Friday, January 15, 2010

no more dollar menu

i don't eat well. i mean, really, it's gross. i eat like a frat boy who believes those asenine commercials for processed ravioli that purport to have a FULL SERVING OF VEGETABLES in the can. as though the chemicals slow dancing all over those memories of natural food really only want to talk in their hotel room at three in the morning.
i have a tightrope of a relationship with food. specifically with food that lays in bed with fat and sugar and salt.
growing up, i was able to hide this problem. because i was thin. for some reason, my metabolism was cool with me eating an entire bag of potato chips dipped in sour cream (yum) or inhaling about 3/4 of a gallon of ice cream, leaving the bottom couple of inches in the bucket so that it wouldn't be so noticeable that i ate the whole fucking thing. i would eat two chili dogs after school, covered in an entire can of chili and almost a half a block of cheddar cheese, all before dinner. my fresh vegetables consisted of iceberg lettuce and chopped tomato on my tacos.
i watch these shows on obesity and how to gain control of your life and how food is an addiction and i think oh my god i get it. i really get it.

about three months before i started dating bryan, i watched earthlings. i decided to stop eating meat after that. it just made sense for me. for the first couple of months, i lived cheese and pasta and pastries. then, all of a sudden, something in me changed. i still ate fish and i started craving things like grilled salmon on mixed greens with avocado and a shit ton of raw vegetables. snacks started to look like stuff that actually grows in nature. i started drinking yerba mate instead of lattes (and i was working full-time in a coffeehouse) and i became this woman i never knew i could be. i had energy, i started losing all that extra weight and my skin looked amazing.
then i got pregnant and meat was the only thing that made me not want to throw up.
okay, i still wanted to throw up but at least it helped a bit.
all bets were off.
for the past two years, i have eaten like my 15 year old self. i subsist on fast food much of the time. because, it's fast, it's cheap.
it's ridiculous.

bryan and i watched food, inc the other day.
we sat on the couch while the baby slept and realized that we are exactly the people we do not want to be.
there is something that happens when you look in the mirror and see all the negative parts of yourself dancing naked in the street, whistling and slapping all the young ladies on the ass. for a long time, i stopped looking.

i'm back to no meat. not because of the movie. i actually decided it the night before and bryan suggested we watch the movie. we went grocery shopping that night and started actually looking at the labels.
it's not going to be easy..this eating of whole and clean food.
and, contrary to what i like to tell myself, i like the easy way out. i'm a fan of sidling up to the bar and ordering a pint of complacency. but after two years of doing it, i'm realizing i am becoming everything i don't want to be. and my daughter watches me, eyes recording everything, learning habits.
now, bryan is not vegetarian. not by a long shot. but he's so mindful now. where the meat comes from, how it was raised.
it's a new phase for us, this life together with eyes wide open.
realizing that the food we choose to eat means oh so much more than we have chosen to believe.

also, please go read this post by the beautiful maggie may.
it opens up a whole other bag of earwax, pushed way back by cotton.


  1. I have also become concious of the many things I eat, but mostly I despise fast and dangerous foods.
    Tho I like many meats, red meat is on the bottom of the list as far as consumption.
    I sadly am very aware of what we have done to our entire planet and there are very few things "safe" any more (that means do not believe the organic label).
    On the other hand, I will grow my own vegies and live off them as much as possible. I think most of that has helped my current recovery to health after a major operation.
    Keep at it! I encourage you as much as possible!

  2. The thing is Krista that I have a sordid love affair with chocolate and coffee. I could give up any food as long as I have those two in abundance.
    And you are so right. When I was pregnant with my daughter I was a glutton. Not because I craved what I placed in my mouth, but because I told myself I deserved it. I was eating for two.
    I'm back on track now. Not easy getting here.

  3. i TOTALLY get what you mean about how it sucks to look and so you stop looking. i do that with everything for periods of time. it gets exhausting.

    and chocolate, real chocolate- especially dark- and coffee, are not bad for you! coffee is good for you in moderation. it's very high in antioxidants and has been shown to help prevent diabetes and colon cancer.

  4. i've been a vegetarian for almost 13 years. granted, i eat more dairy than i should (ooooh, cheese! glorious cheese!), and i adorewithallmyheart the miracle that is sugar. but my conscience is clear, that's for sure. meat and i will never, ever be in a relationship again.

    yes, returning to the world of meat-free eating will be a challenge, but stick with it!! it'll become second nature, and you'll wonder why you ever thought you couldn't do it in the first place. and if you need recipes or meal ideas, give me a shout.

    sending you meat-free hugs from pittsburgh...

