Fat Kid Suit


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Rambling Radiation and Macro Thinking

Back from a crazy weekend in Tijuana (TJ stories coming soon!) to the sometimes myopic world I inhabit.

Just before crossing the border for a weekend of drinking in Mexico I attended one of the world’s largest natural foods conventions dubbed “Expo West.”  Hundreds of thousands of square feet in Anaheim California were covered with pretty girls hawking “natural” cosmetics, pills, chocolate, gluten-free products, beer, and even pet food.  The Expo is a place fraught with myopia and attention to the fragments and macro-elements of nutrition.  The words “whole foods” are used frequently, but few foods can actually be found in their whole form.  You will not see any bananas, tomatoes, mangoes, or spinach.  But there are lots of extracts and powders containing these “miracle” foods.

The labeling on most of the products is testament to marketing genius.  One companies Teas are labeled exclusively with the disorder or ailment you are hoping to treat–the variety of tea is found only in the small print.  Imagine walking up to a display rack full of tea packets and choosing “long life tea” or “asthma no more tea” or “stop crapping my pants tea.”  At one very reputable company’s booth I found a pill bottle simply labeled “Beautiful Legs.”  Beneath the product shelf, you guessed right, a poster of some beautiful legs.

 

Now available in a capsule.

While it was heartening to see so many companies trying to craft minimally processed foods devoid of GMOs, chemicals, crap fillers like gluten, and unneeded animal products, I could not escape the feeling that I was in the midst of so many snake oil sellers.

The fiber pushers especially confound me.  Yogurt that will make you poop?  Water containing fiber.  Pills with fiber.  People do realize that if they just eat some fruit and greens they have this whole issue covered, right?

 

This banner was in the mens room...

When I was walking around and looking at all the new stuff I couldn’t help but be impressed with all the ingenuity.  But it felt like I was in a mega store for astronauts who would need all these products because while journeying through space they wouldn’t be able to enjoy something as simple as an apple.

Or maybe these products will save us.  The web is full of speculation about radiation poisoning here on the west coast as a result of jet stream carried fallout.  The nutrition gurus are cashing in on split-cell chlorella pills and anything containing loads of iodine.  I’ve already taken all the free samples I was given at Expo West of each…

Part of the Exclusion Zone--Or the Zone of Alienation surrounding Cherynobyl

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Is it even possible to avoid Monsanto’s GMO products?

Food that is really born in laboratories...

I am going to cheat in a big way today and provide an intriguing link to another blog.  I’m doing this for three reasons:

  1. It is fucking gorgeous out and I want to go on a bike ride before work instead of writing.
  2. This is a really great article on one woman’s telling experiment.
  3. Seeing the recent news about Bio-science companies getting approval to grow rice in Kansas spliced with human genes freaked me out!

The story is about her decision to live without Monsanto for just one month.  And it was a lot more difficult than she anticipated…

“By day two of my attempt to remove Monsanto from my life, I realized I was in way over my head.”
–April Davila

Take a friend to a Farmer's Market!

But don’t worry, she also provides some spot on suggestions on exactly how we can avoid genetically modified foods too.

Please click here to read her story and enjoy.  I would really like to hear your thoughts on this topic.


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Shocker: I’ve lost 19 pounds since Valentine’s Day by avoiding Industrial Food!

I want to share where I am at with my efforts to walk away from Industrial food.

An Inner Debate

On Feb 9 I listened in as Daniel Vitalis and David Wolfe participated in Kevin Gianni’s “Great Health Debate.”  Click to read my review of the event and see why it immediately motivated me to make some serious changes in my life.

That was only 3 1/2 weeks ago–just before Valentines Day.  Since then I have honored my commitment to avoid meat, dairy, GMOs, processed foods, refined sugar, coffee, and I’ve eliminated all gluten from my diet.  The result?

I Break the News

I FEEL GREAT and I HAVE LOST 19 LBS in just 25 DAYS!

I wasn’t expecting these kind of results.  When I went to weigh myself today I thought the scale would tell me I had  lost around 10-12 LBS.   The reason I am surprised is because I have been unable to exercise due to injury.

100% Raw VS My New Approach

This level of weight loss is almost identical to the results I had when I did my 100% raw food challenge.  Even the starting and ending weights are within a few pounds! Here you can see full body Before & After pics taken during my first 30 days raw. However, this time around I am only eating about 1/3  of my calories in raw form (uncooked fruits n’ veggies).

Cooked Carbs

I was concerned that my increased intake of cooked carbohydrate like potatoes, carrots, beans, brown rice pasta, and organic corn tortillas; might even result in weight gain.  When I did 100% raw I gave up ALL alcohol.  The past 3 1/2 weeks I have enjoyed red wine and even cocktails made with only fresh ingredients.

