But now as I again read about how to eat and where our food really comes from, I think it's only right to talk about that here. The spa is your place of health and well-being first and foremost, and the fastest way to optimal health lies in what we put INTO our bodies, as well as how we treat the exterior. I've always been interested in health, good eating, and choosing the best that I can when I shop (given what I know at the time).
Join my new food adventures blog: http://mainlygreens.blogspot.com/
This most recent journey began when I was bored with food and needed some inspiration. I picked up Alicia Silverstone's book, "The Kind Diet" from the library and fell in love with it. She is a vegan - a person who doesn't eat anything animal ... including honey. She actually lives a vegan lifestyle and won't buy leather goods, and does her best to live consciously. I didn't know if I could be vegan or not, since I LOVE my cheese and ice cream, but I needed a new adventure and some new ideas. So, as of this post, I am giving it a try.
Being "nearly vegetarian" already, this wasn't too tough. I needed a milk replacement for my morning coffee and found Silk Almond Milk to work just fine (the unsweetened version). I had already been down that road looking for the healthiest milk since I knew what they did to the average milk (added hormones, antibiotics, etc.). I first chose organic low fat milk and thought I was doing a good thing. Then I read that cows need to be fed grass, not grain, so I searched for a grass-fed cow milk and found one at Meijer. After reading her book she taught me one more thing. The protein in milk, casein, isn't so good for us humans. THIS could very well be the cause of my now year-long runny nose. So I found my milk replacement, and found some delicious (but in no way low cal) ice creams that are dairy-free. One is called "Purely Decadent" and it IS! Rice Dream is also very good, as is the one made with almonds. Watch the sugar in those, though.
I went back to the library to continue this path. I was familiar with the work of PETA and had known what atrocities occur in the American production of food, but as we do, I let it slip from my mind --- or succumbed to the onslaught of commercials and didn't give the truth much thought. WELL, these books brought it all back to me. "Eating Animals" nearly made me throw up. I don't even want to tell you what they do, but I would encourage you to read the book and see for yourself. It's GROSS. And beyond that, we wouldn't treat the worst criminals the way these guys working in slaughterhouses treat those animals: cows, pigs, and chickens. One guy said he "liked to stomp on the chickens to HEAR THEM POP"!!! (Yep, I still want to puke.)
So, what can we do? We can STOP. Stop eating animals. Or stop buying from the people who treat the animals in that way, and take your money elsewhere. I found TWO suppliers of chicken who let the animals have grass to play on, they don't cut their beaks or keep them in cages so tight they can't strech their wings, and when it's time to die, they do that as humanely as we know how right now.
If you must eat beef, go to a local producer and learn their process. Who slaughters the animal? How horrific is it? You want to eat healthy by choosing cow that was grass fed and allowed to pasture, but you don't want it viciously murdered right before you dig in.
So what SHOULD we eat? First, throw out every chart and diet book you've ever bought, because this is so simple, we have overlooked it. EAT REAL FOOD --- ORGANIC FOOD --- WHOLE FOOD. Apples? Yes. Arby's Roast Beef? No. Oatmeal? Yes. McMuffin? No.
If you avoid the processed foods, you are ten steps ahead of the game. Eat food that is as close to it's natural state as possible.
In my week of exploration I have eaten better than ever! Warm oatmeal for breakfast, with some almond milk and a sweetener (I'm trying several). Lunch at work was an apple with real peanut butter (just peanuts, no salt, sugar, or other additives). Dinner has been a yummy rice blend with mushrooms, chard, and garlic! THAT was so good I could feel my cells rejoicing!
I have also chosen to go wheat-free since I am trying to reduce any allergens and get my nose in shape. So I choose a gluten-free bread. UDI's is so good. (Not technically vegan, since it's made with eggs.)
What else? Beans, lots of greens and vegetables, and of course, at night when I need a little comfort, those non-dairy ice creams are wonderful.
I'm going to do my best to eat as many vegan meals as possible. But what about eggs? Even if you don't fry them up in the morning, aren't they very useful to cook with? So I will deviate from the 110% vegans and allow eggs ... BUT, they must be PASTURED eggs. Happy chickens living a normal chicken life.
I do a lot of shopping at Whole Foods and The Good Foods Co-op, but the larger grocers are stocking more and more organic items. But be careful you don't fall into the processed food trap. Stick to the foods that are least processed. And if you find a great supplier worthy of our dollars, tell Krogers to stock their items!
www.smartchicken.com - at Meijer
The Kind Diet