Thursday, April 8

eat food

Most secrets to getting healthy are painfully obvious when you discover them, but have somehow become hidden by our modern way of life. It's so simple: eat food, drink water, sleep, and do what you love. How is it that these simple rules have become mantras or radical lifestyle choices?

When I was pregnant with my first punk I devoured all the information I could get my hands on about pregnancy and childbirth. I felt this need to be the healthiest I could be, make the right choices, and most of all, not screw it up. Fortunately, I was at the university when I found out I was pregnant and the only book on pregnancy the university bookstore had to offer was an anthropological study on birth in ancient cultures. It was about the inherent wisdom of women who know how to listen to their bodies and are supported by their communities. I'm thankful that this was the book that preceded all others that I would read in the coming months. Because, quite frankly, all the others are full of a lot of stress inducing garbage. It wasn't until my second pregnancy when I read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth that I finally found the information I was searching for.
And that was the sum total of her nutrition advice: eat food.

And this simplicity can be found in my other rules of thumb...
For health : eat food, drink water, sleep. Sit up straight.
Career: Do what you love.
Housekeeping: If you don't love it or use it, get rid of it.

Of course I don't have all the answers. Good gracious I'm only just 37. My family life has it's ups and downs, my cholesterol gets high, my back curves like a snake. But I like these kind of simple steps. Even ones like
love is worth fighting for. That means the right thing for me now. I used to think it was a cowardly excuse for war. It's not. It's more about believing in yourself and being honest.

I like the sun warming and music and hugs. Simple things.

Maybe that's what I'm still looking for. Sometimes simple things are difficult to see.


  1. There's no money in "eat food".

    That's why it all gets so complicated.

    I'm with you all the way, we have turned "living your life" into "lifestyle".

    Great for some people's bank accounts, not so great for Jane Public.

  2. Housekeeping: If you don't love it or use it, get rid of it. I'm going to start that today.

  3. its in the simple things that life grows and evolves. When we complicate, we make living difficult...!

  4. Anonymous11:37 AM

    Yes! The wisdom of Ina May Gaskin. The midwife I had before during and after the birth of my child trained with Ina May at the Tennesee farm. My midwife is one of the wisest women I've ever know. We're still friends. She also introduced me to a book by Jean Liedloff called The Continuum Concept. This shaped the way I raised my daughter. Not because it gave instruction, but because it basically gave me permission to follow my instincts and my child's instincts on what was best for her. I don't understand what your inference is about war?? When they say love is worth fighting for I don't think they mean a physical battle, do they? I don't know.

  5. Sometimes the simple things in life are all we need. I love how you put it simply. This is great advice for anybody and I'm glad you put it out there for others to see.

  6. this is wonderful. I have missed reading your blog, cuz i have been lazy....but I will be back cuz you nail the truth!!

  7. I'm starting to get into a bit of minimalism and your advice is exactly the type of things I am trying to put into practice.
    Eat food
    Throw out what you don't use.

  8. Thanks for all your comments. I'm always surprised by them and love the discussion that comes out of me just trying to organize my thoughts.
    Sarah; you are so right... no money to be had in "eat food"... and having grown up in a culture already swimming in everything wrapped and packaged, I found it surprising at how easy it was to just eat food. We're really being taken for a ride.
    Captain-o-captain, it will serve you well. And once you do it at home, it becomes so much easier to NOT buy things. You start looking at everything with that question "do I love it, will I use it?"
    Kavi; so true but sometimes hard to remember. I need frequent clearing out to keep that in the front of my head.
    XUP; hurray for midwives! I ended up on the radical midwife/homebirth path quite by accident and feel ever blessed for it. My confusion about the expression "love is worth fighting for" is just that... it's not about a physical battle and somehow I used to think it was and used to loath the expression. I get it now. I get that there are good forms of fighting and that fighting (in love) usually means figuring out what you really want/need and standing up for yourself. I used to keep all that inside for fear of fighting.
    CaJoh; It's a relief to me that you found this post simply put... at the time I felt I wasn't really expressing myself clearly at all. Thanks
    SSP; you haven't missed much ;) I've been lacking in the energy for blog posts lately.
    Brenda; yes, exactly! I hope you gain something by simplifying.

  9. Michael Pollan: "Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly plants."
    I got alot of mileage out of those horrible pregnancy guides - slamming them in my blog. Did you have the one that kept comparing the size of the fetus to various citrus?

  10. I love this post. In a parallel way, it summarizes the "live in the now" philosophy I've grown into, an ex-pat living in Italy and reading Marcus Aurelius' (marvelous) "Meditations." And it parallels my cooking: spur of the moment, whatever sounds like it will go together, as long as it's fresh (helpful that the hubby wasn't persnickety, like many Italian men can be, but happy as long as the pasta was "al dente" and whatever was being served didn't contain Curry, Carrots or Cilantro, the 3 C's).


...and you may ask yourself, did I get here?