Wednesday, January 27, 2010


So, most of you know I am on Atkins.  But, after watching Oprah today I am considering going Vegan, the exact OPPOSITE of Atkins.  For a little while now Joe and I have been really thinking about what we eat, where it comes from, shopping the perimeter of the grocery store, eating real food, etc.  But after today I am now considering taking it to an extreme.  And it isn’t to lose weight, it is to save my life!  A thought provoking question was asked on the show, “would you rather spend more on food in your lifetime, or healthcare?”  50 years ago, 18% of houeshold income was spent on food, and 7% was spent on healthcare, those numbers have since switched.  That is kind of eye opening.  When you add up the way food is raised, processed food in general, and fast food, it is no wonder Americans have the highest rates of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity in the world.  We don’t eat food anymore, we eat food flavored products that are “enriched” with nutrients rather than simply containing the nutrients naturally.  When farmers put the bottom line ahead of healthy, environmentally and animal friendly practices, you have a recipe for bad things to come later.  Animals are fed foods they aren’t used to, which means they get sick easier, which means they need to be fed antibiotics, which means WE are eating those antibiotics, PLUS eating meat that doesn’t taste as great as it could, was the animal allowed to feed and live as it normally would.  Now I know that our society is one of fast, convenient, and cheap, which is why the practices that are in place now were started in the first place, but I think we need to have a total food revolution.  Let’s stop feeding ourselves, and our children, food that isn’t food, food that doesn’t nourish but inevitably will harm them, and start eating real, good, healthy food.  It isn’t that hard, and the extra cost is worth it, if you ask me.  You know those HUGE chicken breasts we all love to  buy?  Well, those aren’t natural.  Chickens aren’t mostly white meat, like we think, they are more evenly balanced between white and dark, and are usually much smaller than we are used to.  Chickens raised on chicken farms are so grossly overweight and fed growth hormones to expedite their growth that their organs can’t support their bodies.  They can’t walk, can barely stand up!  Does that sound like the kind of meat you want to eat?  Or would you rather eat a chicken that was allowed to grow at its natural rate, eat what it usually eats, and then be healthy when it is finally sent to be processed?  Now, some would say, why process?  Let the chicken live out its life, and that is a fine way to think.  That is what vegans think and that is why they don’t eat at of any kind of meat, no matter how it is raised.  It is all about choices in the end.  How do you want to take care of yourself and your loved ones?  It doesn’t mean going vegan, it doesn’t even mean never eating fast food.  Perhaps it just means cooking at home more often, buying fresh food rather than processed or frozen foods.  Readjusting your lives to accomadate your new choices.  It isn’t easy.  No matter what your choices.  Believe me, I would MUCH rather feed my kids frozen chicken nuggets and gogurt more often than not simply because it is easier than making them something wholesome and from scratch.  But what am I really doing in the end?  I am potentially setting them up for a life of horrible health problems and poor eating habits.  That is not what I want to do.  Now, I actually think my kids eat pretty well.  They like fruits and veggies, they drink milk, they get a lot of exercise, but another question was asked on the show.  Would your great-grandmother recognize the food you are eating?  Well, not a lot of it, no.  If I handed my great-grandmother, or grandmother for that matter, a Gogurt, they would have no idea what it was.  Toothepaste, glue?  How do you get it in your body?  I mean, how true is this of so much of what we eat? 

So, in an effort to retrain myself and my family, I am going to try really hard to eat more actual food.  Foods that sound like aliens.  Things like Bok Choy, collard greens, etc.  God is no dummy and He created more things to eat than we could ever imagine, things that will nourish us, satisfy us, and help us live and grow as He designed us to.  But instead we, and I mostly mean us Americans on the Western diet, have bastardized our diets, choosing instead to eat chemicals and additives simply because it is easier.  But is it really?  Is suffering through a heart transplant really easier than eating more veggies and fewer Big Macs?  It sounds ominous to us, to cook food each day, to eat fresh food that has to be prepared, but in the end you will benefit far more than you ever imagined.  I encourage all of you to open your fridge, and I will do the same, and take out anything that isn’t actual food and set it on your counter, and then take a look at what is left.  I fear that the counter items will far outnumber those left in the fridge, when it should be the other way around.  If you happen to have a fridge full of good, fresh food, GOOD FOR YOU!!!  Keep it up and share your knowledge with a friend or loved one.  I am going to post pics of my “counter experiment” soon.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

So long sunshine…

..hello rain boots and umbrellas!  This has been a crazy week here in San Diego.  I vaguely remember the last el nino season, 10 years ago I believe, but this seems worse for some reason.  I suppose because now, instead of just dealing with getting myself to and from class in one piece I now have to figure out how to dress three children for torrential rain, equip them with umbrellas and boots and rain jackets, drop off and pick them up from school, AND somehow go grocery shopping all without ending up drenched.  It is all trial and error. 

Needless to say, we have been inside for the last week and that has taken its toll.  The kids have been locked in classrooms at school with movies instead of recess, then they are locked in the house when they get home with no outlet for their energy, except for taking out their aggressions on each other.  But we have managed.  I have taken it upon myself to learn knitting and seeing as how we have been housebound for a week have actually finished a couple projects.  It’s not easy, and had it not been for the rain I would have given up and gone on a bike ride or something, but it was almost as if someone was willing me to stay home and stick it out and not give up.  So I did.  Here is what I have to show for my efforts so far.  Some cute neck warmers that are sure to come in handy when the next round of storms hits, which they will, or when my family and I head up to the snow, which we will.  DSC01600DSC01604I am going to attempt a hat next, one that matches.  We shall see.  I am not sure my nerves can handle another bout of fighting with yarn and needles.  But again, I am determined. 

Onto what I have planned for 2010.  I want to lose 10 pounds, potty train my youngest child, run or walk in some sort of race, and get my house organized.  If all I accomplish is the potty training I will be happy.  That will mean an end to 7.5 years of diapers without a break.  Do you know how much money that will save me in a year?  Alot.  I think, in an attempt to keep myself honest, I will document some of these things, so you can actually see my progress, or lack thereof as it may be.  The getting organized is going to be rough.  I LOVE junk drawers and bins and baskets and virtually any kind of storage device.  I love to fill them, with no rhyme or reason.  It is going to take some work, and some tears I am sure, to put my many recepticals to good and proper use.  I think that by taking pictures and letting the world see MY world I will be more motivated to make the changes I need to make.  Primarily, not putting make-up and matchbox cars in the same place anymore.  Ok, off to document my mess.