"When you get those rare moments of clarity, those flashes when the universe makes sense, you try desperately to hold on to them. They are the life boats for the darker times, when the vastness of it all, the incomprehensible nature of life is completely illusive. So the question becomes, or should have been all a long... What would you do if you knew you only had one day, or one week, or one month to live. What life boat would you grab on to? What secret would you tell? What band would you see? What person would you declare your love to? What wish would you fulfill? What exotic locale would you fly to for coffee? What book would you write?"

Friday, March 4, 2011

That Crazy Food Girl.....

A typical possible hypothetical scenario I am probably headed for and deserve in this country:

(Future Date with a guy- Picnic- He packs food for us, thinking it will be romantic)

Guy: "First, for our beverage, I brought a lovely blahblahblah wine for us to enjoy."
Me: Oh! Thats amazing! Really....except I can't have wine. *Slanty I'm sorry face*
Guy: Why not?
Me: It has nitrites....they are wine preservatives. It would make me squirm in extremely unfathomable pain in the form of a migraine.
guy: Oh. Ok, No wine.
Me: I'm so sorry. Please, you enjoy the wine for yourself, please. It looks lovely, there is no reason you can't enjoy it.
Guy: Okay. Well, for an appetizer, I bought us some cute Ritz crackers with peanut butter on them, it is so good. My favorite.
Me: Actually, I'm highly allergic to peanuts. *Slanty I'm sorry face-again*
Guy: oh gosh!! Thats horrible! I'm so sorry. No more peanuts or peanut butter. Will you be ok if I eat it?
Me: of course! Please, go ahead! I just can't eat it.
Guy: Okay. Well....please, have some crackers at least.
Me: Well I would except they have milk in them, and are loaded with corn syrup.
Guy: *vacant confusing stare*
Me: I'm lactose intolerant. And I'm trying to avoid corn syrups or corn products from my diet. Not entirely possible, but I'm trying. 
Guy: Oh. . . Okay...So you can't have the cheese I bought for our sandwiches?
Me: Um...nope. And I can't have ham, either. More nitrates. Anything from a pig, really. *sorry face*
Guy: *sighs*....okay.
Me: I'm so sorry.
Guy: No, no worries. How bout our entree....I bought pasta! oh! It has no cheese! Its just tomato sauce and pasta. Simple. *Smile*
Me: I can't have tomatoes.
Guy: You're kidding.
Me: no, I'm so sorry. No ketchup, tomatoes, or tomato sauce or BBQ sauce....its really acidic for my stomach.
Guy: Oh....well, Okay. Hmmm...well, who needs an entree when you can just have dessert?? Lets have some chocolate cake! I brought Fudge!
Me: I can't have chocolate. Another trigger for migraines.
Guy: OK I'm done. *Walks away*.

I'm going to be a lonely person until the end of time, at this rate.

Let me make this clear, right now. I do not want to be "that crazy food girl". But, I also want to make educated food choices. I want my body to be as healthy as it can be. But that is near impossible in this country today. As I read these health books, I learn more and more about how much *crap* goes into processed foods and it makes me want to eat nothing. But I have to eat something. So, I'm left with organic fruits and vegetables, and home made bread...if I really want to do it completely right.

I don't want to be the girl that people are afraid to be friends with or date because she has too many food stipulations. I don't want friends/romantic interests to be afraid to eat in front of me because they think I will look down on them for eating a cheeseburger. I have met many people like that and even as healthy as I do eat, I even feel inferior eating with them. Like they are criticizing my every bite in their head. I don't ever want to be "that girl". I want to be realistic and down to earth about it (no pun intended).

I have to be honest. In high school I ate Burger King at *least* two times a week and even McDonalds in there a couple times. I am not sure how I managed to finish childhood and high school without gaining 300 pounds, but I somehow did it. If I knew then what I know now, I wouldn't have eaten like that. I would re-do it any day. I just simply wasn't educated about any of this then, and my only "allergy" then was peanuts (since birth).

My "no foods list" is primarily composed of allergies. Only one is anaphylactic. The rest produce undesirable symptoms (migraine or GI issues). The rest, (corn products, meat, sugar products) are the three new things I am trying to stay away from after watching "Food, Inc" and reading "Fast Food Nation"....

I think 95% of this country thinks of people like me like we are in some sort of delusional conspiracy. THey are so engrained into thinking there is nothing wrong with fast food, nothing wrong with foods at the supermarket, nothing wrong with foods that have "healthy" claims written on the box (lies), and think that people like me are just "over the top" crazy about it. I am in a nursing program. Most of my friends (not all) are nurses-to-be and lead healthy lives and exercise a lot. Even they would think most of my food choices are a little crazy.

