In our house growing up we had this thing called a “Birthday Boxing Day” whereby you didn’t just have your birthday – you had the next day too as part of the celebrations. And you could stretch it still further by having your own “Birthday Eve” which traditionally started at around 4pm by which time excitement was so great, it may as well have been your birthday already.
Perhaps it’s being Jewish, where festivals (or Yom Tov which means holidays) always began the night before. And then continued into the day after. New Year for example – Rosh Hashanah – is always two days, not one! Even Yom Kippur, our most solemn day of the year, starts the night before when the lights go down. Anyway, I had a Birthday Boxing Day this year, mainly because there was cake left over. And bubbly. And it’s got to be done, right?
Celebrating my diet
Paleo is a diet you can enjoy. That’s the whole point of it. It’s a human diet. A delicious diet. Barely really a diet at all. Alls you have to do is, mostly, forgo bread and other carbs. Most of the time. Everything else is fine; well, everything that can be called proper food. And slips are allowed. Cake is accepted, nay expected, certain times of the year. Calories are neither counted nor even noticed. Calories don’t matter on this “diet” – isn’t that great! And yet you can still lose weight.
Paleo is the Jewish diet!
This is why I think Paleo is a little bit Jewish… you do as much of it as you can but there’s no hell or damnation waiting for you if you slip. Did you know we Jews have no hell? No devil waiting for us with forked tongue and spitting fire? Hell was an add-on after the Christians came along and decided something was needed to try and ensure people did as they were told. Religion is of course all about social control. That said, though I’m a devout Atheist – but can’t ever stop being Jewish – I do actually believe in Christian values and I think they got their bit of the bible a lot more right than ours. And hard to argue that Jesus was a pretty cool bloke with some brilliant ideas. It’s some of his followers are the problem…
The no-guilt diet
My point is Paleo is a no-guilt diet, a guilt-free zone. Odd thing that am also saying it’s a bit Jewish when the Jewish religion was built on guilt but where food’s concerned, we only feel guilty about not eating! Which is why many of us have a problem/issue around food. We love food. Our religion is built on food. And guilt. We have no need for hell because we’re forever berating ourselves so don’t need to wait for judgment day. Every day is judgment day for us Jews.
May also be something to do with the many times in our history that we’ve been forcibly starved for political reasons. When you live among abundance, it’s something to be celebrated not denied. Think of all the starving that went on in the past. Of course that can apply to most people for it’s not just the Jews who’ve been politically starved in the past. Food is a powerful weapon. From babies we learn that not eating is a great way to exert power when you feel powerless. Likewise hunger strikes, hunger marches. Even anorexia could be said in part to be a rebellion against authority, family and even a person’s own body.
Enjoy food, enjoy life
But goodness this has come quite some way from a mere diet blog! I’m saying it though to make the point that food is full of meaning beyond its necessity for survival. It’s about emotional survival too. Thriving, feeling happy. Enjoying life. I’m saying you can go on a diet like this and not feel as if you are on a diet. It’s a celebration of food, not a denial of pleasure. And that quite simply is why it works.
Have a good Monday and a great week. See you later sometime… and remember, food is to be enjoyed, not feared, not denied and certainly not hated!