Positive Thinking
- POSTED ON: Feb 27, 2013


More on Intermittent Fasting
- POSTED ON: Feb 26, 2013


A farmer wants the donkey to take the load and travel.
But, the donkey does not move.
He hits the donkey with a stick, but it still won’t move.
So, he ties a carrot to the stick  and holds it in front of the donkey, just out of reach.
The donkey wants to eat the carrot and moves forward.
At the same time, the carrot also moves by the same distance.
The donkey cannot eat the carrot, till the farmer reaches his destination
.
 

Here is the Carrot used in Intermittent fasting.


“Just get through today, and tomorrow you can eat what you want.”


Unfortunately it isn’t the truth … unless what you WANT tomorrow is merely what a naturally thin person consistently eats in order to maintain a normal weight.

Successful self-discipline requires plenty of carrot as well as stick.
The stick without the carrot can be used for punishment, but as a reward that stick is ineffective.

Success with intermittent fasting ... (or even with other diets involving intermittment times of calorie restriction – such as: restricted weekdays with unrestricted weekends) ... requires the low-calorie eating days to be balanced together with days of eating at maintenance calorie level … in other words, the restrictive days need to occur alongside the kind of “healthy” moderate diet that is followed by the naturally thin.

This requirement actually makes intermittent fasting more challenging than many other diets, and, for all but the most dedicated, even more unappealing and more impossible to follow.

If I WANTED only “normal” amounts of “healthy foods”, being fat would never have been a problem for me, and a Binge/Fast eating pattern rarely proves to be an effective weight-loss strategy.

The promise of days of unlimited, unrestricted eating is what lures one to the diet, but for most people this is really only a stick with the false promise of a carrot. Here’s a statement by one of the people who have found Intermittent Fasting a personal success:


What I found was that my appetite gradually changed as I adapted to fasting and I no longer needed to binge-eat on up days. I wasn't a saint exactly but I was more restrained and weight-loss was steady and noticeable.”


People who succeed at non-fasting, but still intermittently restricted diets, such as the No S Diet, ..(which has restricted eating for 5 days, and unrestricted eating for 2 days)...  make similar claims. They indicate that after time, maybe 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, etc… their weekday restrained eating habits bleed over onto weekends, and they no longer wish to overeat even though the diet “allows” them to do so.

Allegedly … eventually, …. the fat person’s body and appetitive will adapt, and the formerly fat person will naturally choose to eat in a way that will maintain a “normal” person’s weight.

Yeah … and for those fat people who rely on that promise, I’ve got a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn. While this might hold true for some overweight or even some borderline obese people who are not that far away from “normal” weight, there is a great deal of evidence that this is an illusionary promise for most of the people who’ve spent years being truly fat. Despite numerous, lengthy attempts, that promise doesn’t appear to prove true for a great many people, including me personally.

These claims remind me a bit of that “trust your body” position followed by those who adopt Intuitive Eating principles, .. those who tightly close their eyes to all of the Scientific research available which clearly tells us, that what an obese body can be trusted to do is struggle to remain obese or … in the event a fat person manages to lose down to a normal weight … what a reduced obese body can then be trusted to do is to insist on its return to obesity.

I’ve spent quite a lot of time experimenting with these lower-eating/higher-eating concepts, and for me personally, they’ve tended to result in a binge/fast pattern. This is because the absence of a carrot leaves only the stick, and self-punishment is not a sustainable, or highly motivating, factor for me.

Here’s a recent article about Intermitted Fasting which I found interesting.

Is Intermittent Fasting Just Another Fad?
                             by Daniel Bartlett 2/9/2013 - Huffingtonpost.co.uk

Every year, without fail, a new diet gets media attention and every year I put my head in my hands. The newest trend for 2013 is fasting diets, dusted off and freshly repackaged to appeal to the masses.

Intermittent fasting, or the "5/2 diet", marks an especially exciting period for perpetual dieters, because these plans offer the idea that you can eat anything you like on your non-fasting days. The holy grail of binge eating has finally arrived and I can almost hear the collective sigh of relief across the airwaves.

