April 15, 2013

Working Hard, or Hardly Working?

For someone who claims to love writing as much as I do, I’ve done despicably little of it here lately. But don’t let that fool you. Just because I haven’t posted in…*checks date of last post*…omigosh…8 weeks (eek!!), doesn’t mean I’ve been sitting on my derriere forgetting all about health, nutrition, and real food. In fact, I’m eyeball deep in training to become a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. You’ll forgive me if reading textbooks, listening to and watching audio and video lectures, and turning in all the homework hasn’t left with me oodles of extra time to wax poetic about the gorgeous natural yellow of butter from cows eating rapidly growing spring grass. (But rest assured, I am never not waxing poetic about this; I just haven’t had much chance to blog about it, hehheh.)

I just finished our first intensive workshop weekend, which was filled with tons of great information regarding the innate wisdom of our bodies, and the seemingly endless list of health woes that can be tied directly to the failings of our modern, processed food supply. This was no ordinary workshop. If you’re a corporate type used to meetings and conferences, you might be thinking the snack table was loaded with danishes, muffins, and cereal in the morning, and that we ordered pizza or subs for lunch. And if you are thinking that, you are mistaken. This was a class full of like-minded traditional foodies. Soda? Red Bull? Not an aluminum can in sight, my friends. Think mason jars. Mason jars filled with home-brewed kombucha and beet kvass. Think also raw veggies, almond butter, dehydrated kale, and, lest you think I got on the wrong bus and ended up at a veg*n retreat or something, pastured butter, meatballs made from grass-fed beef, and other delicious animal foods.

Anyway, learning and merriment abounded. It was so nice to be in a room filled with women (and a tiny smattering of men) who love to eat fat, red meat, butter, and eggs, and don’t have to pretend to prefer salads (with dressing on the side, of course) just to be politically correct and not scare their friends. And thank goodness it wasn’t an herbal-tea-only kind of crowd. Sure, there were enough herbal, detox, and calming blends available to have opened an apothecary right there in the conference room, but they kept it real for people like me and had coffee available, too. (Dandy Blend and Teechino were there, but also real coffee, THANK GOD.)

As for writing, I have ideas for more blog posts than I can get to anytime soon. I’ll try to at least get something up here more often than I have been, though. I guess a little time crunch will help me with my…um…“wordiness problem,” eh? There are a lot of unanswered questions in life, but of this I’m certain:  no one will ever accuse me of being terse.

In the meantime, let me leave you with a thought:  Soy is one of the most allergenic substances in our modern food supply. And it’s everywhere. Think you don’t eat a lot of soy? Of course you don’t. You don’t eat tofu, drink soy milk, or make post-workout shakes with soy protein powder, right? And you’re smart enough to avoid all those ersatz “foods” made from soy that’s been processed out the wazoo, right? (You know what I’m talking about—soy “cheez,” soy “chik’n,” soysages, etc.)  Good. But, um, have you checked the label on your MEATLOAF with MASHED POTATOES??! Or your ORANGE CHICKEN??! How about your SALISBURY STEAK with MACARONI & CHEESE?!! (This one even contains rolled oats, in case you didn’t eat oatmeal for breakfast. Just don’t ask me what the oats are doing in Salisbury steak with mac & cheese.)  I’m sorry, but I’m a little confused here. Can someone please tell me which of these ingredients is included in the cuisine part of “Lean Cuisine?” Is it the isolated soy protein? The modified corn starch? The wheat dextrin? Or maybe it’s the autolyzed yeast extract. Mmmm…just like mom used to make! I’m not ragging on convenience, but when “food products” have this many ingredients, I don’t know if eating them is the best idea. (Never mind that it might require microwaving in a plastic tray first. That is a whole other can o’worms that’s best left closed for now.) I like my digestive tract. I like my stomach. I respect my small intestine. And I’m still on good terms with my large intestine, even though it often doesn’t work as well as I wish it would. Why would I want to bombard it with that (*insert French accent*) garbaaahge?

They’ve even snuck soy protein into turkey sausages, for crying out loud. Just because the stuff is cheap as sin, does that mean they have to put it in everything? (Answer: yes, apparently it does.) And regarding that last link, you might have to do a little digging, because I can’t seem to link directly to the product in question, but for your reference, it’s the “turkey smoked sausage.” It’s also in the polska kielbasa, the angus beef smoked sausage, hot smoked sausage, and presumably many of their other products. I only bothered to look at four. (Click on “smoked sausage” and then “nutritional info” for details.)

I’ll share more thoughts on soy in a zillion years, when I get around to writing more blog posts  a future post. I just wanted to start planting the seeds of making us all aware of just how much they’re messing with our food. I bet you never would have imagined those items would contain soy. (Just like you probably didn’t realize They—that’s the big They, with a capital T—put it in your peanut butter, too. [Also your imitation crab meat, not that any of us is eating that, right? RIGHT?])

So yeah. Lesson of the day: read labels.

No, seriously. READ LABELS. We have NO IDEA what we’re eating anymore.

As always, your comments are welcome. Have you discovered a whackadoodle surprise ingredient lurking in a food you thought you knew well? Tell me about it!

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