Balancing Nutrition Extremes – Taking Your Opposite To Lunch

Balancing Nutrition Extremes – Taking Your Opposite To Lunch
Heather Nicholds, C.H.N.

A couple of weeks ago, Phil and I were watching a TED talk by a lady involved in politics in Washington, D.C. who was suggesting we should all take ‘the other’ out to lunch.

This other would be whoever is the opposite to your political views. She, for instance, is a liberal/democrat and she took a conservative/republican out for lunch.

In her example, she came up with ground rules for their lunch to keep it from becoming a heated debate. I think the key is that they were both willing to communicate with each other in an open way to increase their own level of consciousness.

This isn’t the kind of thing you can force someone into, or even bring someone into halfheartedly. Here’s the video:

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This week, I’ve also been listening to Kevin Gianni’s “Great Health Debate”. Most nights, he has one guest who promotes eating animal products and another who promotes following a vegetarian diet plan or vegan diet plan. Many of these guests have been extremely strict in their views to the point of totally dismissing the ideas of the other.

I’ve been thinking we need to take the other out to lunch in not just the political realm, but nutrition, too.

I have many ‘others’ I could choose from. My first pick would probably be someone who maintains that the only way for humans to be healthy is to eat lots of animal foods on a regular basis. The reason this is opposite to me is that I don’t believe that there is only one way for humans to be healthy.

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I think it’s possible to be healthy with a small amount of animal foods, and there are some examples of cultures who are healthy eating a lot of animal foods – but for all of us to eat a lot? And for there to be absolutely no way to be healthy on a vegan diet plan? I have to admit that as open-minded and empathetic as I like to think I am, I don’t understand where that idea comes from.

My second pick would be someone who sees health and nutrition for humans as if we’re robots – thinking of only science, individual nutrients, and symptoms isolated from the whole state of our bodies and minds. I think science is an important part of our understanding of a healthy eating plan, but I also think there are other levels of health and nutrition that are equally important, and approaches that are much older and more proven than our current scientific process.

Both sides have a place, so why not look at both to make each stronger?

My third pick would be an industrial organic farmer. This would be someone who farms on a large scale according to the government’s certification rules for organic, but doesn’t necessarily go beyond them. I would actually pick one who just does the bare minimum required, because I’d like to know what things are like for these vegetables and fruits, and whether paying more for them is really worth anything in terms of nutritional value or lack of harmful compounds.

For all of my picks, I imagine lunch may not be the best choice for meeting grounds. It’s one thing to discuss differing opinions on nutrition, but to throw those opinions in each others’ faces with every bite might be a bit much. We might have to settle for going out for herbal tea.

Who would be your ‘other’? If you’re a vegan, you might talk to a meat-eater. If you eat mostly cooked food, you might talk to a raw foodist. And what would be an appropriate way to meet? Let me know what you think below.


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