The concept behind the 5/2 Diet is simple. Eat very restricted calories for two days and eat whatever you like for the other five. To think, most people were only throwing caution to the wind at weekends before. It's akin to telling an alcoholic the best way to cure his drink problem is by having more whisky.

There is nothing wrong with fasting, but nothing particularly new either. Civilizations have been practicing fasting for centuries as there are clear and demonstrated benefits, but the fasting part of the 5/2 diet is not the problem. It's the encouragement of explicitly unhealthy food consumption.

Just the other day I met up with a friend who gleefully informed me of this wonderful new diet whilst washing down a burger and fries with a thick strawberry milkshake. "The best thing about Intermittent Fasting" They said in between giant bites of burger. "Is if I can just get through a couple of days, I can eat whatever I like".

As I left the table I found it hard to believe that an extreme diet of highly processed foods in large quantities followed by periods of abstinence would deliver on its promises.

I know that not everybody following an intermittent fasting plan will eat so poorly in the non-fasting days, but when it comes to the mainstream this is the message that seems to be sticking.

I can hear the advocates of intermittent fasting frantically preparing the multiple studies on mice and fruit flies, ready to tell me about IGF1 and how they are going to live for eternity, and yes, there is evidence that fasting reduces oxidative stress, increases insulin sensitivity and resists the effects of aging. It would seem that there are benefits to reducing total calorific intake but surely not at the sacrifice of quality nutrition.

It may surprise you to learn that I have used fasting to great effect in clients experiencing difficulty losing weight or achieving health goals, but only after more proven methods are failing. In many cases IF does offer a suitable method of busting through a plateau, but in other instances, intermittent fasting leaves people irritable and performing terribly.

Crucially, in cases where intermittent fasting has been introduced successfully it is always alongside a healthy diet. This makes intermittent fasting not only more challenging than other diets, but more unappealing and impossible to follow for all but the most dedicated. You can't sell the stick without the carrot.

The first thing anybody should do to improve health and increase longevity is eliminate processed foods, not introduce them in large quantities on an empty stomach. By eating whole natural foods most people see an immediate benefit to health, weight and energy levels.

                         David Bartlett is a personal trainer of professional athletes 
                         who owns and runs a holistic health and fitness center in Chiswick, London


For me, as well as many other people (although not everyone), fasting is a form of suffering.

The False Promise involved with Intermittent Fasting diets … the message of eating as much as you want of whatever you want (who wouldn't want that in a weight loss plan?) … is reinforced over, and over again.


"Imagine the freedom that would come from being able to do whatever you want, eat whatever you want and know - not think, not hope, but know for certain - that you'll never gain another pound."

"Eat whatever you want as much as you want. But only eat during ... (a specific time-frame like an 8-hour period, or 5-hour window etc.) ... each day (or on alternate days, or on weekends).

"And the most remarkable thing of all: You only have to follow the diet 3 days a week. Three days a week!" (or 5 days etc.)

Fasting is the Stick.
The Promise of eating what you want on non-fasting days is the Carrot
.

Since summer of 2006, I’ve had quite a lot of personal experience with Intermittent Fasting including QOD, Alternate Day Eating, JUDDD, 5/2, Fast-5, The 8 Hour Diet, and Eat Stop Eat, and for me, the Promise has always proven to be false.

The only way Intermittent Fasting works to cause weight-loss, is if “normal” on the eating days is about the same as one’s maintenance energy burn.

For larger, younger people – especially males -- whose daily calorie burn is around 2000 calories, this can be relatively easy for if they “normally” eat that amount and just occasionally eat higher-calorie.
However, I am a small, older female whose “normal” daily calorie burn is around 1050. It is a continual struggle for me to keep my food intake within that “normal” range, and for me … the reward of getting 1050 calories the next day doesn’t seem like much great reward for a day of eating 300 to 500 calories. So, far, despite my best efforts, my results on the up days have often been more like 1400 to 2000 calories … which cancels out any weight-loss results of the 300 to 500 calorie fast days, … while still being FAR LESS than the amounts I really want to eat after a day, or alternate days, of calorie deprivation.

