Always Smell it First

Written: July 1992 Updated: 28 Oct 96

I was hunting for food at my local organic produce store when I spotted some water chestnuts. So I captured about two dozen of them. I would never have recognized them as water chestnuts if the shopkeeper hadn't tracked them for me. I mean, usually I expected them to be like the bland slices of canned ingredients for oriental wok cooking, not the mud coated odd chestnut looking things.
So I brought them home. I washed one and used a pairing knife to skin. it. Then I ate it. Then I was in heaven. It was the best food I had ever eaten. I had stumbled upon the perfect food. It was a miracle. I had found the answer to life, etc. So I had another. It was just as sweet and delicious as the first. So I had more. I felt I could go on eating these forever. After the eight one, I regretted not buying all that the store carried. But the tenth one was bland. And the eleventh one was tasteless. And the twelfth one tasted bad. I thought the twelfth one was a rotten one. And the next one also tasted bad. And so did the next one. I couldn't understand how I had eaten all the good ones first, and saved all the bad ones for last. I had another one, and I spit this one out also.
And then I understood. I had needed nine water chestnuts. After that, I might as well have been eating poison. I had experienced the taste change sensation before, but I never understood it. I had eaten handfuls of Indian nuts for years and always ended the gorges with bad tastes in my mouth, never understanding that my natural instances were guiding me. But now I felt it.
I had read about this taste change in a book called Instinctive Nutrition, by Severen Schaeffer, but I didn't make the connection until I had experienced it. It came as a shock. I was excited. I was proud of myself. And I still am.
Well, I had more water chestnuts the next day and the next. I learned to stop eating them when the first one started to taste bland. I developed this skill with many foods. As I ate the foods that tasted good, I learned to feel the taste change before it tasted very unpleasant. I realized eating was a skill that I had been untaught ... as my parents had been untaught before them.
In time, this gave me confidence to follow through with my impulses and desire. I began to get in touch with my instincts. In time, I found that I was also exercising my intuition, but that is another once upon a time ...
Of course knowing what to do and doing it are two different things. It is a cycle. The more I do what I think is right, the more I know what is right for me. But I don't always do what I think is right. That's why we have support groups.

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