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Being sensitive to bad food–a blessing in disguise?

Robyn Openshaw - Jun 28, 2008 - This Post May Contain Affiliate Links

My teenaged daughter Emma came home from camp today.   After giving me a hug and saying hello, the first thing she said was, “MOM! Did you make green smoothies yet?   I neeeeeeed one! I missed them so much!”


Just now, at dinner, she sat down to a big plate of veggies and said this (I ran in to write it down so I could get it word for word):


“I am so happy to be home.   Every single meal at camp, I felt disgusting afterward.   I didn’t eat the meat, but you just couldn’t avoid all the junk.   It’s just not what I am used to.”   To support each other, Emma ate meals with a 12 Stepper mom/leader at the camp, another girl who is a veg, and one of Emma’s friends who loves animals and is kind of a “veg wannabe.”


I have always been amazed that some people eat toxic sludge, three meals a day, and they seem to be okay.   They’re not, of course–they’re ticking time bombs, and many of them, when you get to know them, suffer from multiple chronic conditions and a lack of energy.   But I once read that Heather Locklear (a size 1 who looks 10 years younger than she is and gets paid to show her skin and hair close up) never eats ANYTHING green and hates vegetables.   Some people don’t look, on the outside, like they’re unhealthy.


What gives?   Why do Emma and I feel so terrible the minute we eat bad food?


I think the human body, being fed the S.A.D. long-term, goes into coping mode.   It isn’t able to repair, regenerate, cleanse, or fight infection or cancer cells well.   It just has to survive, put all its energy into just completing required tasks.   Some people seem to be getting by, drinking lots of caffeine and eating lots of fried, processed, sugary foods and animal proteins.   But if you think about it, it’s SCARY that some people’s radar or response to bad food is stunted or damaged.     We NEED our bodies to tell us what’s good and what’s not.   It’s nothing to be jealous of.


On the other hand, a body fed a regularly pure diet of plant foods is more finely tuned.   All body systems are functioning at a higher level and the instruments register more sensitively.   If I were to eat a Krispy Kreme donut or two for breakfast, instead of my daily 100% raw-food breakfast, I’d be ill for hours, and it would zap my energy all day.   I might even have to just go to bed!   I haven’t eaten a donut in many years, just because the consequences aren’t worth it.   Donuts don’t even look good to me.

Sometimes it doesn’t seem fair, what other people are “getting away with.”   It might seem like a drag that the whole police dept. appears to feel fine eating daily coffee and donuts for breakfast, while one donut would put me into a tailspin.   But I believe being sensitive to bad food is a blessing in disguise.   People who feel horrible when eating horribly learn NOT TO!  

How about you? Are you sensitive, or can you eat just anything and feel no different?

Posted in: 12 Steps To Whole Food, Mind/Body Connection, Relationships

15 thoughts on “Being sensitive to bad food–a blessing in disguise?”

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Ugh. I’m the same way, and I don’t mind it all really, except in cases like your daughter’s, when I have to go away on vacation. For example, when we go to my beau’s mother’s home we end up being fed crap, crap, and more crap. Even though, as a vegan, I refuse to eat most of the junk (being as they contain animal products), I invariably end up having to eat to eat some stuff that I otherwise wouldn’t. About two days after this starts, my whole body beings to ACHE. My skin physically starts to hurt whenever it is touched, no matter how light the touch, and it continues for about a week after I get back and am able to resume a normal (well I guess abnormal for most Americans, heh), healthy diet.

    Of course, the beau’s mother has numerous health problems, is extremely obese, has severe arthritis, and fibromyalgia. Incidently, she is always complaining about how much being touched hurts, and how she has a difficult time sitting for massages. And I can’t help but thing to myself: what do you expect when you order a “salad” consisting of iceberg lettuce with double FRIED chicken, double CHEESE, and then dump a at least an entire cup of ranch dressing on top of it?! Things like that are what she eats day in, day out for every meal. When I try to point out that her diet is the culprit, she just refuses to listen, and insists that she is perfectly healthy… Riiiight.

