Thinking and food
For years I had this feeling that, just as I was trying to wrap my head around some profound thought that was trying to wiggle its way out of my system, I hit a wall. Or more like a pillow. It was like a lid came down over the top of my head, and I couldn’t go further. I felt like there was more, but I couldn’t go there. I tried grasping for it, catching it in mid-air, but it wouldn’t come to me.
I wondered about it for many years. It felt like there really was something there, but I was unable to reach it. Was it real? Would I ever be able to? What would it take?
I know the anwers to these questions now, and they came from a source I’d have never guessed: Diet.
My girlfriend suggesting we do the Clean program together, and so we did in October.
And within a week or so, I started feeling like a veil had been lifted from me. In the words fo Sting:
I walked out this morning
It was like a veil had been removed from before my eyes
For the first time I saw the work of heaven
In the line where the hills had been married to the sky
I could think much more clearly, effortlessly. I no longer had this feeling of a lid, of hitting a wall. I could just think the thoughts that wanted to be thought, without trying too hard, without struggling. I’d actually forgotten about that feeling, but this morning in the shower I remembered - wow, I used to have that feeling all the time. Now it’s gone, because the limits to my thinking are gone.
In practical work-related terms, it means that my design decisions in zenbilling has been much much better. I used to make a lot more decision decisions that were poorly thought out and that I’d then need to go back and revisit later, not to mention the necessary firefighting when my decisions cause problems.
That doesn’t happen anymore, because I make much better decisions in the first place. That’s worth a lot!
I’m also experiencing something interesting with my alcohol consumption. I used to like to drink a glass of wine with dinner 3-4 times a week. That’s changed completely.
Last night I made lasagne for my kids. I make a mean motherf**ing lasagne. It’s made with pancetta and rosemary, several kinds of tomato, several kinds of fat. The ragú sits in the oven for hours, making the entire house smell delicious. And it includes red wine. ]
So now I have an opened bottle of wine sitting on the counter. I made sure to buy a pretty good bottle so it’d be drinkable. I just saw Tim Ferriss show how you could decant wine in 20 seconds with an immersion blender, and really want to try it.
I really want to want that glass of wine. But when it comes down to actually having it, I hesitate and stop. I know what it’ll do to my system, I can feel it almost as soon as I sip it, or even smell it, and my body doesn’t want it. I don’t want it.
I want to want it, but I really don’t want it.
Before, I’d use the wine to dream myself away to a perfect future.
Today, I’d rather not have the glass of wine, and retain all my resources so I can put them to use toward actually creating the future of my dreams.
And it’s not even a “I’d better not drink it” kind of feeling. It’s a feeling of I really don’t want it. Thank you, but no thank you.
That doesn’t mean I don’t go out to eat and drink wine with friends or loved ones from time to time. I do. But that Saturday night glass of wine at home, I just don’t want anymore.
I’ve even done this before a couple weeks ago. Exact same scenario. Made ragú for the kids, bought decent wine. Tried a sip twice. Tried sniffing once. Had it sitting on the counter for 5 days before I tossed it. When will I learn?
When I talk about thinking, I’m not only talking rational thought. Intuitive thought, or knowing, is even more important. We talk about the gut as the source of intuition, and chances are, there’s something to it. Or perhaps it comes to us through our right hemisphere. Or some combination thereof. I don’t know.
Point is, we need our intuition in order to think clearly and make good decisions. Our rational mind is a great tool, but it is not creative. Creative thinking comes from our intuition.
It turns out that our intestines, our gut, produces the majority of the serotonin in our system, and serotonin is the neuro-transmitter that, when lacking, causes depression. I think there’s a connection.
[Aside: So, effectively, there’s an entire food industry making billions producing food that will consistently make us sick and depressed so that the health care industry can make billions managing (not curing) those diseases on a subscription program (anti-depressants, for example), and at the same time keep us in a semi-depressed resource-deprived state so we don’t cause too much of a ruckus. Progress!]
Anyway, when you keep filling your body with food that’s bad you, you won’t be able to think as clearly, neither rationally nor intuitively. Which food is bad for you will be individual, although there are some general culprits like sugar, wheat, night shades, coffee and alcohol.
It’s been a complete surprise to me to see just how great the effect of diet has been.
I’d really encourage you to start experimenting with your diet and see what happens.
Start with Clean (just get the book, it’s like $9.99 in iBooks), and take it from there.
Good luck! Stick with it, and I’m sure you’ll love it.