We have a cat named Pickles. Well, he really belongs to Selina and Quinn, which make him my concern as well. He has an eating disorder and I think it is our fault. There was to a time when he wanted to stay outside most of the time, and was content to only eat dry cat food. Life was good.
One day Selina thought it would be a kind gesture to offer him some salmon flavored canned cat food. His behavior changed. He now had a diversity of foods, and he wanted both of them. Then came along chicken, turkey, tuna, beef, liver, and occasional cream. His behavior changed again. He developed a preference about which flavor he wanted, with no apparent rhyme or reason! Contented Pickles had become finicky, often complaining and obsessing about his meals. He not only wanted more diversity, but also larger quantities of food. It appears that as he became domesticated, he also lost some of his true nature. I believe he was happier and healthier, with a simpler diet.
Are you a finicky eater. Do you require a diverse palette of flavorful foods? According to the US Department of Agriculture, there were over 20,000 new food and beverage product introductions in 2016. I consider that anecdotal evidence that we have become more finicky eaters. Good news: maybe this means there is more of a desire for healthier foods, and the manufacturers are responding with more organic and GMO free choices. Bad news: we are still becoming more picky and domesticated, and possibly less content. I admit, having so many food choices sounds good on paper, but not so much on the plate. I wonder how many different foods your neighborhood cave man ate?
We all have some awareness of the health virtues of fasting. Fasting and therapeutic diets restrict the quantity of calories and variety of foods. Caloric restriction is a growing trend. Look how popular intermittent fasting has become. Consider the volume of research showing that caloric restriction dieting helps to extend life. Therapeutic fasting is a common recommendation employed by many wholistic healthcare practitioners. But you don’t have to trust these authorities; just listen to your inner authority the next time you feel ill. Loss of appetite is common with sickness, and an indicator that fasting helps the body recover. Pickles just eats grass when he feels bad.
Like most things in life, moderation needs to be applied. It appears the best use of fasting is with short and controlled applications. Starvation, not good. So the question is, how do you find this balance of fasting and just regular eating? It suddenly becomes obvious why intermittent fasting (a great name for a diet), has captured the current trend.
I looked up moderation and it took me to temperance and then to gluttony, a situation in which people eat and drink more than they need to. So is gluttony the issue, could it be that easy? The key to using temperance to counteract gluttony, is to have a good reason. Apparently to be healthier, is not a big enough reason, or more people would eat better. I think we need to tie it to something even bigger. Be healthier so you can enjoy life with your kids, or to better deliver your gifts to the world.
I think temperance, for the “bigger cause” is beyond Pickles’ scoop of consciousness. He will continue to eat in excess unless we change his environment. At least his name is a condiment.
P.S. Selina and I are working on a civilized dietary plan and hope to share it with everyone. Stay tuned.