Thursday, July 31, 2014

The All Cricket Diet

Courtesy Johan J. Ingles-Le Nobel @ Flickr CC
Early this year I stopped eating meat. 

I did this because I was grossed out by how meat is raised, because I can't really afford to buy even the most corporate-raised mystery meat (never mind grass-fed organic), and because we had just gotten Netflix live streaming for TV, which offered at least six documentaries on why vegan eating is the only responsible way to eat, period. 

That was back in February or so.

Since then, I've added eggs and whole milk to my diet because I just started craving them. I buy cage free eggs which I know are still not that humanely raised, and organic milk. 

We grow some of our own fruit and veggies.

It got me to thinking though how hung up on food American's are, me included. 

We're fat, for one thing, and we know it. We get constant reminders on the news and in the doctor's office and when we try on clothes made in the third world for people one-third our average size. We feel bad about that and wallow in self-hatred and yet... losing weight is hard. 

Correction: Losing weight is easy.

Keeping it off is hard. 

I've lost some weight. mostly by accident, switching to veggies. But in general, I'm still not bikini material (at 61) and even though Helen Mirren IS (and she's older than me!) I've learned that I can't (won't) do anything about it and anyway, acceptance works way better for me for a happy life.

I've seen these food fads come and go:

The Stillman Diet (remember that one?): All protein. period.

The Atkins Diet: Mostly protein, some veggies.

The South Beach Diet: Low fat protein, lots of veggies & fruit.

Food Combining: Because nobody knows more about food than Suzanne Sommers.

Eating every other day: Because if you don't eat, you can lose weight.

Vegan: No meat or animal products ever, no matter the cost. (The saddest two words in the English language are "vegan bakery.")

No grains, no bread: Wheat belly? Please. I made this belly myself, thank you very much!

No sugar: OK that's actually a good idea. But very difficult.

Basically almost any change you make to your diet that eliminates a food group will cause you to lose some weight, for awhile. But for most of human history, people ate whatever they could get their hands on. And in lean times, so would we. 

I'm thinking however that diet books might be a source of income in a time when most writers are filled with financial despair. How about the All Cricket Diet? Did you ever see a fat bird? No of course not. Birds eat crickets and so should we. 

John the Baptist lived in the desert on locusts and honey and did he have a gut?

No, he did not. Although, he did lose his head eventually... but I don't think it was due to the locusts.

So choose your poison, or your food. It's your life, after all.

But you are not what you eat.

You are you. 

Food is food. 

Crickets are free.

Eat as many as you can catch for a svelte new body!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

A Quality of Light

Courtesy Eddie Quinones @ Flickr CC
Something about waiting in a laundromat feels like this moment.

From the constant hum and thunk of the rotating machines, to the smell of damp and steam and the propped open doors, to the random tabloid pages and the women's mags worn thin and soft as cotton flannel, waiting in this laundromat is like being inside a warm egg with new, wet feathers, waiting and warming.

A quality of light found only in laundromats is the color of waiting, the buzzing blue florescent shimmer neither too bright nor quite bright enough, the sense of swimming through some thick sparking nowhere. Whitens! Brightens!

It doesn't. Not ever.

Invisible and too visible, the color of waiting is a quality of light that flecks grey eyes with silver and shadows with swirls of white, like the white of a poached egg or a sheet that is not quite dry or maybe starched with albumin.

Launderers avoid the whites of each other's eyes but notice everyone everything else, the torn wet Tide package committed to memory, the Tide comes in but never stays in. The peanuts are always stale.

Bring your own.

Why are we waiting?

Why is this steel egg shabby sad tired end


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Is the World Getting Weirder or Is It Just Me?

Courtesy Gideon @ Flickr CC
This past month in happy, vacation-worthy West Michigan, the following events made the news:
  • A young man with a Craig's list ad murdered a pregnant teenager and her boyfriend. The boyfriend was rumored to be setting up the young woman to have sex. The murderer kept the girl chained in his basement before killing her and then cut off her boyfriend's head. The head has still not been found. Neighbors remarked that the murderer (who killed himself after the double killings) seemed like a nice, boring sort of guy.
  • A young woman was murdered by her new boyfriend, a Facebook friend, at the gas station/quickie-mart where she worked. He stabbed her repeatedly then helped himself to some money, beer, and cigarettes. He walked out and casually boarded a train with a male friend. 
  • A dozen kids living in marginal neighborhoods shot each other for no apparent reason. 
  • A grandmother riding bikes on a popular trail with her grandson was stopped by a teenager who demanded her bike. When she refused, he knocked her off the bike, took out a gun, pistol-whipped her, and took the bike anyway. It was not a valuable bike. 
These are just the stories I remember off the top of my head, but I have to confess, this kind of thing is starting to bother me. Is the world really crazier than ever or does the news just pay more attention to violent craziness? 

I figure I can 1) quit watching the news or reading it, 2) do something but I don't know what the hell it would be, or 3) blog. 

More and more I think the earth has been invaded by aliens. 

And the aliens are us.