Fat Phobia

The other difference between how I eat now VS when I ate only raw food for 60 days–is my fat intake. While I have not been fat phobic in any way, I am eating way less fat than when I did 100% raw and was eating a ton of nuts, nut creams, nut butters, and 1-2 avocados a day. I don’t include nuts in my diet every day now.  I eat a half an avocado every other day or so.  I cook sparingly with olive oil and try to instead use it in it’s uncooked form in salads or pesto. I do eat a few eggs each week.

So What Exactly DO I Eat Now?

If you are curious to read more about what I HAVE been eating, and even see some pics, check out my daily food log called What I Ate Today.

The only current “Before & After” pics I have kinda suck, but I will include them here because I think you can see a dramatic difference in my fat face.  My apologies, the first pic is creepy.

 

Scary Valentine photo taken Feb 12 256 LBS

Same hat, looking a little more Grapes Of Wrath, less than 3 weeks later, Mar 7--237 LBS


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People are kinda creeped by what I am keeping in my fridge

If you have read FAT KID SUIT lately you know that I recently started over.  One year is plenty of time to get in amazing shape.  Unfortunately it is also more than enough time to completely fall apart and double in size.

This past Saturday was the first time in a year I went to the local Farmer’s Market with the intention of buying almost ALL of my food for the week there.  I forgot just how different shopping for a true plant-based diet is…

 

When you truly buy enough plant calories, there is little room in the fridge for anything else!

Let me give you a tour of the fridge, which friends and family have called everything from “Gross!” to “Insane!”

Top Shelf

  • Hidden from view are amazing local dates and a couple jars of raw almond butter.
  • Tangerines
  • Apples (several varieties)
  • Snap Peas
  • Local Eggs
  • Red and Gold raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Three colors of bell peppers
  • Red cabbage
  • Oranges

Middle Shelf

  • In what used to be the “cheese” drawer is cucumber, asparagus, broccoli, and cauliflower.
  • Hidden from view under that drawer is a huge bag of oranges, and a big bag of tangelos for juicing.
  • Sitting in water is celery and three types of carrots.

Bottom “Crisper” Drawers

  • The bottom is mostly greens.  Kale, spinach, mache, arugula, cilantro…bags and bags of greens!

In addition to the what is in the fridge we keep several bunches of bananas and a couple bottles of wine on the counter  at all times.  Next to the fridge are some little “dry” pantry shelves…

 

Basic staples I am using a lot of since changing the way I eat back to plant-based and including some cooked vegetables.

Some of the stuff on these shelves are left overs from different things I’ve tried and am no longer really doing.  For instance the powdered greens and greens in pill form.  As you can see from the fridge pics the focus is on fresh.

Why not 100% raw?

I am not wanting to do 100% raw right now.  By not pushing for 100% I am eating less nuts and almost no raw specialty foods.  In addition to the calories I get from raw fruits, veggies, and small quantities of raw nuts and oils–I get calories from simple cooked meals that are comprised of potatoes and other cooked vegetables, tomato sauces, and delicious fresh pesto.  I limit myself to having a few servings of whole grains and eggs each week.  The cans you see are cat food, which since October have been the only meat in the house…

In just a few weeks I have gotten off the coffee ride, am drinking a lot less hard liquor, and no beer.  Done are the nightly pizzas, the garlic bread, french fries, and junk sweets.  And guess what?  The out of control and disgusting acid reflux, which had reached a level where I couldn’t even lay flat to sleep, is 100% gone.  I am exercising almost every day now, and feel compelled to do so.  I will weigh myself soon, but from what I can see in the mirror I have already dropped a lot of toxic weight.  All thanks to avoiding industrial food and doing my best to choose the most nutrient rich foods I can eat.

 


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Back On The Wild Wagon Ride Into Uncertainty

 

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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Franken Pigs and other Monsters

In America — Justice Really Is Blind

When Annie and I visited a farm animal shelter for her birthday, we were introduced to some fairly young pigs the size of Volkswagens.

On our tour we learned that they were “rescued” genetically modified pigs.  These industrial hogs were not only unnaturally enormous, but their proportions were all askew. The pig designers work very hard to have the truckloads of calories their investments consume go to all the highest ‘price-per-pound’ spots.

 

The result are mutant pigs who cannot live out a natural life even when given the opportunity to do so, because their bodies literally COLLAPSE structurally while  they are still teens. And remember, the shelter is an environment where they are given no additional growth hormones (like they would at the factory) and are fed natural food!

Shelter staff sadly admitted to keeping them alive as long as they could do so with relative quality of life, and then putting them down once their respiratory system, organs, and limbs are no longer  able to handle their freakish mass.

Regardless of how how you feel about the ethical implications of eating animals, this freak show has to stop!  Take the blindfold off and actually look at what’s on your plate.