  2. Oh I hear you on this one! Really I consider it a great blessing that my body doesn’t want and often rebels about bad food. (I usually end up feeling bloated, constipated, and very sluggish. I know just what you wanted to hear;) Heck my bodies been mad at me for eating to much cooked food this winter. Healthy, but cooked;) I love it cause I just don’t crave bad food. Like I said it’s a blessing!

  3. I’m sensitive, too. I changed my eating habits because the first problem I notice on me is acne when I eat the wrong stuff. With the improvement in my diet many other positive changes followed that I didn’t know were bothering me (like you worded it, my body compensated).

    The people eating the wrong things ARE NOT getting away with it. From a medical perspective, I see it in my own practice. My nutritionally motivated clientele are much healthier than someone who has never heard the word vegetable.

  4. Anonymous says:

    My daughter is finishing up her last day of camp today. I don’t know the policies of all camps, but my daughter went to camp fully prepared with a box of food and a cooler for fresh foods. Not everything she took was *absolutely* healthy, but it was completely vegan, and for the most part organic.

    She (13) is completely aware of how she feels after eating junk, and she just won’t tolerate forcing herself to eat it. :o)


  5. Anonymous says:

    Amazingly enough, I’m sensitive to bad food now too. But here’s the miracle, about 2 weeks ago I wasn’t. I’d been living my life eating the S.A.D. (gross!) and none of the crappy food bothered me to an extent that I specifically noticed it. Then after doing some reading- this website included- I began making green smoothies every day. The green smoothies filled me up, and oddly enough I found myself craving fresh salads and fruit instead of starchy, sugary foods.

    The other day I went to a picnic with some friends and ended up eating part of a hoagie, not even really thinking about it. I felt TERRIBLE for the rest of the day- stomachache, headache- that’s when I knew for sure that the new lifestyle I’m trying to adopt is by FAR the right lifestyle. I feel like my body had been in a food coma, and the green smoothies have woken it up to what is good, and what isn’t- my body now knows what it needs! how cool!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Isn’t it amazing! My son is now so sensitive that I gave him seedless grapes and he threw them up. His body just will not allow anything that is not whole and real into his body. (He’s only 3 1/2!) If I eat anything that is processed it totally gums me up and I get bloated and my liver will tell me via a headache how much it has had to work. Most of the times it’s just not worth it. Nowadays people just accept we bring our own cooler and food to events and we try to make it a non issue although you can tell they feel guilty.

  7. http:// says:

    Interesting! (Please note, everyone, that we have an M.D. married to an M.D. as one of the respondents to this blog . . . welcome!) Lisa, how ambitious for you to send a cooler to camp, so great. I’ll offer that option to Emma next time! DH and DS are going to Scout camp in a couple of weeks–they’re a tougher sell, so I’ll probably have to write it off and hope that the way my son feels will be a “learning opportunity.” Scout camp food . . . ugh. Can they make ANYTHING in a dutch oven that doesn’t have bacon in it??

    And, since I used Heather Locklear as an example of how sometimes you can’t tell someone’s not eating well . . . I just saw a People Magazine cover about her “breakdown” from anxiety and depression. I wish her healing and wholeness. But, to continue my original point, when I was in my late 20’s, I had a bout of severe anxiety that left me NEVER wanting to go back to that place. Guess what the resolution was. Right, changing my sugar-eating ways and eating whole plant foods that nourish the adrenals. (I believe that much depression and anxiety has its roots in most of us having burned-out adrenal glands, and I believe that diet is an answer for many.)


  8. Anonymous says:


    Is it possible to become sensitive to bad food by going on a green smoothie fast for two weeks? I bought “The Raw Gourmet” by Nomi Shannon and the “Four Season Harvest” by Eliot Coleman. Love Coleman’s idea of getting ducks but what will I do with the eggs if I’m trying to be more vegan?!

