships with people who see nothing wrong with eating what we perceive to be harmful. It's hard, I know.
 

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Mama2Rowan said it so well!<br><br>
I have had similar issues, but I really did have to come to grips with my "obsession" with food. Though, I do pick and choose at parties. I have most often always asked for water, though, as I have never been much of a soda drinker and never thought anything about it. I think that the paranoia of what others are thinking about what you are eating comes hand in hand with the preoccupation with it yourself. Most people probably aren't giving a second thought to whether you are drinking water or coke. Though, I have been quite stressed when I am a guest and I notice the use of margerine over even hormone laden, pasteurized butter! Ick, people live off of plastic--a polite no thank you can go a long way! Often, for me, the fear isn't my own health in consuming it on that rare occaision as much as it is the horror that they eat this way all the time themselves!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>ConsCathMamma</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7896984"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Often, for me, the fear isn't my own health in consuming it on that rare occaision as much as it is the horror that they eat this way all the time themselves!</div>
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Yes, that's another great point. I want so much to be able to share my healthier eating with my family, but they won't hear it, and when I see what they are stocking their kitchens with, it makes me really sad. I don't really have any "healthy" family members regardless of age - everyone is taking medication for either sleep apnea, depression, diabetes, acid reflux, high cholesterol, osteoporosis, or asthma. I'm talking about my five year old nephew, our siblings in their early20s and 30s and our parents in their 50s - every one of them needs regular medication for something. It's hard to watch them eat garbage and believe they are getting healthier by using fake butter spray and drinking tons of diet soda and Splenda sweetened desserts. I love my family. I don't like to see them eat this way.<br><br>
My mom was really into health food when I was a child. She made us take CLO and eat liver, etc. Every time I tell her something I've read that's "new to me" about food, she tells me that she's known that for a long time (like about raw milk being better). Yet, when I try to get her to eat that way, she says "Oh, I would love too, but I have to keep going to Weight Watchers and get some of this weight off first." Then she proceeds to eat transfats and artificial sweeteners in the pursuit of losing weight.<br><br>
My mom is only about 10 pounds overweight, if that. Yet those 10 pounds are worth ignoring everything she knows to be true about real food. My mom was obsessed with food and body weight when I was growing up, changing diets all the time. So, yes, I realize that this way of eating may be becoming too much of an obsession to me and I probably need to work harder to relax at social events.
 

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I really like my homemade tradtional foods so I just bring them with me when I am out and about. If we eat at someone's home I will eat what they offer and try to focus on the real foods (veggies, butter ect) and the people/relationships/fun. I can always eat more when I get home. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
My downside with TF is that I feel so sad for all the needless suffering brought on by modern "foods".<br><br>
Jen
 

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We eat a traditional foods diet... but also have some really major food sensitivities( completely gluten free, sugar free, additive free). Everyone thinks we are nutty and just " overdoing" it. But now a couple of family members have seen my issues firsthand ( I suffer for about two weeks if I eat any grains at all with brutal psoriasis and arthritis that goes along with it) and been there to see the boys behavior changes or see us rushing them to the emergency room for breathing issues ( thier immune systems just get all tired out from cold after cold with thier asthma. I can't justify giving them any junk at all) So even if it does seem overboard, I think people understand a tiny bit at least!
 

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OK... That article is totally annoying! On way to many counts it fits completely. But realistically, my son went from having all of the signs of being on the autism spectrum. We were all miserable. I had psoriasis over a third of my body (TMI but in the cleft of my butt, and in my genitals which made so many things unbearable including just sitting down)<br>
Now we are happy, coping.... and yes, can't eat out and social functions are a pain in the ass. So the doc in the article is suggesting that we just cover up the problem with drugs and keep stuffing ourselves with things our body obviously doesnt want. What a quack! Grrrr. That rubs me completely the wrong way!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Village Mama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7901816"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">OK... That article is totally annoying!</div>
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Well, I figured it would at least stir some conversation! It actually resonated with me in many ways, but I don't suffer from the same severe and immediate reactions to foods that you and your family members experience.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Village Mama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7901816"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">So the doc in the article is suggesting that we just cover up the problem with drugs and keep stuffing ourselves with things our body obviously doesnt want. What a quack! Grrrr. That rubs me completely the wrong way!</div>
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I guess I didn't understand Bratman's argument to be that people should just forget nutrition, eat processed foods and take prescription drugs. I understood him to mean that while diet is a central aspect of good health, some people can become so fixated on dietary "perfection" and avoiding bodily "contamination" that the emotional, social and physical (from stress) side effects can rival those of prescription drugs.<br><br>
From what little I've read about him, Bratman is an alternative medicine practitioner and hardly one to dismiss the negative effects of the standard American diet or advocate taking drugs without first exploring alternatives. I don't know enough about him, however, to defend him against quackery allegations. I vouch for no one!<br><br>
My best guess, VillageMama, is that if your restrictions are working and that your family would become very ill if you strayed, Bratman wouldn't suggest scrapping your diet and heading to your nearest Merck Medco dispenser. I think the problem has more to do with an unhealthy fixation with diet that leads to constant worry, social isolation and feelings of impending health doom (or, on the flip side, feelings of control, "purity," and superiority when the diet is followed "perfectly").<br><br>
-Angie
 

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I knOW! lol I think I was reading a little too much into it and feeling a bit sensitive! My partner was laughing that I got all riled up. I think that its because people don't always take food stuff seriously or realise what an impact a change in diet can make in someones life. Even healthy eating appears " obsessive" to the regular folk! Especially when kids are involved.<br><br>
Thanks for posting that!
 
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