Sunday, January 20, 2013

Food Fears: Now Let's Laugh

A friend of mine sent me this hysterical take-off on food fears (see my previous post, "It's All Poison").

What a wonderful antidote to fear-based eating. Enjoy! With copious thanks to the brilliant Michael Bihovsky (

Here are the lyrics. If this doesn't brighten your day, I don't know what will. Of course, if you're part of the food police, you'll probably ask the judge to issue a warrant for Bihovsky's arrest!


One grain more
A dash of millet flour might be the key
This never-ending road to gluten free
This horrifying food I eat
Will never taste the same as wheat
One grain more...

A quarter cup of cornflake crumbs
To meet my carbohydrate quota

One grain more

A teaspoon of some xanthan gum
And still it tastes like...baking soda

One more dairy substitute

Will I ever eat again?

Drinking oat milk from a carton

What I'd give for pizza pie

Now I spend my days confused

Or a slice of beef on rye...

Wond'ring how you milk an oat

It's so good to see you, Quinoa!
You're the protein source I chose
Still, you look as if I've seen ya
Coming out of someone's nose

Flax instead of eggs
Try to make it whip
Now what do we use
Instead of chocolate chips?
Carob doesn't work
Carob is a trap
Anyone who's had it
Knows it tastes like crap!

When the hell is this stuff dated?

Burned and bloated day and night

Why's it smell like something died?

What on earth is "lecithin"?

Love, I fin'ly defecated!

This does not feel like a bun...

Do you hear the people sneeze
And cough and wheeze
From allergies?

One grain more!

So I added wheat -- I'm sorry
We still had some left in stock
Nothing says "it's time to party"
Like anaphylactic shock
So I guess this must be Quinoa
It's not so gross, I suppose
Still it looks as if I've seen ya...

Will I ever eat again?
What if there's a trace of tree nuts?
Someone get my Epi-pen
I'm not supposed to breathe in peanuts!

Have you ever milked an oat?
Guess it's better than a goat
Try a little nog
Smoother than a silk
Even though it's made
Of neither eggs nor milk!
Have another roll
Harder than a rock
Better hold your breath,
Because it tastes like-

Tomorrow we will bitch and moan
Tomorrow we'll need cortisone

Tomorrow we'll discover foods
That even vegans have forsworn!
Wish me luck
One grain more...

Friday, January 4, 2013

It's All Poison

I have been on the mindful eating journey for about four years now. I can't believe it's been that long already. As my readers know, I initially viewed mindful (or intuitive) eating as a way to ultimately lose weight and indeed it did result in an approximately 10% weight loss over about two or three months. Since then, my goal of intuitively eating down to a more socially acceptable weight (yes, dieting, though by another name) has evolved into the realization that I will be much healthier and happier focusing on healthy practices at the weight I am at NOW (which is about half-way between where I started in January 2009 and the 10% loss) rather than longing for a size that I can only reach through strictly adhering to what I consider disordered eating practices (aka, dieting).

In the past four years, I have become much more attuned to my hunger and satiety patterns while coming to enjoy physical activity to the best of my somewhat limited abilities. I do what I can and try not to compare my arthritic, orthopedically challenged body to that of a younger, less damaged body (my thoughts regarding the pediatric orthopedists and the treatments they prescribed to me as a child and how these treatments contributed to my unfortunate condition today cannot be expressed in a "family" blog...).

So far, so good.

However, my blogging and blog reading over the past four years have led me to wander down paths and develop food fears that I must now fight every day. Based on all the reading I've done, most food is POISON and I'm clearly poisoning myself on a daily basis (yes, I'm being sarcastic).

I regularly eat poisons such as dairy, whole grains, nightshade vegetables, bananas, legumes, red meat, high cacao chocolate, wine. It is truly frightening. It would seem that most food, unless it's been sanctioned by the paleo/ancestral/low-fat/no-carb/nightshade vegetable hit squad is BAD BAD BAD, not mention HORRIBLY DANGEROUS DANGEROUS DANGEROUS.

If someone, forty years back, had looked at what I ate on this typical day, they probably wouldn't have batted an eyelash. And no doubt in forty years time, the food police will have found other foods that are bound to kill us before we know what's hit us.

Meanwhile, back at my ranch (so to speak), I continue to mindfully eat a wide variety of foods, in reasonable quantities and avoid an undue reliance on highly processed products. These are my choices. I also continue to fight the voices of FEAR FEAR FEAR that permeate today's food landscape though sometimes the continuous fear mongering makes me practically sick to my stomach.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Thank you, Michael Moore!

