Tag Archives: health

Week One status check, or, I suck at being a vegan.

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Today has been an atypical Sunday. Normally Sundays subsist of catching up on sleep, drinking a pot of coffee, sitting on ass watching old episodes of Saturday Night Live, washing a load of laundry, and going to the grocery store to get something that requires zero effort to cook for dinner. But today…TODAY! I cleaned the entire house (with the help of the hubs and kid), cooked lunch, mowed almost our entire five-acre yard, got everyone’s clothes ready for morning, and cooked a dinner. A simple dinner that took very little effort, but I did have to do more than open the box or can. I even have enough energy to do the dinner dishes and update this blog. And all without a drop of caffeine.

And surprise, my knees, neck, and elbows, which normally creak and kill when there’s so much as a cloud in the air, don’t hurt.

I am happy to say that the first week of this vegan-like diet has proven to me that I am actually capable of producing my own energy. I thought that that was long gone, with my posters of New Kids on the Block. I’ve never not drank coffee; not since I was eighteen. And since twenty-one I’ve been a full-on java junkie…a barista once threatened to cut me off. I’m not joking.

I say “vegan-like” diet because I would make a very bad vegan. If there is a Memorial Day cookout, I will probably go, and after a couple of margaritas, I will probably not stick to veggies. Dude, I live in the south, and if the sun is out and it’s warm, you and your neighbors may not be grilling, but I bet you can’t drive more than a mile without someone grilling something, right there in your face everywhere. Every time I smell barbecued chicken, it’s torture. And last night, I was cooking some really tasty tofu chilequiles-type mess for dinner, but alongside it, I was making taco meat out of ground beef in the neighboring skillet, for everyone else. I didn’t eat any of the beef, and wasn’t really tempted, but tonight I used that skillet to make my “vegan” dinner. I just can’t see going out and buying separate cookware. I know some people do that…but man, I washed it with Dawn. There’s no meat on it anymore.

Also, I have made a couple of boo-boos. Did you know…

1) “Veggie Slices” cheese has casein in it? Isn’t casein the stuff in dairy that you’re trying to avoid in the first place? Hence your buying of Veggie Slices?

2) Dairy is hiding in places you would least suspect it…like bread. The other day, I bought a loaf of some Arnold whole-wheat bread that was on sale. As I was nom-ing a delicious sandwich, I glanced at the list of ingredients and there, in bold letters, it said “Contains Non-fat Milk.” WTH for?

3) O’Soy yogurt gets its live cultures from milk.

I am going to continue eating these products until they’re gone, however, because while I am aware of the unethical treatment of animals in dairy and meat farms, I would also feel dumb for throwing out twenty dollars’ worth of food just because it has a fraction of a percentage of dairy in it, when gas is four dollars a gallon. Eventually I hope to have the time and resources to successfully grow everything I eat, so that I can dine without the guilt of knowing that my food is flavored with the tears of baby cows…but until then, I guess I’ll just pay better attention to food labels before I make purchases.

But otherwise, I think that I have done fairly well at avoiding refined sugar and flour, and purposefully-ingested animal products. Next week, maybe I will have enough energy to keep the whole house clean, do my own auto maintenance, start a band, and write a book. 🙂

(Edit: Speaking of labels, I got halfway through the antibiotics I got at the health department for my kidney infection…then I thought to look it up on Wikipedia and found out that there is reason to believe that this medicine has a carcinogenic effect on humans. Why would anyone prescribe this for anything? So do I stop taking it, or what? What is medicine if it makes you trade one sickness for another?)

Poop…the cornerstone of every nutritious breakfast.

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And bugs, and antifreeze, and cardboard. Check it out:

Ingredient: Carmine. Also known as: Cochineal extract. Used for: red food coloring, often in juices, yogurts, and lipstick. Source: The crushed and squeezed bodies of beetles.

Ingredient: Cellulose. Also known as: Carboxymethylcellulose, CMC, cellulose gum, sodium carboxymethylcellulose. Used for: texture in breads and meat (or meat-like products), a binding and anticrystallization agent in store-bought frosting. Counts as dietary fiber in nutrition labeling. Source: wood and cotton lint. Next time there’s more people than food at the barbecue, just tear up the paper towels you drained the lettuce on, empty the dryer trap, and mix it all into the hamburger meat. I always knew there was some way to recycle that stuff!

Ingredient: Propylene glycol. Also known as: propylene glycol alginate. Used for: texture in dairy products and salad dressings, store-bought frostings (also helps to produce the water vapor in those electronic cigarettes I was talking about in an earlier post! Aggh!). Source: According to Dow, a manufacturer of propylene glycol, it is “a petroleum-based raw material.” It is very versatile, making it perfect for just about anything. More from Dow:

“Propylene glycol (PG) is a clear, colorless liquid with the consistency of syrup. It is practically odorless and tasteless. It is hygroscopic (attracts water), has low toxicity and outstanding stability, as well as high flash and boiling points, low vapor pressure and broad solvency. In addition, propylene glycol is an excellent solvent for many organic compounds and is completely water-soluble. These properties make PG ideal for a wide array of applications, such as:

  • Antifreezes, Coolants and Aircraft Deicing Fluids
  • Chemical Intermediates
  • Cosmetics and Personal Care Products
  • Flavors and Fragrances
  • Food
  • Heat Transfer Fluids
  • Hydraulic Fluids
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Plasticizers
  • Solvents
  • Thermoset Plastic Formulations”

You know what? Here’s the link to Dow’s info page on propylene glycol: http://www.dow.com/propyleneglycol/about/ …they can say it better than I can. There may be different strains that they use for making antifreeze and ranch dressing, but I”m kind of freaked out about knowing that I’m eating something that is one molecule away from being antifreeze. It’s like that poop burger they supposedly made in Japan.

There may be a lot of processing that goes into removing the doodoo flavor, and there has since been some speculation that the “shit burger” was a hoax (although nothing I’ve seen has proven for a fact that the feces burger was not a real thing). But you can’t take that back. LOL at about 1:34…look at the label on the fridge. It’s right there. I’m sure that once this hits the market, they won’t be calling it Potty Patties or anything of the like…they might even label it as health food that’s low-fat, high in protein, and doesn’t require the slaughter of animals, and market it to vegetarians. I wonder what kind of scientific word they’ll come up with to put on the label to disguise the fact that it’s poop.

Here is a link to a handy-dandy list of food additives, where they come from, and what they’re used for, for sometime when you’re bored and reading the back of the Doritos bag. http://www.cspinet.org/reports/chemcuisine.htm

I got into this post on food additives today because I’ve been doing some research, and thought I’d share. Yesterday at the clinic, my pap was smeared, but the CRNP told me that I needed to go to a real doctor (really.) about my uterus, since the results of the PAP would take three weeks to come back (really?!). She could tell immediately, however, that I had a bacterial infection of the kidneys. I’ve had no symptoms other than some occasional dull pain that I thought had to do with normal menstrual happenings (not that I have any menstrual happenings that resemble normal). What caused the infection, then? “Some food additives,” she said, “can cause bacterial infections.” Awesome.

Also, apparently refined sugar is filtered through burnt cow bones, or “natural charcoal,” to remove the color. http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2007issue4/vj2007issue4.pdf

So these are just a few of the things I’ve found out in the last day or so. It all just cements, for me, the notion that people should eat food that still resembles the form it came in originally.