Fat Kid Suit

Back On The Wild Wagon Ride Into Uncertainty

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What Surprised Me About THE GREAT HEALTH DEBATE
Kevin Gianni

The Great Health Debate hosted by Kevin Gianni was more enlightening than I anticipated.

The “debate” didn’t really follow a debate format. It was actually a series of  interviews with various nutritional heavies.  While there were some interesting ideas presented, I can’t say it necessarily taught me a lot in regards to nutrition.

In fact the “experts” conflicting data was in many ways more confusing than clarifying…

But in an odd way, listening to so many gurus and so much info in one concentrated week freed me! I now see this diet world and all its associated conflict for what is–further evidence that life is unknowable and full of seeming contradiction. It seems that many want to hear stated something that can’t be–unassailable truth. It just doesn’t exist for diet, or anything else.

That realization–more like something I forgot again–was the extra push I needed to crawl back in the red Radio Flyer I tumbled out of a year ago, and really start living again. Whether you are hurrying by mirrors denying the degree of ill health you are in, self medicating your unhappiness with booze and pills, or even denying the sometimes scary awareness of just how uncertain all things are–denial is a powerful thing.

My Favorite Part Of The Debate

I especially enjoyed the perspectives shared on the evening David Wolfe and Daniel Vitalis were interviewed by Kevin Gianni.

A quick note: I think these two interviews illustrate what a shame it is that the debate wasn’t a true verbal exchange between the participants.  Much is lost when there isn’t a direct interchange, and I believe Kevin is not only an awesome interviewer but also an excellent moderator more than capable of keeping the discussions, and even arguments, on track.

Wolfe

Why I especially enjoyed Wolfe and Vitalis had less to do with their nutritional insights than their incredible openness and general take on life. Both refused  to talk about people, food, and nutrition in a simplified reductionist light; a path they both admit to once being on.

Vitalis

 

Both men–regardless of how you feel about their advice–strike me as individuals who find things out for themselves, and then share their experience more than their opinions.

As I said in yesterdays post RE opinions, this experential approach to life, which is less about judgement and knowing than direct experience appeals to me. Coming to any table vested in winning an argument means you are not really their to share info or listen to what others have to say.

What Now?

Immediately following the interviews with both David Wolfe and Daniel Vitalis I felt inspired to begin yet again on my very personal journey toward healthful eating.  I also felt empowered to do this in small ways, to do it without labels, and without subscribing to any particular guru’s unique approach.

For me that has meant being blatantly honest about which foods I know intuitively after 37 years on the planet do nothing for me nutritionally and in some cases cause harm to my organism.

At my current very low level of personal health and well-being it is clear to me the following  foods have to be eliminated from my diet:

  • All commercial dairy products and all cow dairy regardless of its source.
  • All gluten, all processed grains in any form other than whole, and very little if any of those.
  • Refined sugar in its myriad disguises.
  • Factory farmed anything.
  • Artificial anything.
  • Genetically Modified produce grown with pesticides.
  • Coffee.  Probably the most difficult to give up on this list, but a food that I have a long negative history with.
  • All foods cooked or fried in oil.
  • Added salt.

 

What Does That Leave TO Eat?

A lot actually.  The issue in some ways may actually be less about what to eat, than where to eat it, and where it came from?

During the debate there was a ton of discussion about what humans did or didn’t eat 10,000 years ago.  Most of this was centered around whether humans did, and whether we currently should, eat meat.  This being the primary item debated struck me as strange and limiting.

 

When 'To Eat or Not To Eat?' was the food question of the day...

While Kevin Gianni was extremely fair with all  participants, not once did I hear him try and sway the debates, it was obvious that the debates were the brainchild of a non meat eater, because every question was eventually reduced to one, “should we or shouldn’t we eat meat?”  Not an irrelevant question, and definitely juicy with controversy, but still a question that invariably limited the scope and depth of a discussion about health.

Who Should We Really Be Arguing With?

I can’t help but feel, and here I am proffering my opinion, which I am trying to do less of, that a true debate about health in our time would center much more on the merits of industrialized food VS non-industrial local sources of food.

Healthy meat VS unhealthy.  Healthy vegetables VS unhealthy.  Yes there will always be room to debate percentages and quantities of macro-nutrients.  There will always be a philosophical debate about  killing or using animals for food. But the carnivores, omnivores, herbivores, and fruitarians are all in the same boat when it comes to the industrialization of our food to the point that it barely resembles food. Have you walked through a modern supermarket lately?  It is frightening.

"cheese" puffs and pepsi

AISLE 9 - Corn Syrup - Aspartame - Phosphoric Acid

Look back at my hit list of foods I want to eliminate from my life.  It is essentially a  list of industrial food.

For me to avoid the foods on that list, it would be difficult to eat in most restaurants, and impossible to eat in many.  For me to source quality fruit, vegetables, eggs, whole grains and meat (if I choose to eat meat again in the future) would require finding a source other than the giant corporate markets.

