Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Warning: Soap Box Ahead / Meat lovers beware

I have a radical new (radical to me anyway) way of eating and I feel awesome. My taste buds have changed, just like this way of eating (I refuse to call it a diet) promises. Water tastes really good. Fruit tastes amazing. Cravings are down. I'm not hungry -in fact, I'm completely satisfied. I think this is the healthiest, most sensible that I have ever eaten.

Here's what I have cut out:
Milk (gasps from the audience)
Meat (more gasps, a few snickers)
Sodas (I can't believe this one)
Coffee (Really shocked at this one, too)
Most processed foods

Already this week I have had more oranges than I have had in probably the last 8 months. I've had bananas, pineapple, and strawberries. I've had squash, tomatoes, celery, zucchini, onions, red, yellow, and orange peppers, carrots, water chestnuts, sweet potatoes, spinach, chard (a leafy green vegetable that I cooked like turnip greens, wasn't bad at all), broccoli, black beans, and brown rice. I've had peanuts, pistachios, whole grain cereal, chai tea, and soy milk. And that's just this week.

There are so many wonderful and healthy foods out there. But we don't want them because our taste buds are all screwed up from the processed crap that we eat. We are so used to foods filled with high fructose corn syrup that natural foods just don't taste right. We don't really think about what we eat. We get our nutrition advice from TV- we drink milk because the commercials say it does a body good, -and the dairy manufacturers paid for the ads. We eat lean mean like chicken because it's supposed to be good for us -and the poultry people paid for those ads. We use Splenda and Equal and Sweet-n-Low and other fake sweeteners, even though there is scary, scary research out there about each and every one of them -like it took aspartame something like 8 times to get passed by the FDA. But wait, don't be fooled into thinking those things are so bad that you'll just have good old natural sugar. Good old natural sugar isn't good - or natural. It's been uber-processed, refined, stripped of any good qualities it once had, and then bleached because apparently they think people wouldn't buy sugar if it weren't white.

We don't really think about what we put in our mouths. We eat meat because it's there. Because we have always eaten it. And I know, I have an advantage here. While some of you really and truly love meat - I can tell from the visceral reactions I have got from people when I tell them I am trying to give it up - I really could take it or leave it. I do enjoy a good grilled hot dog. I love BBQ. Occasionally I crave pork chops. I like bacon. (Noticing a pattern here? I'm a real pork lover, eh) I used to say that I loved chicken, but the truth is it's the most tasteless meat out there, and what I love is what's on the chicken -like honey mustard, or BBQ sauce, or cheese, or spinach, etc. So it's been relatively easy for me to give it up. I'm not saying I will never have meat again, believe me. I had some this past weekend. But I'm definitely trying to avoid it for the most part.

Why? Because you do not know what you are eating if you eat meat. If you eat meat you are eating growth hormones and antibiotics. Every time. It's not the old days anymore, and your chicken did not come from Farmer Joe. It did not eat corn in a grassy field before being carried to market in a little red pickup truck. In all likelihood it sat in a cage barely big enough for it to fit in and was fed antibiotics to stave off the infections caused by its nasty living conditions, and hormones to make it bigger so someone could make a buck. Little girls are entering puberty at a much, much younger age now than ever. The culprit? Hormones in the meat they eat.

I'm sure many of you will think I have gone off my rocker. That's OK, that's nothing new. And while I suppose that everything above that I have read might not be true, it sure makes sense to me. Besides, I'm quite the animal lover. As Sandy says, I'm a hormone away from PETA. So when I think about what I am really eating - a COW, not a burger, or a CHICKEN, not a chicken tender, a PIG, not a pork chop, it's even easier for me to say no thanks. Especially when I think about how many animals I eat in the course of one year. Ew.

So, that's that. If you are interested in reading what I read (actually I listened to it on CD) to come to all these conclusions, it's a book called Skinny Bitch. As you might could tell from the title, the author has a little potty mouth -admittedly for grabbing attention, but a potty mouth nonetheless. So if you can look past that part there is some really, really interesting information in there.


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