Saturday, December 19, 2009

morality of meat

last night, over tea with coconut milk, my sister, her girlfriend, and i talked about our bodies and body image. i have had health problems for over ten years that i can't seem to shake, except of course for the few months when i was totally primal.

"you know being a vegan totally messed you up, right?"  my sis said.

in a flash, i realized that my weight issues, my health issues, and my mental health issues dramatically worsened when i gave up meat.  i was a vegetarian for years.  i felt so very righteous.

i've always been an extremely sensitive person.  so sensitive, that as part of my survival, i know tend to avoid crowds, too much noise, and the news.  i just feel too much.  so, the plight of our fellow creatures on this earth (i lost sleep after imagining chickens in cages too tight to move around) as they are farmed for our sustenance made me sick (in so many ways).

as a little girl, i saw chickens with their heads cut off running around a small enclosed yard.  a couple of hours later, they were quite delicious.  i've eaten the meat of a ram that i used to pet.

and, then, the health issues.  bloating, all sorts of digestive distress, fatigue, joint pain, headaches, scattered memory....but at least i wasn't contributing to an animal's suffering.

hold the phone.  I'M an animal.  and i'm suffering.

part of the rage that i feel towards factory farming are the deplorable conditions in which our meat is raised.  the pens are too small.  the diets are all wrong for the animals.  (cows eat GRASS not GRAINS) the animals aren't given room to play.  they are fed hormones to control their weight.  a cow isn't given place to develop its "cowness".  a chicken can't be a chicken and pigs have no mud in which to be piggy.

wait a second.  people are crowded into cubicles.  our diets are completely wrong for us. (people eat VEGETABLES and MEATS not GRAINS)  people aren't given the incentive to go out and play.  people take pills or are fed hormones in their food that control their weight.

people aren't given place to develop their "peopleness".

the animals that suffer the most with vegetarianism are people.

not eating meat is not a morally righteous move.  we need it to be healthy.

insisting that all creatures have the right to live as they were meant is beyond moral.  it's just correct.

i wonder how long it will take to undo the damage to my body that vegetarianism has caused.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


has it really been that long since i've posted here?

i've been busy sludging through the sweet underbelly of the stereotypical american lifestyle.  there are several couches with the expanding indentation of my ass.  there are vibram five-fingers laying forlorn in the depths of some bag, somewhere.  there are foodlike package shells littering the landscape of this past month.

and there is the pseudo-food that has become a part of me.  the taste of all that sweetness, all that agricultural pornucopia still coating my digestive lining.  the cloying desserts, the puffy, margarine soaked giant pretzels, the sparkle of msg on hot fries....all that is flowing (okay, not flowing really, more like roiling) through my system.

i feel like hammered shit.  quite frankly, i feel poisoned.  sickened.  and like something unnatural.

this blog was my lifeline, in a way.  the accountability to something.

of course, i have my excuses.  i've been without steady living space for a long time.  my depression pokes it's colossal head up through the floorboards more frequently.  i was robbed so my beloved (beloved????) computer is in the hands of a thief.  i am homesick for something that no longer exists.  and, i feel isolated.

it is a chicken and egg thing.  what happened first?  did i stop living primally so all these factors popped up or did all these things rear up and then i stopped living primally?

either way, it's time to stop the insanity.

i am dancing with different aspects of it all right now.  getting the new cave set up in a VERY minimalist way.  (i got rid of half my stuff and it's still too much...where did all this shite COME FROM?)  i'm slowly organizing my pantry and fridge to have all the foods that my body recognizes readily available.  i am working on a loose routine that allows me to meet all the modern responsibilities while giving me the time to live with as much freedom as my wild self needs.

i am the type of person that wants to wake up in the morning and have the perfect day after living in chaos the day before.  but, creating a life takes work.  scratch that word's a weird connotation.  creating a life takes boldness, imagination, and playfulness.  and of all the things that make me who i am, those three things i have in excess.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Friday, November 6, 2009

grumbly in my tumbly

eating grains and sugar makes me hungry.

i can't ever get enough.  and within an hour or so, i'm hungry again.  grains and sugar really send my body on a horrible cyclical path.

i get puffy, have all sorts of digestive distress, aching joints, my moods spike up into near mania only to crash down into a nearly comatose state, and just lifting the next brownie to my mouth seems like lifting a boulder with a toothpick, sugar is so draining.

so why do i keep eating them?

oh tribe!  i am one of those people who knows everything but learns nothing.

once something is incorporated into one's life with consistence is when i consider it to have been learned.

i have been involved with so many aspects of "alternative"* health for the past 11 years.  the facts, studies, herbs, foods, philosophies, and personal fiddling could easily fill a book.  (hmmm....)  however, i'm not the healthiest person that i know.


oh there are very many long-winded answers that could fill that blank, but what it really and truly comes down to is that i'm a perfectionist.

if something can't be done perfectly, it's not worth doing at all.  so i give up.  this perfectionism is lovingly nurtured by horrible life experiences, a culture that hates women, sunday school, and dieting since the age of 11.

what a conundrum.  i love life.  really, i do.  i want to touch everything, smell everything, see everything.  i want to kiss life right on the mouth.  here's the kicker:  life is not perfect.

life is messy.  life is wild.  life is unpredictable.  life is tragic.  life is exultant.  life is bigger than the rules of one little woman trying to control it.

my focus shifted off the great when i started trying to walk the path of perfection.  food stopped being something to explore.  it became bound up in rules: portion size, time of day, mode of preparation, etc.

food's greatest purpose is nourishment.  i love that word.


and grains and sugar simply don't nourish me.  they break me down.

it's time to eat for nourishment.  eat to feel wonderful.  eat to thrive.  because you never know what life is going to throw your way next and it's good (not perfect) to be ready.