  5. I am vegan for the most part. I was going to comment "Have you watched Food, Inc." and laughed when I got to the part where you just did. I think the Carnivors Dilemna hit me hard as well, and The China Study. Aside from the literature, I just feel better. Can't get away with much else at almost 50 years of age. Even carrots seem to sit on my ass.

  6. I have been a vegetarian on and off my whole life. When I got pregnant, I started eating meat because I knew I wasn't getting the right nutrients without it and my nauseated self was not about to try to eat lima beans and tofu. I guess that makes me a lazy, noncommittal vegetarian. But my heart's in the right place. When I gave birth, I went back to no meat. I would love to one day be a vegan, I'm just not there yet.

  7. Last year I did such a good job of being more careful about checking that my meat came from a reliable source. Since I moved back to Sweden it's been harder. There are no stores like Whole Foods here. The supermarket doesn't really guarantee that the meat comes from an approved farm. You need to find a farmer to buy directly from and I live in a city with no car. But I'm going to start researching to find a good butcher who buys directly from approved farms. My conscious is very cloudy at the moment...

  8. I gave up meat and fowl in the early 1980's and never looked back. I did go back to fish, which I feel bad about, but I did so one winter when I was sick a lot and craved it. Maybe someday, I will give it up again, but I'm recovering from two recent surgeries, and the bottom-line is that I choose my welfare over the welfare of fish.

    Now, I've given up eggs. For awhile, I bought cage-free, but then saw youtube videos indicating that it was a bit of a scam. My wife still eats eggs, but I do most of the cooking, and I won't cook with them, so this means she doesn't eat as many as she used to. If she wants an egg for breakfast, I will fry it for her, but I won't use eggs in a recipe that we're both going to eat. Here's one of the videos that led me to give up eggs. My wife won't even watch it because she doesn't want to know. I won't pressure her, but I won't cook with eggs either.

  9. I feel like there's got to be a balance somewhere...and don't get me wrong, I'm firmly on Team Krista for eating healthy and being conscious about where our food comes from.

    But I gotta say - if I don't eat meat, I get sick. My energy drains, I get horrible cramps - I need the iron, and I could pounds and pounds of spinach and lentils and not get as much iron as a steak. It's not fair, because I want to support the ethical treatment of animals too.

    So here's my catch-22 - I don't know how healthy it is or isn't to just simply stop eating meat or dairy or eggs. Instead of refusing to eat them, why can't I go to the farmers and growers and ask them to raise their animals more ethically? And then as a voter, support laws being passed to enforce this? And then I can eat what I need to feel good and not feel guilty?

  10. yep, tracy, that's the balance we're going for in our house.
    not eating actual meat or poultry works for me.
    but not bryan.
    i definitely feel better when i don't eat meat.
    my struggle is with eating whole foods and staying away from processed stuff.
    such a struggle for me.

  11. When my sister in law was pregnant (she's 5'4" and her non-pregnancy weight hovers around 108 lbs) her breasts got uncomfortably large right away. It was too much for her tiny frame. Her doctor suggested she give soy mild a try. Her bra size actually decreased within about two weeks!! How's that for illustrating what the hormones in our food can do??

    I'm with you on the whole processed food thing, by the way. On a rainy day like today I want to open a can of Healthy Choice soup. But the reality is, it's not a healthy choice. And I should not be so lazy. Ugh.

  12. I eat well, but not well enough. It is a challenge to eat healthy, but it's one I decided to take more seriously too since I've had my boys. All the chopping, dicing, and cooking kind of drives me crazy, but you're right - we are setting a life long example for our little ones, so it's worth it. Good Luck, Krista!

  13. i know just what you mean. we fall asleep and wake back up in so many ways, over and over. i struggle with food. i love your description about what happened when you started to eat differently. it's magical isn't it? if we just work a little and let it happen. good luck to you.

  14. Every few weeks I try to go whole food and organic, stocking up my fridge and cupboards with the good stuff. But then it ends up sitting there as exhaustion has me ringing up for takeout. I really want to make a whole lifestyle change but I just can't seem to make it happen. Let me know how you do; maybe I'll get inspired to start again!


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