a cuppa tea

There are some things in life I just love..
One of these things, as i sit here and muse and write, is having a cuppa tea (in this case hot sweet black yorkshire tea with a few cloves thrown in) and biscuits. (read; cookies, if you’re american!)
I love dunking them in (in this case, gluten free ginger biscuits) and tasting the crumbly moist sweet warmth in my mouth no matter how much sugar is there!
I muse on..
Since I arrived in America 7 years ago, I have gone from a booze loving, smoking, toking, wheat, dairy, sugar, caffeine drinking, thinking myself healthy, relatively happy consumer to being plagued by all manner of health complaints and radically changing notions of health and what’s good for you.
These days, I have migraines and severe stomach aches from eating wheat. Caffeine and chocolate seem to be triggers. I have tried cutting out tomatoes, corn, soy, chocolate, sugar, and grains to the point of suspicion of a plate of food. My baby spews up and gets cramps if I eat cow dairy.
I no longer drink caffeine, alcohol, smoke or toke or have fun with natures substances.
Some may say it is detoxing, some may say it is grains.
The point is.. everyone has a different opinion and ultimately, things change and completely seem to ignore the very real relation of food to mood and vise versa.
Has cutting out these foods made me happier and healthier? Yes, to some degree, no, in other ways. I am more conscious perhaps as well as more picky. I make many more meals at home, but find it harder to eat out at friends or at restaurants, which can amount to an awkward social food factor or the inevitable migraine if I lapse.
I have no doubt that my changing body ~ new environment, two babies and entirely new set of cells later, have in part made my reaction to certain delicacies so strong. I have read and heard about Paleo, Gluten and Grain Free, Lactose intolerance and Gut Dysbiosis and worried about whether my diet and my children’s is a leading cause of their/my dysfunctions.. All in all, I swing between clarity and confusion and I’m sure many of you can relate.
No doubt about it, this nation is health obsessed, for better or for worse. And it better be, with the amount of money people need to ‘fork’ out if they find themselves in need of care. Health care can literally cost ‘an arm and a leg’ and it is fabulous that more and more of us have access to ways of self healing, through diet, exercise, acupuncture, naturopathy, herbs and homeopathy and the myriad health modalities out there.
We are fortunate to be blessed with the quality and quantity of food and all its related allergens (!)
And yet, I look at people, my past self included, who do not have access to this knowledge and choice and see a more relaxed enjoyment of what’s on their plate. Less constant weighing up of contents and consequences.
A little voice pipes up at the back of my mind.. It belongs to a ninety year old lady called Beatty who had Tourettes syndrome in the Nursing home i used to work in, she once bit my head but thats another story… She always said about food, “If you like it, dear, then its good for you.”
I hear screaming at the unscientific basis of this old lady’s comment.. but, as it goes, when it all boils down to it there is something to be said for Beatty’s point of view.. at least in terms of enjoyment.. if you are what you eat, then make it a treat!