*i have no idea when health practices that have been proven themselves effective for thousands of years became the "alternative" to allopathic experiments that began only a few hundred years ago.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009

what we're working with

i am known for having eyes much larger than my stomach.  it seems that i can never really tell how large anything really is.  taking on fifteen projects at once, piling my plate higher than a legos tower, thinking that an hour is plenty of time to run 5 errands, all in different areas of town (on my bike), and that raising a child just means feeding them once in a while is my m.o.  of course, it works the other way with myself.  i think i'm ginormous.  i always experience a moment of shock when i see myself in group pictures and i'm SO SHORT!  SO TINY!

all this to explain that when i "adopted" (returned) to the primal lifestyle, i jumped in with both bare feet.  and not everything stuck.  in a panicked effort to organize (control) all that, i regimented it.  that's when it really fell apart.  once i attach a "should" to anything, my extremely vocal inner child throws a tantrum and my inner revolutionary, well, revolts.

should is, to me, one of the dirtiest words in the english language.  i cringe when i hear it and want to cover my burning ears (EARMUFFS!).  it also seems to be one of the heaviest.  throw it into any sentence and the should side drops down with such a hard thud that it's hard to hear the rest of the words.

of course, i have a much more developed rebel inside me than most.  but it can be very difficult when the one i rebel against is myself, the task piler.

so, i've simply distracted the part of me that needs projects.  i'm buying (BUYING! holy crapola batman!) a new cave today.  so the project princess will be well taken care of for quite a while.

but what am i going to do about the rest of me that doesn't give a should?  i remember when i started this whole thing in july, that one of the things that i wanted to do was to play outside every day with my son. i haven't done that since coming back to the states.  play has given way to regimented exercise, standard american eating habits, lack of sleep, and a loss of community.

no wonder i feel like should.

so, i'm bringing play back as my first priority.  i'm not going to lay down any ground rules, i'm just going  to find fun again.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

6 week (sure) cure

i started the 6 week cure yesterday.  it's the book written by protein power power couple, the dr.s eades.

i went so far off track with everything lately that my body is right back where it used to be before i ever started eating primally.  and, when i say that, i'm not talking about weight.  a little over a year ago, my body got to the point where i could barely move.  i'll never forget driving with my sister for a twelve hour trip and all that i could do was silently cry.  it didn't matter how i sat, laid, walked, or moved, the pain crowded everything else out.

it had been a slow and steady degradation.  i had lived through a war-zone for a couple years.  the level of anxiety, fear, and stress that came with that was more than i could manage.  there was a period of six weeks where i didn't sleep more than 2-3 hours a night because i was so terrified and worried.  in the midst of that, i flew to new york to spend over a month living in a tent on my cousin's bare land.  it saved my life and whet my appetite for a different lifestyle.

once i landed here, the culture shock and what is called here "post-traumatic shock syndrome" and what i used to call "waking up monday morning", my body aches and fatigue began in earnest.  i tried veganism and it worked for a while but then i just felt undernourished and so tired.  i went high-carb because i knew that there was a direct neural/chemical pathway between sugar and the release of seratonin.  but, i had to eat a lot of carbs to neutralize the crash of the carbs i'd eaten earlier.

my road trip and the "vacation" that followed were my body's low points.  i'd always been very active as a dancer growing up and able to do things with my body that other people could only googly eye at.  but, at 35, i felt crippled, crispy, and cried about it often.

i had also gained a lot of weight but that didn't bother me anymore.  i had learned to love my body and i thought that i was doing all the right things for it.

i started eating primally, moving primally, and found my energy again.  but these past few weeks, i've thrown all caution to the wind, thinking myself "cured" and eaten my way back to the pain.

of course, the rainy, cold weather doesn't help.  it makes me want to crawl into a cave and stay, buried in animal skins, until the sun comes back out in the spring.

i am exhausted, constantly.  i can't get enough sleep.  every joint hurts.  i can feel every bone in my body, heavy, like a steel rod that my softer flesh has to make its way around.

so, i do what i alway do in a crisis.  i read.

i found the eades's book "the 6-week cure for the middle-aged middle" and instantly knew that this is what i had to do.  although it's marketing itself as a weight-loss thing, which is something that i know will temporarily work, what really draws me to it is that it is a strong liver supportive plan.

since i started yesterday, i'm in the first two weeks of the six week plan.  each two weeks are a little different one from the other.  i'm in the 3 shakes and 1 meal a day portion.  that one meal a day has been the most delicious meal i've ever had, mostly because i'm hungry by then, but also because i'm finding joy again in food.

so i raise a shake to health.