Revisiting “But God created food to be eaten with thanks” from April 21

Hey friends! It’s been bothering me that you might have interpreted what I wrote last week as criticism or judgment or misunderstanding/minimizing people’s genuine dietary health limitations or needs. I’ve discovered that food is a tricky subject! I hope this helps:

  1. The people in the story at the beginning were on this diet for fun, not for specific health reasons. They were following a plan with a specified menu for each day. It would have helped me, yes, in hosting them, to have been given a heads-up ahead of time. Right? But we had a lovely visit and love these people. They went through a month of following the diet and then went on to other food adventures. My point was Dave’s contrasting response: “Beans and rice the rest of the month? No problem!”
  2. I understand food allergies and health requirements related to diet—I cared for thirty years for a person with the most diet limitations of anyone I’ve ever met. I remember once requesting a consult with a dietician, as we were trying to avoid TPN (nutrition through her veins, which back then was more complicated than it is now). At that time Karis couldn’t tolerate fiber, fat, sugar, dairy, eggs, nuts, legumes or almost all fruits or vegetables or meats, and we were trying gluten-free to see whether that helped. She seemed to do OK with boiled chicken breast and a little bit of white rice, for a day or two anyway, and sometimes a little bit of yogurt. The dietician had nothing to suggest except liquid nutrition (we had already tried various brands; they all made Karis throw up) or a new intestine. I know Karis’s situation was extreme. My point is: I get it. Our bodies are complex! With complex interactions with food and other aspects of our environment.
  3. I’ll tell you a funny experience related to Karis and food (apparently, I could write a book about Karis and food!). Between transplants, she went fifteen months without an intestine. For those months, SHE DIDN’T HAVE AN INTESTINE! Yet during this time, I received various dietary suggestions from people of what they were sure would solve her problems, because this had worked for someone they knew who was “just like Karis.” Umm…guess what: without an intestine, a person can’t eat! Anything!

(I hope that made you smile.)

  •  I’m still grateful, given his line of work, for God’s gifts to Dave of a flexible palate and thankfulness for whatever food he is served. Including leftovers.

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