Hmm… Perhaps I’ve been avoiding this silly little blog because I’m not doing so great with my running challenge. Sorry to disappoint those of you throwing crazy titles at me like “inspiration.” I have a month’s worth of excuses for not running last week. I really did do well the first week – I went out four mornings in a row, and on a rainy morning I woke up early to do yoga. Then after counseling my much more physically fit (and dedicated) brother, I decided a routine of Monday Wednesday Friday yoga and Tuesday Thursday Sunday running would make more sense. And that seems to be when I fell apart – just changing my plan gave me an opening to quit. I really do want to do better – it started with the kids each waking several times a few nights in a row, and I SO wanted that extra 25 minutes of sleep in the morning. Then it was raining (yes, I’m aware rain doesn’t actually fall indoors, so I could have stuck to the yoga part of the plan). Then my throat started hurting. And it won’t stop. But again, I could do yoga with a sore throat, and I probably better get started, since I believe it’s allergy-related and the pollen doesn’t appear to be packing up and heading out anytime soon. But anyway, I’ll do better. Believe me? I’m trying to believe myself. On to challenge #2…
The older I get and the more I learn, the more I become interested in how to cook and eat more healthily. Growing up with the produce from my parents' garden, I have always known where food comes from (in general, anyway). But now I find myself in this generation of people who seem to think food comes from boxes and jars and stores. I actually had someone tell me she wasn't interested in buying our eggs because she didn't like to think about them coming from the back end of a chicken. SERIOUSLY?!?!?! As if the eggs from the store didn't come from the same place, just on a more crowded and more drugged chicken? I find that astonishing and very very sad, that so many of us are so far removed from the process it takes the food to get to us, and we are consciously making the choice to not think about it. I'm not saying I like thinking about the dead cow that gave me my hamburger, but I do find myself thinking more and more about the diet of that cow, the hormones and antibiotics she may have been injected with, and the circumstances surrounding her slaughter. Since we now have our own chickens, I feel so much more at ease when I prepare chicken for my family - I know everything about those chickens from a few days old to the very last day.
So here’s my next challenge: I'm going to do my best to eat food that I can identify the source of, and that has to mean no more fast food burgers, no more chicken nuggets, and I'm going to try to replace more of our non-organic dairy products with their organic counterparts. Knowing that the fast food hamburger almost definitely has ammonia and intestine parts in it, or reminding myself of a filthy chicken truck driving down the highway kind of ruins my appetite anyway. To be clear, these are challenges for myself - I am not judging the choices anyone else makes, I'm trying to do what's right for my body, and for my children. I’m going to work on finding a grass-fed cow to purchase from a local farmer, and until then I will stop buying ground beef. It’s already rare (pun!) that I purchase ground beef, because M is a hunter and brings home plenty of venison that we grind ourselves. E says he goes into the woods looking for meat. I can only imagine what that looks like inside her imagination.
If you haven’t been watching Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, I highly recommend it. He has such a visual way of teaching things that really makes you stop and think about what we’ve been doing to our bodies. And when store owners and restaurant owners and parents say the price of the food they serve is more important than the quality, it’s shocking. I’m not talking about filet mignon every night, I’m talking about paying a fraction extra for something fresh rather than something packaged, or for something with 5 ingredients on the label rather than 50. We’re all eating too much anyway (and throwing away too much), so maybe the extra expense can be an excuse to buy less!
My learning process started when I read the enlightening book Animal Vegetable Miracle a few years ago, and I continue to be amazed and horrified about how much we don’t know, and how much so many people just don’t want to know. Even if we haven't figured out exactly why so many diseases and disorders have become more prevalent, it only makes sense to blame at least part of it on all of the unnatural substances we injest all day long. When is the last time you saw “partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil with TBHQ” growing in a garden? (Now go read the label on the crackers you've been feeding your children).