 

 

 

Mono-crop agriculture and factory farms are the same thing.  A very bad response to ever growing numbers of humans who aren’t prepared psychologically, politically, and technologically to feed the next generation.   Mad Science and greed have taken only 40-50 years to bring us humans down to a frightening level of disease and ill health. Obviously there are healthy people who eat meat.  Obviously there are healthy people who eat no meat.  To argue otherwise is asinine.

 

While we argue (in an arguably entertaining fashion) about how much if any of our diets should come from animals, the state of all of our food is worsening.  Our options are lessening.  Our inherent right to grow food and share it with each other is being stripped away; perhaps irreversibly.

Maybe “You are what you eat” has less to do with which kingdom it came from than whether or not what you eat–plant or animal–was healthy before you ate it?

Will we start arguing with the companies and governments who are ruining our food supply?  Can we channel some of  the energy we use debating food philosophy and branded versions of health into effective change both in our back yards and through legislation?  Because somewhere in our current debate is a form of denial about the real elephant in the room.  And that can’t be healthy.

Either way, thanks Kevin Gianni for doing something!  You obviously worked extremely hard on this project, and in my own way, I benefited greatly from it. The last several days I have taken some concrete steps to better my health, which I will be sharing soon.

Cheers!

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Author: Gray

Son of a traveling salesman who infected me early with gypsy wanderlust and the urge to move somewhere new every couple years to try on new identities. All my fantasies are escapist and in them I am free to never have to call anyplace home.

7 thoughts on “Back On The Wild Wagon Ride Into Uncertainty

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Back On The Wild Wagon Ride Into Uncertainty « Fat Kid Suit -- Topsy.com

  2. I listened to the last “debate” of the series. (Thank you for the link.) For me, the most thought-provoking idea I heard (it wasn’t the first time I’d ever heard it) was the idea of eating what your ethic ancestors ate. And if you’re of mixed ethnic heritage, doing an elaborate “process of elimination test” to determine what to ultimately eat. But- I guess I’m not motivated to try that, as I don’t have any known serious health issues, and I’m already mostly comfortable with my food choices.

    The consideration of animals- regardless of whether they come from an organic, open pasture or a factory farm- is the most important consideration I have for my diet. I am an animal rights advocate, and I view so-called “meat animals” as being intelligent and sentient in the same way humans are intelligent and sentient. My opinion is I can’t be humane to an animal and eat it at the same time. So I don’t.

    My husband eats meat. He also eats a fair amount of processed food. He turns his nose up at a lot of my food choices. Instead of arguing, I cook his meat for him and remind him I will respect his food choices as long as he respects mine. This usually works, though it’s still something we struggle with.

    The list of foods you avoid is longer than mine. For example, I sometimes drink coffee and I add salt to some of my food. I also eat some processed food, such as veggie “cheese” and tofu. And yesterday- Valentine’s Day- my husband and I had a party with beer, chips, and fudge. Today I will eat better.

    Congratulations on your renewed focus on your health. Best of luck! 🙂

    • Today Kevin Gianni wrote a blog post grading himself and the debate. He mentions several of the things I talked about RE ppl avoiding the industrial food aspect, etc.

      He also shares some of the difficulties he had getting the nutrition celebs to agree to an actual debate, etc.

      You can read about that here. His final grade is a B. I think the guy deserves a big plus sign next to that.

    • Thanks CM

      My list of industrial foods to avoid is in response to me being pretty strung out (adrenals), overweight and undernourished.

      Will I loosen up on that list eventually, probably…but not how I have before. Some foods for me truly are “triggers” that either physically, mentally, or both, totally wreck any intention I have and the next thing you know I am back to where I am now: Fat, acid-reflux, exhausted, kidney pain, dry skin levels of dehydration, etc.

      So I like the idea of being flexible enough to not be the odd man out at a party or if i go out with friends, but for now I’ll just have to be the weirdo.

      • Great that you’re listening to a variety of opinions, and then ultimately listening to yourself and your body to guide your diet. Seems a lot of people simply latch onto a food guru because they’re unwilling to think for themselves. (This same latch-on behavior is endemic in other facets of life as well, but that’s another story.)

        I also like the flexibility going out to eat with friends, et cetera. I choose to not freak out if my soup has meat broth in it. I hate to see food wasted, especially meat. If my husband leaves a significant amount of meat on his plate uneaten, I will eat it (if it’s not bloody or otherwise unpalatable). An animal died to feed his meat preference, the purchase of that animal is complete, and the meat industry has already been rewarded and reinforced from his purchase. Consuming the entire animal is less shameful, in my opinion, then sending the remaining carcass to a landfill.

  3. Thanks for your comments! 🙂

    David and Daniel were willing to debate, but this came down to scheduling. (the calls were prerecorded for many reasons) 🙂

    If I were to do this again, I would definitely have to work on my relationships with some of the experts, since I feel some of them didn’t know me well enough to trust that I could handle this in a professional manner.

    I think with this under my belt, maybe we’ll have better response next time!

    Kev

  4. Pingback: Shocker: I’ve lost 19 pounds since Valentine’s Day by avoiding Industrial Food! « Fat Kid Suit

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