To Each Their Own

eating-habitsPeople have different eating habits. We each prefer some foods over others and design our eating regime around those foods. Personally, I eat to protect my health. There are any number of things I would gobble up in a New York minute if my body would only let me.

For example, I am gluten free. Not because it’s a trend, but because modern gluten creates side effects that keep me from doing things I want to do – like thinking clearly. As much as I would enjoy sitting down and eating a stuffed crust pizza, I’d rather be able to lift myself out of bed without having to hire a local crane company to help me the next day.

I’m not one for shouting from the rooftops about being gluten free, I’m fairly private about this preference. However, a couple of months ago I met a woman and we were enjoying a casual exchange when she started complaining about having memory problems.

I told her about the foods I had eliminated from my diet, specifically gluten and what a difference it made in my memory. I suggested a few resources for her to check out, and amazingly, she actually looked into them. We ran into each other yesterday and she gushed about the difference eliminating gluten from her diet was making in her thinking process. She was generous with the credit she gave me – more than I deserved, since the credit goes to her for listening, doing the research and following through with appropriate action.

While gluten is a tame dietary exclusion from an eating plan, some people go to crazy lengths by subtracting and adding to their daily food regimen. Let me give you a few examples:

Xylophagia
There are those who relish a good bite of wood, paper, pencils or anything pulp. Not to make light of this disorder as it can be very serious, but it satisfies some to munch on a chunk of tree bark. There is something missing in their chemical make-up that the desire to eat wood offsets. Is it a chemical imbalance or psychological, or both, either way there’s no doubt that these items ain’t chicken.

Urophagia
Mahatma Gandhi did it daily. He believed that it made him stronger. Drinking your own urine has been documented for centuries as a (questionable) restorative. The infamous wisdom is that because your urine is a sterile form of re-hydration, daily doses add to personal strength and well-being. While there are thousands of champions of this daily treatment, unbelievably the practice has not caught on with the millions. I suspect it won’t be the next wellness trend, maybe just because it ain’t chicken.

Hyalophagia
Have you ever offered a dinner guest a glass of wine and they prefer the glass to the wine? I don’t mean the look of the fine crystal stemware as much as the taste of the delicacies of the glass. This is way over the top, but yes, there are folks who like to eat all things glass. Naturally, there are dangers that are so obvious they need not be pointed out. Although this is an extreme ain’t chicken example, it does occur.

Geophagy
Leaving you today with a little less unusual nutritional therapy; the love of eating dirt. I read last month of a 3 star restaurant in England that put dirt on their menu. What made the dirt so darn delicious was a well kept secret. I wonder how may takers they have for what must be delectable dirt? This tradition in general is practiced all over the world in some fashion. There are people who find eating of Mother Earth a spiritual practice. Others find the minerals naturally occurring within certain soils add to the minerals naturally found in the body. There are as many reasons for eating dirt as there are dirt eaters. Nonetheless, it won’t be showing up on my dinner table anytime soon, but to each their own. How about yours?

What’s the most unusual item you’ve eaten that ain’t chicken. Check out this awesome post and tell us all about what you think of it below!