I follow film maker and all-round muckraker extraordinaire Michael Moore on Facebook. What follows below is a post he made a few days ago. Yes, it's long, but well worth the read. What an inspiration!

I am now in Week 42 of my walks. Each day, 30 minutes, that's it. Thousands of you have joined me since that Sunday night on March 18 when, as a joke, I said I was going for a walk. I had read that morning in the paper that there were now more people in the U.S. on anti-depressants than those who go to the movies. I tweeted out that maybe that's the problem -- perhaps if people got out and went to the movies more they might feel better. This unleashed a lively conversation about mood-altering drugs, the lousy movies these days in theaters, the rip-off prices for 3D films, etc. Finally, someone wrote: "Sometimes I think what I need is just a brisk walk." I tweeted, "Hey, there's an idea! I'm putting my shoes on right now." I went out and came back home after 30 minutes -- and a few hundred of you had amazingly joined me where you live. So I went walking the next night, probably out of some sort of obligation because so many had written to say "please let's do it again tonight!" So I did. And the night after that. By the end of the week it was hard to determine how many thousands were now going out with me on these "virtual walks" in hundreds of cities and towns, but it had taken off like a rocket and so we all went walking every night from that point on.

Now it's 250 days later. What a simple, great idea that person had! Some have asked, "Why are we walking?" "What's the cause?" There is no cause other than to go for a walk. We do it just because it feels good. We do it because we can. We do it because it's free and it takes no time. All you need to know is how to put one foot in front of the other (or, for the disabled who've joined in, by any means necessary). It's the perfect slacker/schlub activity.

I am often asked "How much weight have you lost from all this walking?" For a while I didn't understand the question. I mean, why would I want to lose anything? I have enough trouble finding my keys! Then I got it -- skinny people (1/3 of the country) want us, the majority, to be like them. That's so nice of them.

But the truth is, exercise does not work, diets do not work, feeling crummy does not work. Nothing works. My advice: Quit trying to be something you're not, be happy with the life you've been given, and just go for a pleasant walk outside. With me. Wherever you are. Get off the treadmill, stop drinking diet Coke, throw out all the rules. It's all a scam and it conspires to keep you miserable. If it says "low-fat" or "sugar-free" or "just 100 calories!" throw it out. Remember, one of the main tenets of capitalism is to have the consumer filled with fear, insecurity, envy and unhappiness so that we can spend, spend, spend our way out of it and, dammit, just feel better for a little while. But we don't, do we? The path to happiness - and deep down, we all know this -- is created by love, and being kind to oneself, sharing a sense of community with others, becoming a participant instead of a spectator, and being in motion. Moving. Moving around all day. Lifting things, even if it's yourself. Going for a walk every day will change your thinking and have a ripple effect. You'll find yourself only eating when you're truly hungry. And if you're not hungry, go clean your room, or have sex, or call a friend on the phone. Without knowing it, you'll starting eating like the French (there is no French word for "fast-food") -- and you will feel better. You do not feel better admonishing yourself or beating yourself up or setting up a bunch of unrealistic rules and goals with all the do's and dont's that are just begging to be broken. You wanna know something? I eat ice cream every friggin' day. I drink a regular Coke every single day. I put butter on things. But I also walk every day. Some days now, I walk twice. And now I've started to do some push-ups and lifting stuff. It's building muscle, and in doing so, has created an extra furnace to burn stuff and create energy. Weird! That, in turn, makes me sleep 7-8 hours a night which is another game-changer. And all the walking and lifting makes me thirsty, so that makes me drink more water -- another huge plus!

So, you can see from the photo of me up in the box that something has changed. I have no idea how much weight I've lost and I don't care. I don't care about that or diets or home gym equipment or rules about what I can or cannot eat or anything other than making sure I go on my walk today. That's it. That's the big secret. It costs nothing. I feel great. I can see my feet! There they are! Hello, feet! Wanna go for a walk? The feet say YES! Ask yours right now. And if you want, join me. But do NOT go on that walk with me if you are doing so to "get fit", "be healthy", or "lose weight". You are fine just the way you are. Only walk outside with me right now because you know it might just feel good, because it's a beautiful day, or someone is joining in with you, the fresh air is invigorating, you have to drive down to the drug store but you realize you can walk there, or simply because it's just nice to be alive for one more day. Walk to walk and nothing else -- and the other stuff will take care of itself.

I'm heading outside in an hour. Join me. And let me know how it went!