  9. http:// says:

    YES, your green smoothie fast will make you more sensitive, definitely. Ask anyone who has done a serious colon cleanse (like Arise & Shine, which I recommend on

    When you end a cleanse, after 2, 3, or 4 weeks, if you aren’t careful to transition slowly even to COOKED foods (let alone processed foods), you will feel SO sick right away. When you spoil (read: nurture) your body with perfect nutrition, it lets you know, LOUDLY, when you try to go back to dumping toxic sludge in it. 😉

    Ducks: sell the eggs as organic? Or give them to the neighbors as gifts, with a ribbon and a note about them being organic–earn yourself some goodwill against the next time you run over their pogo stick or shovel? haha


  10. Anonymous says:

    You guys are not encouraging me! 😉 I’ve heard of this phenomenon from my vegan friend, and it scares me. I figure that I’ll never be able to stay away from S.A.D. food entirely, and I fear ruining a perfectly good vacation (or day) over something like this. I guess I’d feel better the rest of the time, so maybe the tradeoff would be worth it. And with simple planning, maybe I’d be able to avoid any problems. I can think of what I’d do for a vacation, but I get hung up thinking about some other scenarios.

    As it is right now, I don’t really suffer from any specific health problems (such as diabetes, obesity, etc.), but I’ve just got no energy or motivation. Of course this affects all aspects of my life, so it’s just as serious as any other manifestation of disease.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I love this topic. My sister, two of my sons and myself all work at a very nice banquet center as banquet servers. One of the perks I used to enjoy was all the great food we got to eat. (I still have a hard time now and then not tasting something, not to mention all the wedding cake I am confronted with.)

    Anyhow, my 20yro son will not eat their food at all except for maybe some veggies or a little fish now and then. He takes a jug of green drink, he doesn’t like the smoothie part he thinks that is too much sugar so he drinks his straight. He takes about a quart plus a salad and maybe some yogurt to eat. (I am starting to do the same except with the smoothie part) Today the chef commented to my other son “So you eat normal?”

    I find we always get these comments out, it’s really hard at work because there we are in a place which prides itself on the food it serves and we are choosing not to eat it and choosing to eat a way most people think is really weird.

    I ate some thing over the weekend I wish I hadn’t but it is hard to keep up with preparing food at home sometimes the way we work. I got off tonight after working 3 days back to back shifts and came home and blended up green smoothies and green drink because I was craving it. Now off to clean lettuce for salads…

  12. Yeah I have experienced the same thing as well! I remember just being on a sugar fast and how good I felt. Eating junk food makes me feel disgusting if I have been eating a good diet.

    My husband is starting to get used to the green smoothies! He was even defending them the other night to his friend! It made me so happy!

    Oh, and I have tried coconut oil in different ways that didn’t make me cough it up! I think I was just sick and my throat was to sensitive to something.

  13. This is a random question maybe you can answer. On your youtube demo of green smoothies, you say a 32 oz smoothie contains 15 servings of fruit & veggies. If I use a whole 10 oz bag of spinach (3.5 servings) & 4 fruits, I get 32 oz. I usually use chard, kale, etc., but tonight I was out. What am I doing wrong?

  14. http:// says:

    I used the USRDA serving sizes when I measured everything into the Total Blender and came up with 15 servings in a quart. Are you? They say a level cereal bowl of raw spinach is a serving. I would say your 10 oz. bag is more than that (although I have no 10 oz. bag here to say for sure, just the giant beanstalks masquerading as spinach that I’ve been pulling out of my garden). Maybe you saw my e-letter about USRDA serving sizes, but for instance, 10 berries is a serving! (But, you have me wondering and I will try to remember to do another measuring experiment when I make GS tomorrow.)

  15. I went by the label of the spinach which said 3.5 servings. I’ve never measured before as I usually use 4-5 types of greens, but I was out of everything but spinach today, so I thought I’d measure.

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