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Been a while...

Hmmm so it seems like forever since I have updated. I've been busy. Not physically busy but sort of mentally.

Coming to Seattle 3 years ago was a kind of mind opening experience. There are so many different people here and so many activists as well, for every little thing you can think of. I started learning little things about this and that and I think the most significant one has been about health/food. Race is a close second, but I had always known racism existed just had not heard anyone explain it and its processes so well before. Anyway, back to health and food...

Last November I started seeing a Naturopath as my primary doctor. I had been sick on and off about every month since I moved to Seattle. My doctor bills racked up and  you always found my medicine cabinet stocked full of an assortment of cold/flu meds, including cough syrups, decongestants, cough drops, etc. My naturopath helped me so much that since last November I have been sick 3 times, only one of which was actually a full blown cold. She helped me start paying attention to my body and not just the symptoms, as well as treating my body as a whole and not just the congestion or the cough or the sniffles. My medicine cabinet has since been cleaned out and I haven't needed any cold meds for a while. It feels good to be healthy. Along with this new different way to look at my health came a lot of thought about what I eat and how I eat it. I moved from eating out a lot in Arizona to mostly cooking all my meals here in Seattle. However, I guess this isn't all there is to eating healthy.

A coworker of mine is taking a certification class, I think she wants to become like a nutrition consultant. She started reading her class material and sharing some of it. After she finished her first book she lent it to me, its called The Omnivore's Dilemma. Taken straight from the description on amazon:

"Most of us are at a great distance from our food. I don't mean that we live "twelve miles from a lemon," as English wit Sydney Smith said about a home in Yorkshire. I mean that our food bears little resemblance to its natural substance. Hamburger never mooed; spaghetti grows on the pasta tree; baby carrots come from a pink and blue nursery. Still, we worry about our meals -- from calories to carbs, from heart-healthy to brain food. And we prefer our food to be "natural," as long as natural doesn't involve real.

In The Omnivore's Dilemma, Michael Pollan writes about how our food is grown -- what it is, in fact, that we are eating. The book is really three in one: The first section discusses industrial farming; the second, organic food, both as big business and on a relatively small farm; and the third, what it is like to hunt and gather food for oneself. And each section culminates in a meal -- a cheeseburger and fries from McDonald's; roast chicken, vegetables and a salad from Whole Foods; and grilled chicken, corn and a chocolate soufflé (made with fresh eggs) from a sustainable farm; and, finally, mushrooms and pork, foraged from the wild.

We needn't learn how to shoot our own pigs, as Pollan does; there's hope in other ways -- farmers' markets, the Slow Food movement, restaurants supplied by local farms. To Pollan, the omnivore's dilemma is twofold: what we choose to eat ("What should we have for dinner?" he asks in the opening sentence of his book) and how we let that food be produced. His book is an eater's manifesto, and he touches on a vast array of subjects, from food fads and taboos to our avoidance of not only our food's animality, but also our own. Along the way, he is alert to his own emotions and thoughts, to see how they affect what he does and what he eats, to learn more and to explain what he knows. His approach is steeped in honesty and self-awareness. His cause is just, his thinking is clear, and his writing is compelling."

Right now I am still on the second part regarding organic foods, but I have loved every bit of the book. It has also made me realize I need to change the way I eat. No, I know that eating grass fed beef won't in fact save the poor steer that is stuck in a stall barely big enough to move in, eating corn, chicken discards and leftover animal parts, and standing in its own shit, but I am at least making a choice of what I am really eating instead of just doing without thinking about it. This whole thing has been sort of just sitting in my head being chewed over and over and over again for a long time now. I am barely starting to make some changes.

I still don't know most of what I am doing, but a lot more thought (along with stress and money unfortunately) is going into what I eat. I am sure as I get more comfortable with everything the stress will diminish, and the I will get better about saving money, but for now I am just taking baby steps.

So far I have...

1. Gone shopping at PCC to experiment with their foods and prices
2. Tried coconut oil and added 2-3 tbsp a day to my diet
3. I don't really cook with vegetable oil (mostly olive oil) but I am avoiding it now.
4. Stocked up on more fruits and veggies (and trying to keep it going)
5. Tried quinoa (pretty yummy in a chicken stir fry)
6. Bought Nourishing Traditions cookbook.
7. Found the website Food Renegade and did some more reading
8. Found the website Kitchen Stewardship and did MORE reading (She is very Catholic, not my cup of tea, but lots of interesting stuff on there)
9. Bought 85lbs of grass fed beef direct from the farm. Turned out at about $2.64/lb for a variety of cuts. Much better than PCC!
10. Learned how to make ghee and actually made a batch today (can't wait to try it).


11. Eat breakfast every day (probably oatmeal, smoothies or har boiled eggs)
12. Order coconut oil in bulk (cheaper and I am going through it so fast!!)
13. Pack a lunch at least 3 times a week.

I will check in next week and see how I am doing.



( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Apr. 13th, 2011 04:06 pm (UTC)
I miss you! How's life? ;)
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )