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 in 29 languages and read by millions around the world. The nurse’s name and the author of the book is Bronnie Ware.
One of the top five regrets expressed by them was – ‘I wish I had the courage 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 a lot of people who have made a similar choice. And almost every single 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.
Food you put in your body influences you at a very deep level. And if you are going to operate from a place of habit, at least make sure it’s serving you.
You need to take control of not only what you will eat, but also of 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 cooks, increased dependency on restaurants, food vendors and other food service providers, and ultimately to giant food corporations who serve us everything from our highly processed breakfast cereals to gooey chocolaty or sugary bed time 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 – this is true world over – held on to their responsibility of cooking for family the longest. We were happy to hand over the cleaning chores much more readily. But cooking was and still is perceived meditative and comforting.
But when our negotiating for better labor division kinda 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 actually is, is hyper-stimulating highly processed foods.
To recognize this, you need to develop awareness. And call upon the wisdom to pause. Wisdom to observe. And then you get to stand in your power and eat by choice.