About 10 years ago I began to notice how the choices I made concerning food, drinks, medication, household and personal hygiene products…and even environmental conditions and surroundings were greatly affecting my sense of well-being. Actually, I felt really horrible. I came to the realization that practically every moment of every day was an immense challenge. So much of my energy was being consumed by pain and emotional distress due to my reduced ability to function. Desperate to feel better, I began to contemplate making lifestyle changes. But as I began to delve into the plethora of information out there, it all seemed quite overwhelming. I began to become fearful of all the changes that would be necessary to initiate the healing process. With a lifetime of bad practices and habits to change, where was I to begin?
Then I recalled an approach to life an esteemed friend had once told me about. He called it “The Law of Creeping Incrementalism” and he credited his formidable list of successes to the practice. In essence, it is a “Rome wasn’t built in a day” approach to life, and it relies on taking baby steps, or better yet, tortoise steps (in my case even crawling) in order reach goals. One small step at a time, slow and steady runs the race. Therefore, I began by making one (yes only one!) better choice every day.
I began with glutens because the pain of ‘enjoying’ them was so disruptive and devastating to my system. At first it was the elimination of my coveted daily bread. Sure, I fell off the wagon frequently at first, but I patiently crawled back on without reprimanding myself, until I had very slowly but very surely weened myself off of the loaf altogether. Then I applied the same practice to pasta and every other gluten-containing food until I no longer felt the urge to include them in my diet. And boy, did I begin to feel better! So I resolved to apply this ‘Law of C.I.’ to each and everything that ails me… from processed and GMO foods to animal protein. I continue to creep my way to better health, and I am more than confident that you can too!
To put these new intentions into action took practice, perseverance and time. Have you ever heard that you can change a bad habit in just 21 days? Well, I guess I’m probably a little more stubborn or challenged because it took me longer than just 3 weeks! Another aspect of the ‘Law of C.I.’ is that everyone is allowed to run the race at one’s own pace. I am a sloth, so I proceed at a sloth’s pace. I urge you to make changes at the pace that suits you. Does it really matter if it takes you a year or a decade as long as you are putting one food in front of the other?
Today I am proud to say that I consider every bite of food me and my family consumes…and I am no longer overwhelmed by the daunting process. My dietary decisions are based primarily in nutrition and how the dish nurtures our bodies without sacrificing the culinary experience. Admittedly, not every bite we eat is at its absolute optimum nutritional level, but we have come quite a way from where we began, with the majority of what we eat now being high on the healthy and clean scale, with very little negative effect on our digestive systems and mental health. Be gentle on yourselves and take your time. By implementing the law of creeping incrementalism, I am confident you can, in time, achieve great nutrition!