Friday, September 21, 2007

Exploring vegetarianism - NO PREACHING I SWEAR

Two weeks ago I went out with my girlfriend Kelly to lunch and shopping. She wanted to pick up a book called Skinny Bitch and she said it took sort of a drill sergeant approach to helping the reader lose some weight. For example, the first line in the book says something like, "Hey fat ass, keep eating shit and you're gonna look and feel like shit." I thought it was pretty cool so I picked it up. Well, I guess you truly cannot judge a book by its cover because what started out kinda cool became a long diatribe on going vegan. According to these skinny bitches, the only way is to go vegan.

Well I say fuck that.

However, the book made some valid points especially against artificial sweeteners and what dairy really does to our systems and just how awful the average meat is (and what slaughterhouses are really like).

So I immediately got off the sweet n low, have drank a total of three glasses of diet soda in the past two weeks and stopped buying any juices with artificial sweeteners. I now only use raw sugar in my coffee and iced tea. A very positive change I think. If you ever want an interesting read, look up why Nutrasweet failed approval eight times in front of the FDA and how it finally got to be approved. Someone yell shenanigans!

Dairy is a funny thing. The book pointed out to me that we are the only species that continues to consume dairy after we get off our mother's breasts. My brother Joey always said milk made him feel sick. I don't drink milk - not even when I was a kid. My mom didn't force that on us. Well, It's bad for us and it produces mucus in our systems. I had some nice Thai iced tea last Friday made with about 8 ounces of low fat milk and I tried to see about this mucus thing. Lo and behold I felt nauseous afterwards and felt clogging in my upper chest. I never usually consume that much milk at one time.

MEAT! What an icky word. If you want to go on happily consuming meat a word of caution. DO NOT READ ABOUT SLAUGHTERHOUSES. You won't be able to put meat in your mouth even if you close your eyes. Not only that, these poor animals are fed food covered in pesticides, they are constantly injected with hormones and antibiotics and they stand around in their own shit all day. I'm all about animal rights, but my number one reason for exploring vegetarianism is that I don't want mutant children and I don't want to be very sick one day.

This all got me thinking about the youth of today. Girls becoming women at age nine, obesity, OCD, hyperactivity disorder, youth diabetes. Their moms eat all this shit and then the kids eat all this shit and everything is getting so far away from what nature intended that it's going to be difficult to get back to normal.

I want to have a healthy child. That's the bottom line. And I want me and my family (Mike) to be healthy. Eat fruits and vegetables and grains and keep away from overly processed foods and chemicals. Voila. You're healthy.

So back to the whole vegetarianism thing. (P.S. I just bought the most beautiful half of a cooked rotisserie style chicken. I haven't had that in years!) I went to the store and bought some soy hot dogs (good with lots of ketchup), I researched vegetarian recipes and made delicious steamed dumplings, I talked to some people about different rices, and then I went to my new most favorite place. WHOLE FOODS.

I always thought Whole Foods (organic supermarket) was super expensive and for like indie rocker vegan type kids. I was wrong. A woman I work with recommended I try brown rice (I never had it) and basmati rice. I gazed upon the bulk rice and grain bins looking for my first experiment in rice. Brown Basmati Rice. I could try two kinds at once! I bought a cup to make in my brand new rice cooker/steamer and was on my way.

Brown basmati rice is friggin delicious. I hesitantly raised my chopsticks to my mouth and had a taste and was pleasantly surprised. Mike really liked it too and said we don't have to ever eat white rice again. I was thrilled at this new discovery!

While i was at Whole Foods I also checked out the meat counter. Can raw meat be beautiful? At Whole Foods it can! I looked at it and read the information on where it come from and what diets the animals are on and how they live and realized that was meat I could eat and not feel sick. It won't be often but I was very pleased. Afterall, I cannot expect Mike to stop eating meat because I don't want to. He's been great trying new things (tofu) and hasn't complained once about the lack of meat being served in our home.

Hence the chicken. It's been two weeks now and I only had meat twice. Mike had it a lot more than me but not too much at home. I am making veggie burgers tomorrow out of mainly lentils and pearled barley so I thought I'd offer up a compromise. Tonight I'll serve that nice all natural rotisserie chicken with a nice broccoli Asian slaw I also picked up at the prepared foods section and some nice ciabatta rolls.

Tomorrow, Mike eats his first veggie burger.


Perceptiveone said...

Interesting that you write about this, as it looks like you're going in the direction we are. I've been meaning to write my own, similar entry. I read "" avidly and I've learned all about the, well, crap in our food supply. HOWEVER, on that note, it is important to not over-do soy either. It is actually not very good for you--soy has estrogen-like compounds in it that function like, well, estrogen in our bodies and causes harm. Certain soy products are OK but even then, it is important to eat it in moderation.

We are not vegetarians, but we do eat much more produce and we are careful about the meats and seafoods we buy and how we prepare them--e.g. using non-stick pans too frequently is apparently dangerous as well, so we also use them in moderation and are purchasing a cast iron set for the new place.

I'm glad you're doing so well though, and hopefully I'll get to see you soon before the move!

Doug Walsh said...

I'd shop at Whole Foods... if I could afford it. That place is soooo expensive.

Even with all the endurance training I do, I never bother to really worry about what I eat. Then again, I don't know many people who make a point of eating your typical meat, veg, starch dinner every night either. Balance. There's the key.

Bought my first 2-liter bottle of Coke in a couple years the other day. That was a nice treat. Wouldn't want it every day though. I imagine it wouldn't be like a treat then.