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Eating “Right”

food police

Recently, I wrote a post titled Humor: How You Know You Have Gastroparesis. Any time I write about my health problems, someone will either leave a comment or send me an email about what I need to do “fix” what ails me. I have repeatedly asked people not to do this, but much like Evangelical zealots they are determined to evangelize for the gospel of “eating natural,” homeopathy, keto, vegetarianism, veganism, supplements, or countless other “diets.” I’ve even written posts about not offering me unsolicited medical advice:

Bruce, Have You Tried . . .?

Please Do Not Offer or Send Me Unsolicited Medical Advice

Have You Tried (blank)?

The Similarities Between Food Fundamentalists and IFB Zealots

Leave it to Fake Dr. David Tee to ignore all that I have written on this subject and offer me “advice” anyway:

I am just curious. You do know that antibiotics wipes out both good and bacteria in your digestive system. Have you thought of going to the following foods and spices to help restore some balance- pepper (good for inflammation), cinnamon (not a lot), Greek style yogurt, pure honey, relish, dark chocolate and similar foods. These items work on restoring the good bacteria your stomach needs as well as help with bloating and inflammation.

If you have don’t bite my head off and if you haven’\t talk to your doctor about more natural remedies


There are several assumptions that people make about my health problems.

First, I am to blame for my health problems. While lifestyle and environmental factors certainly play a part in diabetes and high blood pressure, how am I in any way to blame for gastroparesis, fibromyalgia, and osteoarthritis? How am I to blame for the herniated discs in my upper back and neck? How am I to blame for the plethora of problems I have with my spine? Or the Morton neuromas in my feet? What could I have done differently that would have resulted in a better outcome?

For the record, my diabetes and high blood pressure are managed with diet and medication. Last A1c? 5.4. And my cholesterol? Normal, across the board.

Second, because I am overweight, I must have a “bad” diet or eat the wrong things.

Third, my reliance on evidence-based, science-based medicine keeps me sick.

If I would just eat better and eschew Western medicine, my health would improve overnight; my stomach would magically “cure” itself; the arthritis and degenerative disease in my spine, feet, and hands would magically disappear; my fibromyalgia would magically recede into the background of my life, never to be heard from again.

If only life were that simple, right?

Fake Dr. Tee assumes that there’s something wrong with my diet; that if I would eat the right things I would be magically cured. He provides no empirical evidence for his claims, no double-blind studies that show the efficacy of his magical foods. Just personal opinion.

Here’s the thing, my diet is just fine. In fact, it’s more than just fine.

Currently, on our kitchen counter and in the refrigerator you will find:

Veggies: carrots, asparagus, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, lettuce, beets, red potatoes, yellow potatoes, russet potatoes, sweet onions, red onions, green onions, green peppers, mushrooms, celery

Fruit: apples, bananas, lemons, oranges, tomatoes

Damn, Bruce, you and Polly must like eating veggies and fruit. Yep, and we have eaten this way since the late 1990s — twenty-two years. So much for “food” being the problem.

I even take a few supplements, even though science clearly shows that taking supplements is largely a colossal waste of time and money. The only time we need to take supplements is when we have deficiencies.

I take:

  • Potassium for low potassium levels, likley due to the blood pressure medicines I take.
  • B12 for low B12 levels; the cause is unknown. I have had low B12 levels for 20+ years
  • Iron for anemia, caused by gastroparesis. This remains an ongoing concern as the supplements have not appreciably raised my red blood cell counts.
  • Vitamin C, taken to help with the absorption of Iron

Fake Dr. Tee also mentions spices. I will let the following photos from Polly’s kitchen tell you everything you need to know:

pollys spices (1)
pollys spices (2)
pollys spices (3)

Time for dinner! Tonight, I am eating Oreos, mint chocolate chip ice cream, and a Snickers, washed down with A&W Root Beer and a double shot of Jameson. I’ll sprinkle some cayenne pepper on the ice cream so the food police will be happy. 🙂


Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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  1. Avatar

    I hear ya loud and clear. Some people never comprehend what the word “incurable” means. Losing your health is scary. People grab whatever cure they can to feel the illusion of control. Fine for them, but they then need to push it on seriously ill and disabled people because, if we cannot be cured, then what hope is it for themselves? Like Evangelicals who cannot face life without a god, people who push food cures cannot face the prospect of illness, disability, and old age. Better to believe in magical cures that face reality. I’m facing another shock from a recent exam. I’ve found it’s better to face up to it (being more disabled than I thought) than to waste time on cures. I’m actually relieved that I can stop trying to fix the unfixable.
    You do what’s best for you, Bruce. Quality of life is what matters now.

  2. Avatar
    Bruce Gerencser

    And of course Fake Dr. David Tee responds:

    God Was Here First

    “Even in medicine. We are placing an article here that we wrote for our sister site today as it has a lot of important information for those who suffer from different diseases.

    You will have to go to our sister site for the links to the different resources we used as their URLs did not make the transfer. What got us started on researching this topic was the fact that we offered some helpful words to BG and he decided to respond in a very negative way.”

    I wonder if Tee ever bothers to walk in the shoes of others? I wonder how he might respond if people repeatedly ignored his request to not offer him medical advice?

    Tee shows no regard for personal feelings or boundaries. Much like other Evangelical preachers, Tee thinks he can say whatever he wants. And he can. But, he shouldn’t be surprised when people call him an asshole. Tee KNEW that I don’t appreciate unsolicited medical advice, yet he offered it anyway. He’s no different than a man who continues to hit on a woman even after she asked him to stop. Such people have no regard for the feelings of others.

    • Avatar
      Ben Berwick

      Everything I’ve learned about him suggests he lacks the two most important traits a Christian should have – empathy and kindness. He also doesn’t appear to understand that rules apply to him as much as anyone else. Hence his on-going harassment of you.

  3. Avatar

    Well, some people can’t accept that some bad things happen for no reason. Maybe in the future, most of these diseases would be well treated and curable. Back when HIV/AIDS was a horror, we didn’t know that it would become a manageable condition. Diabetes used to be a death sentence.

    I do think science and medicine too often treat our bodies like machines. I like the body treated as a whole. But alternative practitioners rely on things that really don’t do enough. I took a fling in that direction over 20 years ago. But it took medical doctors to help me. I do also add things to my diet and supplement with things that help me to function. But vitamins and supplements aren’t going to cure someone of major health issues.

    • Avatar

      My relative qualified as a doctor last year after 6yrs of intensive training. I can’t understand the titles of some of the medical textbooks on her shelves and if I open one, am in awe of the amount of knowledge she had to learn to pass her final exams. She’d have loved it if she could diagnose and treat illness with a 5 minute search on Google and recommend chocolate and honey for every known malady. The UK, has the wonderful NHS. Our country – and other enlightened countries in the world who practise free healthcare for all – would love it if a few spices, carrot juice and a foot massage cured all ills. The millions spent on providing that healthcare could be used instead to give our nations a quality of life second to none.

  4. Avatar
    Karen the rock whisperer

    Unless someone has lived a very unusual life, statistically speaking, we have all eaten non-optimally at some point. Some of us have done it a lot. Most of us ultimately learn that it isn’t a good idea to have a wildly non-optimal diet.

    I see part of the diet-as-magical-cure idea coming from fear of stuff we can’t control. When we’re in our third, fourth, maybe even fifth decades, and we have access to decent medical care, the doc says to tweak this about our diet, or ramp up our exercise, or sends us to physical therapy because our back or leg or what-have-you muscles are in need of more loving care than we’ve been giving them, and whatever it is gets fixed. Or maybe we have minor surgery like a carpal tunnel release or if we’re women, stuff goes awry with our reproductive system and we endure a hysterectomy. But with some work on our part and non-heroic medical intervention, it gets fixed!

    But then, for some of us, stuff starts to happen we can’t control. Cancer. The terrible illnesses Bruce experiences. Our immune systems turn on us in various ways, producing things like rheumatoid arthritis or Crohn’s disease. And sometimes medical intervention helps. Sometimes it can put us through months or years of suffering (like treatment for difficult cancers) and still doesn’t work. And sometimes there isn’t a whole lot medicine can do. it’s all out of our control.

    It’s terrifying to have our bodies do these things. And so we look to things we can control. We can fiddle with our diet, We can pray to a god, and comfort ourselves that they’ll hear us. We can drown or drug our sorrows into oblivion, and damage our bodies further. The absolute hardest thing is to accept, simply accept, that some things can’t be controlled, and our best bet is to deal with the very non-optimal reality of our lives today, as they are. I have to re-learn that at least a dozen times a day.

  5. Avatar

    He didn’t “offer” advice, he gave it…deliberately choosing to ignore your boundaries. Bit like a landlady I had who thinks she knows me better than myself, and my health better than my medical team. She’s also a conservative Christian who thinks she’s so incredibly healthy, boundaried… believes she isn’t pushy… when holy fuck lol.

  6. Avatar

    Bruce, I am coming over to eat at your house!

    I admit, about 10 years ago I went thru the “if everyone just ate the right way they could cure or prevent most ailments”. That’s definitely BS, but it took me awhile to see it. There was a combo of seeing that some of the nutrition info I was following had links to Alex Jones type conspiracy theories, debunked “studies”, and many of the paleo people I followed walked back their stances after a few years or jumped to the keto bandwagon. Plus, it wasn’t all working for me personally very well after awhile. Human bodies are complex with a lot of different systems, and a lot of things can and do go wrong no matter what we do. As others have already stated, we as humans will try to control things we can’t control, and even intelligent people can get caught up in woo.

  7. Avatar
    MJ Lisbeth

    When are you and Polly inviting me over for dinner?

    Seriously, I hear you about unsolicited advice. I was recently diagnosed with something that shouldn’t change my life in the immediate future, but nonetheless needs to be monitored. My doctor assured me that it has nothing to do with my diet or lifestyle (or even what some people call my “lifestyle,” i.e., being the person I am) and that it is a matter of age and genetic predisposition.

    That is why I don’t discuss my health with anyone besides family and close friends unless there’s, say, an issue that could preclude me, whether temporarily or permanently, from some activity I share with those people. The less expertise people have, the more advice they offer!

  8. Avatar

    Life is a bugger to negotiate! I was what I thought was healthy then, age 66, I started having stomach problems that turned out to be bowel cancer. I was incredibly lucky. First off, I live in the UK so my treatment was entirely free, though I did have to pay car parking at the hospital! Secondly from diagnosis to operation was about four weeks. Third, a small length of colon was removed and that was it, there was no spread. I was persuaded to do a course of chemotherapy (tablets only), which had little in the way of side effects, though my immune system was suppressed and I caught several colds. I’ve vowed to myself to avoid taking medication for as long as I am able.

    The point is that your body can trip you however healthy you think you are. There are some things that will almost certainly interfere with your health at a personal level: extreme poor diet, smoking, lack of exercise, excess alcohol, and drug use. Otherwise we’re talking statistics at a population level. Things like taking aspirin to reduce your risk of heart attack, eating more greens, taking vitamin supplements. They’re of maybe some benefit at the individual level, but more they benefit on a statistical basis over countless thousands of people.

    What does harm people are the things we can’t control, and that becomes more apparent as we age. I’m 70 next year, but still try and pretend I can run like I did when I was 40. My body disagrees and I’m starting to accept the fact. Muscles ache, recovery from injury takes longer but, ultimately, I’m grateful still to be here. Bruce, you have plenty of health issues that you are unlucky to have been burdened with, but you’re still here, and not just here but entertaining us with your writing. That’s what helps get you through. I think.

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Bruce Gerencser