I have had food on the brain so much this past week. I’ve been reading and hearing a lot lately about how poorly our food system in North America is run, especially how bad the meat is that we’re eating. I actually watched Oprah one day last week as she interviewed Michael Pollan, author of Food Rules and a featured expert in the documentary Food, Inc. She also interviewed Alicia Silverstone at the end of the show about the book she’s written about her vegan lifestyle. By the end of the show I’d gone from thinking, “Yuck, I never want to eat like that again,” to “I can’t give up meat, but where do I find beef, pork, or chicken without hormones and antibiotics?” to “Maybe if we give up something we can find room in the budget to go organic… I’ve been wanting to for a long time,” to “How is this even possible? I give up.”
A lot of my discouragement honestly came from living in Canada and not knowing where/how to access organic, whole foods easily. I don’t know of a store like Whole Foods that is dedicated to selling these types of products. But I have to stop thinking like this. Vancouver is an incredibly diverse and eco-friendly city. I just need to look a bit harder and I should be able to find it. For example, I had lunch with Beth on Saturday at a very hip vegetarian restaurant downtown called Foundation Lounge. And I say hip because it was full of quintessential hipsters.
As Beth said when we arrived, “To work here you have to have tattoos, scruffy facial hair, or both.” And you have to dress like a pirate. But I digress.
I’ve decided to take this all in baby steps (thanks, Dave Ramsey). I am going to make changes, just not all at once (which is my usual, fail-certain approach). For starters, to get more whole foods in my diet, I decided to make myself a vegetarian meal for dinner last night, recreating Beth’s lunch from Foundation (aptly named the Lower East Side, for any locals reading this). And yes, I ate that dish by myself as Brian does not think a meal is complete without some form of meat. Nor will he even look at black beans after his last trip to Nicaragua. I’d say I did a fairly good job. I only had a small bite of Beth’s meal at lunch but I was satisfied. It was just coconut lime rice, black beans, and papaya. Simple but filling. And probably weird-sounding to you. Don’t judge until you’ve tried it.
My final thought on all of this is how much of what I’ve been eating over the years has had a direct effect on my bad health lately? And how much better will I feel after a few months of eating only whole, unmedicated food?