The Hidden Polarities of Nature

by Margaret K. Chaney


CHAPTER 7:  Polarities of Daily Life

The strange way two sets of environmental substances blend together to appear as a seamless world follows no apparent logic.  I have searched for objective criteria but so far have only kinesiological testing of the muscle system and a visual concept of the structure of the human body to rely on.

For a time, I thought apples were on my husband's list because the Golden Delicious apples he chose for his lunch were YES for him and NO for me.  But two days in a row I sent him off with Red Delicious apples.  He developed "I'd-rather-be-dead" cramps.  I ate the rest of them and felt fine.  That's when we began to notice my list often included red-skinned apples, red- and purple-skinned grapes, red- and purple- skinned plums, red-skinned onions, red cherries, red radishes, and red wine.  My husband ate the same things, but in their green- or white- skinned varieties.  Just when we thought we could use color as a criterion, bright green Granny Smith apples proved to be REDLIST and gorgeous, shiny Ida Red apples tested GREENLIST.  That blew the use of color as an indicator.

On realizing they do not do well with beef, pork or lamb, GREENLIST people often label themselves "vegetarian."  Actually, they don't thrive on vegetables alone.  Except for round beets, squash, iceberg lettuce, leaf lettuce, endive, eggplant, okra, Italian plum and cherry tomatoes, red-skinned potatoes, yellow onions and parsley, most vegetables are REDLISTGREENLIST people best accommodate fruits except for cantaloupe, some citrus, and the red- and purple- skinned varieties of the green- and white- skinned fruits.

Testing sometimes exposes changes from the original designation of a substance, but when an item transfers to the other list, it is no longer found on the first, never straddling both lists.  For instance, carrots had tested as REDLIST.  One week, two GREENLIST friends called to say they had found their carrots to be GREENLIST.  As we all shop at the same market, I checked the new brand of carrots I had just bought and indeed they were GREENLIST.  Later, in a garden shop, I tested packages of seeds.  All of them were REDLIST except Imperator Long.  Since my original testing years ago, two new carrots, the little cocktail carrots and a variety packaged by one of the large produce companies, have taken over the national market and those BOTH are GREENLIST.  The same thing happened to corn.  My tests, years ago, showed garden corn to be REDLIST but now the variety with the mixed yellow and white kernels has taken over the market, and that tests as GREENLIST.

The memory of the day some friends helped me test whether liquors follow the same binary split always reduces me to giggles!  They certainly do.  On the REDLIST are gin, vodka, bourbon, tequila, blackberry brandy, kirsch, most red wines except the heavy sweet ones, and also one or two newer brands of beer.  On the GREENLIST, we find most of the beer, as well as rum, Scotch, whiskey, peach and apricot brandy, creme de menthe, sweet red wines, white wines, and champagnes.

Check out someone "crying in their beer" or "in the clutches of demon rum" and you may well find a REDLIST person drinking GREENLIST drinks.  I am not promoting drinking but should we choose to use alcohol, we would do well to stick to our YES list.

I spoke to a weight control group one evening and asked the audience to use my observations on posture and body characteristics and divide themselves into two groups on opposite sides of the room.  As a group, the REDLIST women were mildly angry and frustrated about their weight problems, but the GREENLIST group was sunk in despair.  The GREENLIST members whose bodies have more trouble processing fat, felt they had done everything to reduce their weight.  Only when they cut their calorie count to a level so low they could barely function could they lose weight.  And the consequent mental depression and physical fatigue extracted a price too high to pay.

The members of each group compared their common problems, tastes, lifestyles and frustrations.  By the end of the evening, one person in each group was absolutely certain she was not in her proper group.  Nothing said seemed appropriate to them and everything the opposite group said expressed their exact feelings. I tested those two persons and it was true  their original appraisal had been in error.  Living in the wrong culture for just forty minutes made these people definitely want out!  This impressive phenomenon gave everyone in the room some insight into the enormous problems of living with someone who has an opposite biological make-up.  I asked everyone to guess the patterns of the family members in their home.  Nearly everyone concluded the people they normally ate with were of the opposite biotype.  Much of their common weight problem was in fact a mixed-diet problem.

