Every day I include Apple Cider Vinegar in my diet. Through reading and research I have learned what its benefits are in supporting metabolism and inner health. But the conscious knowing of those benefits was not the reason I began to include it in my regimen.It was knowledge held not by my conscious mind, but sub-consciously by my body. Indirectly, though, it was my cat who got me onto it!
In his latter years my wonderful cat, Raoul, became unwell. He lost muscle strength in his rear legs and, mystified, we took him to the vet. The diagnosis was diabetes.
“Has Raoul changed his eating habits recently?” the vet asked.
“Yes he has,” we said, and we detailed a surprising change that we had noticed. All through his life Raoul had shown very little interest in dairy foods. Then all of a sudden, whenever we returned from the shops he would be sniffing in our bags and literally putting his paw on any milk, cream, yogurt, butter, cheese or ice-cream he could find. The vet explained:
“He’s doing that because he knows that dairy is the best means open to him to regulate his insulin. That’s why he’s started asking you for those foods.”
I was amazed. My cat knew what foods to eat for his health. In the C4th AD in their weekly liturgies of prayer ancient Italian Christians used to thank God for filling the world with “plants and foods and medicines”. Clearly that prayer was included because the people of that generation knew nature’s smorgasbord of foods and medicines. They knew where to find them and when their bodies needed them. But how did my cat know??
I had to imagine that Raoul’s body was craving dairy and that my cat was sufficiently in tune with his body to know that he needed to start supplementing his intake with dairy. Was I that in touch with my body’s signals to me? It was a challenge I decided to take up.
I knew that it was achievable – that humans can tap this subconscious knowledge of nutritional needs every bit as well as a cat can. I knew because I had seen it. I am so thankful to God for the three children Ruth and I have been blessed with. When Ruth was carrying each of our babies her conscious awareness of her body’s nutritional needs became very heightened in very specific ways. What baby needed in that week of gestation appeared to translate into very specific nutritional needs. This subconscious information held in Ruth’s body was communicated to her conscious mind on a regular basis through each baby’s 9 months of gestation. We call this communication cravings.
To give our bodies what they need to support our health, we must learn to listen to our cravings. These are our God-given helpers! In pregnancy our subconscious forces that information to the conscious surface because it is so urgent. To learn to keep that tap on and that flow of information flowing, that is the secret!
When I learned to include healthy fats in my diet in the form of fish oil and flax seeds I noticed the shift towards health in my body immediately. I made that change because of conscious knowledge, learned from the CSIRO in Australia. Having made the change I realized that my body had been trying to get the same information to my conscious mind for years.
I suddenly became aware with crystal clarity that all my adult life I had been experiencing cravings for healthy fat. Because my conscious mind had no idea what healthy fat was I responded always by reaching for my favourite kinds of fat – chocolate and ice cream. In fact I had been a slave to those cravings.
I was doing my best to live on a low-low-fat diet because I believed it was healthy. But I could only go so long before my body would cry out in desperation – “Please I need faaaaaaaat!” I then sabotaged myself by gorging on my favourite kinds. The moment i introduced what my body really wanted – healthy fat – those cravings ceased. Overnight. I can still enjoy chocolate and ice cream. But now I am physically able to enjoy them very sparingly. Because my body already has the fat it needs!
My next lesson on this journey was to learn what the body’s craving for clean water feels like. Many people confuse a craving for hydration with hunger for food. Many mistake the signals for water until they feel thirsty in their throat or mouth. But by the time you are feeling it there you will be badly dehydrated. I have learned that a craving for water begins in my belly, then in my chest, then in my head, then in my throat. and I am learning to respond when the feeling first registers in the belly.
And what does the body’s aversion to water with toxins feel like? I have to confess that my neighbor’s dog, Sheba, had a better instinct for clean water than I did. Sheba would refuse to drink our town’s water because it was heavily laced with chlorine and fluoride. In fact she would positively recoil from it at the first whiff. Sheba’s owner had to buy bottled water for her. Back in the day I couldn’t smell the chlorine or feel fluoride. I just knew I couldn’t get that water down, however I tried. As I began listening to my body I came to understand why I had struggled so much to drink the amount of water I believed to be healthy. Eventually I discovered clean, chilled water and I can drink it till the cows come home!
A few years later I had a reaction to peanuts that left me 3kgs lighter after two weeks of suffering. Because of Raoul I took note of what my body was craving. As my body began to heal and rebuild strength I realized I was craving a drink I hadn’t imbibed for years. I wanted a very dry, sharp, apple cider.
Since that time I frequently include apple cider vinegar in my evening routine. And I reckon it’s done me a world of good.
Our subconscious holds a wealth of information ready to be tapped. Human bodies are wired to thrive. We have a myriad of systems – physical, conscious and subconscious – built into us to support our health and well-being. Learning to listen is a great key to releasing the power of those systems. So, thank you body. Thank you subconscious. Thank you Raoul! And thank you God for the way you created them all!