But how far down the "healthy rabbit hole" am I willing to go? Putting aside the set list of allergies I have (that will not change), lets think about making "food no-no choices". Let's say you choose not to eat foods with corn syrup, or high fructose corn syrup, or non-hydrogenated soybean oil, etc. Okay, well that cuts out 97% of your supermarket choices. Even in the products you thought were healthy. Okay, so then...you re feeling optimistic still. You still have fruit and vegetables and meat in the supermarket, right? And bread?  Well, then you remember that the fruits and veggies you see in your supermarket have been trucked across the nation and are not grown seasonally. They have pesticides on them. They are grown on soil that was not given a chance to rest. They lost a lot of their nutrients. So then.....you decide to buy your fruits and veggies at the local farmers market. Ok, great.  Meat, what to say about meat? Personally, chicken is a big part of whats left for me. I have no symptoms associated with eating chicken or steak (occasionally). However, after watching that video I am tempted to stop eating meat. But.....You can see I'm already far enough down on "what I can eat" to stop eating meat. However, I might try baby steps such as "Meatless Mondays" and go from there.

Then that takes care of food. But then...you realize there are horrible chemicals in the toothpaste you use. You have to go buy organic now. And special mouthwash. And then, you see that the cleaning chemicals you use are going to give you cancer and are bad for the earth so you decide you want to buy cleaning products that are made by the earth and are good for the earth and you.

You can see how it can easily get out of hand. You have to draw lines somewhere and make some educated decisions. But who knows whats really the right thing to do? I know people that are so far down the rabbit hole that they think driving cars is bad for your health, or touching plastic will kill you, or sleeping in a bed, or whatever. People like that can move to the middle of the jungle, if you ask me. I'm trying to never come across as that person. But its such a fine line and still draws a lot of negative attention from most of the "American" people. Americans are slowly starting to catch on, thanks to documentaries like "food Inc" and "fast food nation", but not catching on fast enough.

Side note: I wish there was a way to shut down the huge players in the fast food industry. I just wish. But that would probably start the next American Revolution. . . Also, in one of my "food" books I am reading ( I think its FFN) , one of the authors mentioned that the American/Western culture would never do that because the fast food culture is booming the economy. Sadly, thats where people are spending a lot of their money. The "food industry" would not make any money if people grew their own gardens or went to farmers markets...farmers would be making the money again....woah. Imagine that. Also, The Western healthcare system needs fast food. The health care system treats the major "American" diseases : Obesity, Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, etc... I am going to be a nurse. Hands down I would rather be paid less than watch us continue to take patients like this "because its booming the healthcare system".

It's one thing to make these choices for myself. I can hold my own. It doesnt bother me. It bothers other people more than it bothers me. But having children and getting married is going to be the tricky part. Moving out into my own place soon is going to be the best part of this...I can (hopefully) grow my own garden or buy from a farmers market, and I can COOK, with ingredients I buy. I have to learn how to actually cook, and fast. Really fast. Like, now.  However, once I can meet a guy that can get past the initial disaster "picnic date" or awkward conversation we have on all this, and STILL wants to date me, and marry me, then its time to have kids. Let me say this now: I have no interest in changing the way my future boyfriend/husband eats. I am doing this for my own body. Of course, if he wanted help and wanted to make these choices, I would gladly assist. But I am sure as hell not going to be "that wife" that criticizes her husband when he eats Burger King or whatever. That would be a very short marriage.

But then the kids. I can't control my (future) husbands food choices. He is a fully grown adult that has a RIGHT to make whatever decisions he wants to make. But is it moral to control my children's? If I had complete say, I make these rules: No dairy, no high fructose corn syrup, no corn products, not too much meat, and no fast food (maybe like once a month *maybe!*).  Is that so wrong? Is it unethical to keep your child away from food you know is bad? Thats good, right?  If you start the child off with these dietary habits from birth, they won't even know the difference until they enter the school system. And I am sure as hell not going to keep my kids home from school just so I can control what they eat. Again, I dont want to be that person. But what happens when little Benny goes to eat at a friends house, and they are having McDonalds for dinner? And Benny likes it? And Benny gets mad at me when I say we are not having that in this household?

I don't want to be the "annoying mom on the block"...where other moms dont want to have my kid over because they don't know what to feed the kid. I don't want to have to panic when I send my kids to other houses. I want my kids to have friends. I dont want my kid to be the poor kid at the lunch table with the "weird organic food".   It makes me sad. I suppose if I want to be realistic about it, the best thing I can do is feed my children "good" food when I am with them, and hope for the best when I am not (at school and at other houses, etc).

I wish there were "healthy food communities- neighborhoods" where realistic (future) mom's like me could live in with their kids (and husband of course!) where everyone made healthy choices like this. Where you could send kids to other houses to play with no problem. The whole neighborhood is dairy free. You could have block parties and not have to worry about whats in the food......just imagine. Maybe one day.

Ok this is really long. I have a little bit more to say, but also have to get to bed. Early Riser tomorrow morning, I am following a Nurse Supervisor as a school assignment for my leadership/management course and I am super excited!!! I'll let ya'll know If i learn any thing awesome.

Again, thank you so much for reading another long post. This is really getting to be a huge passion and focus of mine. Thanks for bearing with me....-

WIth love,

~A Writer in a Nurse's Body

1 comment:

Jessica said...

I'll never not be your friend because of how you eat, don't worry :) Everything will work out! You worry too much ;)