Fasting is in and of itself, "a form of suffering" for me and many other people, ... although certainly not for everyone.  Even so, unless some other type of Diet / way-of-eating / lifestyle comes along that works well for me to maintain my body within a "nomal" weight-range, I expect I will continue doing further such experiments with diets that contain the promise of even an illusory “carrot”, because that’s the kind of thing I do as a part of my Dieting Hobby.


Calorie Dectective - Lying Food Labels
- POSTED ON: Feb 25, 2013

I count calories consistently.  I weigh and measure my food, and I put it into a computer food journal every day.  I've been doing that since September 20, 2004, which, as of today, makes 3081 consecutive days.

My computer records show that, each year, during the past several years, that my AVERAGE daily calories are around 1050, and yet, over that time,  my weight has crept about 10 pounds up, ... a few pounds a year.  This is despite my best efforts.  I am an older, short, sedentary woman.  According to the Mifflin formula ... which is considered by most experts to be the most accurate... my RMR (resting metabolism rate) should be around 1020 calories, adding an activity factor of 1.2 for sedentary... brings it up to around 1225. So, 1225 is the amount of calories that an average woman with my current BMI, age, and activity would need to maintain her weight. 

See my previous article: Do Calories Matter? which addresses the calorie issue in detail.

One of the things that I find most annoying is being told by fellow dieters or "experts" that I'm eating "too few" calories, and that I need to eat more.  When anyone makes that overused mythical statement about the necessity of a "1200 calorie minimum", I want to poke a sharp stick into their eye.

Bodies are different ages, sizes, sexes, with different activity levels and the word "AVERAGE" means that there are people whose caloric needs are both ABOVE and BELOW that number. Also, and this is what this article addresses:... no matter how carefully a person counts calories, it is absolutely impossible to get a truly accurate count. 

I do the best I can to be accurate, but research shows ... and I've personally discovered ... that calorie counting mistakes are almost always Under the number, not Over the number.  I love food, and I love eating.  I want to be accurate, but I also want as much of that food as I can reasonably eat, and this involves the issue of my appetite as well as the issue of my nutritional needs.

So, first, I realize that no matter how hard I try, I will sometimes make personal mistakes when I judge the amounts of my own food portions.

Next, my calorie counting is based on the information I receive from others about the food I'm eating.  All of that information is based on AVERAGES.  Even raw fruits and vegetables have slightly different calorie counts, depending on their stage of ripeness. The fat content in meats, fish, chicken etc. varies as well.  Most of the food sold in the United States contain food labels.  I input the food label information into my computer software program, and ALLEGEDLY ... when I measure the amounts of that food correctly ... I will have an accurate calorie count.  Unfortunately, this is untrue because the labels are often inaccurate. 

Regulations about the labeling of food developed to insure that the person who was buying the food received fair value for their money. The seller had to keep their "thumb off the scale", and really sell AT LEAST AS MUCH as they said they were selling.  This is still the focus of regulations.  Nowadays marketers know we want the most for our money, AND they know that many of us ALSO want the most for our calories, so calorie labeling errors will almost always be in the direction of saying that there is LESS rather than MORE.

Here is some general information that's important to know regarding the accuracy of nutritional labels:


1. Small mom-and-pop companies are more likely to have mislabeled products than big brands.

2. The FDA allows companies to be up to 20% off on the nutritional stats on packaged foods. So something that is labeled as having 150 calories could, in fact, have 180 calories. Something touting 14g fat could have closer to 17g.

3. The nutritional info provided by restaurant chains is sometimes WAY off. The stats listed on websites, on menus, and in pamphlets are based on the specific amounts of ingredients that should be going into each dish. But the nutritional values in the actual food you're being served can be different due to stuff like oversized portions and careless or uninformed cooks.


Here's a recent article with a link to an interesting video about Food Labeling. 


Calorie Detective
            By Casey Neistat - New York Times Feb 12, 2013

                                Link to:   Calorie Detective video

Diet programs revolve around a proven principle: if you burn more calories than you consume, you will lose weight. The calorie is the defining metric. And so, in the interest of public health, the Food and Drug Administration requires most packaged foods to list their calories, among other data, on labels. To help combat obesity in New York City, the Department of Health requires most chain restaurants to post calorie content on their menus and fines those who don’t comply. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, a national program will soon follow.

