A nurse in palliative care took notes and recorded the regrets of dying people in the last twelve weeks of their lives. After doing this for many many years with that many people, she observed how there was a pattern emerging in what they had shared with her.
She put it all in a book titled The Top Five Regrets Of The Dying, which has been translated into 29 languages and read by millions worldwide. The nurse’s name – the author of the book – is Bronnie Ware.
One of the top five regrets expressed by them was – ‘I wish I dared to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.’
These words have a familiar ring to them for me when it comes to matters of food. Since I turned vegan close to ten years ago, I have interacted with many people who have made a similar choice. And almost every one of them wished – including myself – we had the courage to adopt a food choice that was true to who we are at heart, earlier in life.
Now, pleeeease understand, I’m not imposing my choices of anything – let alone food – on anyone here. But I will say, wake up and realize that you do have a choice. You get to choose what you want to put in your mouth in the name of food. Claim your power.
The food you put in your body influences you at a profound level. And if you are going to operate from a place of habit, at least make sure it’s serving you.
It would help if you took control of not only what you will eat, but also how it is grown, who cooks it and how it is cooked. The world over, we as women have been the primary cooks within the family unit. Did we see it as our power? Until very recently, we did, and this is fast eroding.
We are now outsourcing cooking at many levels: home-cooking to chefs increased dependency on restaurants, food vendors, and other foodservice providers. And ultimately to giant food corporations who ready-to-eat-edibles right from our highly processed breakfast cereals to gooey chocolatey or sugary bedtime drinks and everything in between – cookies, chips and whatnot.
In a book titled Cooked, the author Michael Pollan argues how reclaiming the control over our cooking is the single biggest thing one can do to rebuild our health – not just our own but of the family and the community at large.
Even more fascinating is the insight as to how the Food Industry got its foot inside the kitchen door. Most women held on to their responsibility for cooking for the family. And this was true all over the world for the longest time. We were happy to hand over the cleaning chores much more readily, but cooking was and still is perceived meditative and comforting.
However, when our negotiating for better labor division kind of got louder and with the eavesdropping food industry lurking by, it saw an opportunity – and acted upon it without wasting any time. And it “uses” feminism and women’s liberation to sell us convenience. What it is selling us is hyper-stimulating highly processed foods.
Grow at least a tiny part of what you eat by choice. Cook your food, by choice. Choose what you’d accept as food. And choose let go of everything that is not in your best interest.