My REDLIST friends have all endured disbelief and scorn from diet counselors when they gained weight on diets based on skimmed milk, lettuce, rice and white fish.  Each of those foods creates a unique reaction in REDLIST people that can sabotage a weight-loss program.  The same happens to GREENLISTs with tuna, liver, and cabbage.

I periodically spend a few days in a social situation that leaves me physically exhausted, mentally confused, and more than a little angry and sad.  If this is compounded by extra-hot or extra-cold weather, I find myself totally wiped out!  However, if I stop at the local roast-beef restaurant on my way home, ask to have some of the fat left on my meat, choose a baked potato and green beans, and by-pass their free beets, horseradish and dill pickles, I emerge with a smile on my whole body and am back in the land of the living.  As mentioned, I am conspicuously REDLIST.  These same choices would leave a GREENLIST person irritably belligerent and would probably lead to a restless night.

To my GREENLIST friends I say, "If you need to be sharp mentally for an important meeting, do not let anyone buy you steak, baked potato and spinach salad; they will end up with all of your marbles!  Make your order chicken, rice, and a head lettuce salad."   And I warn my REDLIST friends if they want to stay awake, order the first choices or simply go hungry.

One GREENLIST friend's energy had dwindled until she found herself wandering from room to room aimlessly every day.  She switched from a REDLIST oatmeal breakfast to a GREENLIST rice one.  Now she is in assertiveness training, taking a microwave gourmet cooking class, and back to doing stone sculpture!

My husband and I spent years eating and enjoying foods from both lists.  However, once I knew we each had a different biotype, I wondered what damage we had been doing to ourselves.  How much of our disastrous medical history could be attributed to this cross-eating?  Between us, we logged high blood pressure, hypoglycemia, miscarriages, vein stripping, obesity, fatigue, and assorted surgeries.  We did not smoke, our meals were home-cooked and fresh, and we had been intelligent and moderate in our lifestyles.  But, both over sixty and having pushed our tolerances to the limit, our condition could be labeled "brittle."  So each time we discovered our bodies trying to warn us about a certain food, we dropped it from our personal menu.  The results were swift and varied and always obvious. Each food played out its own little drama.

I found omitting my habitual one-half scrambled egg at breakfast for just one day eliminated pains in my finger joints.  I started avoiding eggs at home, but occasionally would order them in restaurant breakfasts when I met friends. At some time in the early afternoon after those breakfasts, pain would hit one of my finger joints as if someone had jabbed it with a thumbtack.  By dropping iceberg lettuce for about five weeks, I jettisoned twenty pounds.  Eating chicken puts me to sleep for the next three hours. Lecithin in bread gives me ringing in my ears.  Malted barley, included in most baked goods, can plunge me into sadness and depression.  A mysterious discoloration down one side of my chin disappeared two days after I discarded a mint-flavored toothpaste.  Bread yeast makes me so water-retentive I clump around the house as if in wooden shoes for about 38 hours until the water suddenly lets go! I had never consciously connected any of these problems to the food I had just eaten because nothing every upset my stomach, gave me a headache, or produced any other vestige of typical digestive mischief.  We are blessed with very forgiving thresholds of tolerances so even though you maybe favor one list, the other list of foods may never give you trouble.  And now, after years of honoring my list, I am much less sensitive to any ill effect from the opposite list.

People get caught in food traps because seemingly authoritative advice comes from all directions and fosters guilt for not following all of it.  For example, the inclinations of the bodies of GREENLIST people is to have as little fat as possible in milk.  However, the message from the bodies of REDLIST people is to use milk in its natural state.  But the current dogma is that everyone should switch to skimmed milk.  Why?  Salespeople for health food products tell us alfalfa roots go deep into the earth, bringing up an abundant supply of minerals.  Although REDLIST test strong to alfalfa, if GREENLIST bodies find it inimical, should GREENLIST people allow sales talk to override their bodies' own messages?
















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Copyright 2005 Margaret K. Chaney