In theory, this is a valuable reform. But there’s one glaring problem. According to the F.D.A. and the city’s health department, no one verifies the accuracy of these calorie listings. The system essentially runs on an honor system. Food vendors can list whatever numbers they want, until someone (somehow) catches a problem and files a complaint. So, as an obsessive calorie counter myself, I wanted to find out: how accurate are these labels?

For this Op-Doc video, I selected five items I might consume in an average day: a muffin, a tofu sandwich, a Subway sandwich, a Starbucks Frappuccino and a Chipotle burrito. Then, two food scientists at the New York Obesity Nutrition Research Center at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center painstakingly tested the caloric content of each using a device called a bomb calorimeter. It’s a precise but slow process — taking more than an hour per sample. The results were surprising.

SPOILER ALERT: Four out of the five items I tested had more calories than their labels reported, adding up to 550 calories. If I unknowingly consumed those extra calories every day, in a week I would put on an extra pound of body weight. Not good.

After you watch the video, you might wonder how to explain the discrepancies between the lab tests and the food labels. I called the companies for some answers.


• Morrisons Pastry company, which makes muffins sold at many corner bodegas in New York, said it did not want to comment on its muffins. So I have no idea how to explain those extra calories.

• An employee at the tofu sandwich company, whose sandwich had nearly double the number of calories the label stated, told me that he wasn’t sure how the company came up with the data. He said the company would look into it and, if it found results similar to mine, would change the information on its labels.

• Starbucks and Chipotle both explained that, since their products are made by hand at their shops, there are often small variations in calories. Neither Starbucks nor Chipotle measures calories in a lab, like I did. Instead, they do it on paper — adding up the calories of each ingredient. Dr. Russell Rising from the obesity research lab told me that this process can be especially inaccurate as the calorie values for each ingredient are often outdated.

• Subway said it conducts both in-house and “independent” studies to substantiate its calorie information. A spokesman emphatically stressed that the accuracy of nutritional data is important to the company.


By testing only five items, my little study is hardly conclusive — I was left with more questions than answers. So it would be unfair for me to make broad conclusions about the food industry or point fingers at specific companies. But there’s one thing I can say for certain: our current system for regulating calories is woefully inadequate. With all the attention focused on what our government can do to curb the obesity epidemic, why not start by policing nutritional data?


Casey Neistat is a New York-based filmmaker. He has made dozens of short films released exclusively on the Internet and is the writer, director, editor and star of the series “The Neistat Brothers” on HBO.

Click this Link to watch Calorie Detective video

At the bottom of this article is another video, Lying Food Labels,  in which Hungry Girl, Lisa Lillien, explains that you can’t always trust labels on food.

The FDA’s own manual on nutritional labeling explains that it is the manufacturers, not the FDA, who are responsible for assuring the validity of a product label's nutrient values -- and even then, the FDA recommends that the values be calculated using product composition (meaning - a recipe), rather than any test of the product itself.

As the video makes quite clear, you simply can’t trust food labels.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees federal labeling rules for 80 percent of foods. A report released in October 2008 by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) gave the FDA a failing grade when it comes to preventing false and misleading labeling.

The FDA is Not Testing Label Compliance.  According to the report, the FDA “has not kept pace” with their enforcement efforts as the number of food products has increased dramatically in recent years. It revealed that the FDA has not done random sampling to test the accuracy of Nutrition Facts labels since the 1990s,

The Center for Science in the Public Interest says that even among labels that are suspected of being inaccurate, only very limited testing is done. And as for foreign food firms, the FDA inspected only 95 out of tens of thousands of them in 2007, and only in 11 out of 150 countries.

The GAO also reported that the FDA does not track the correction of labeling violations, which means even if a food manufacturer is known to be using inaccurate labels, no one is checking up to make sure the problem is fixed.

Adding to the problem, the FDA’s own guidelines put the onus of accurate labeling on the manufacturer, and recommend not sampling the actual finished product to test for accuracy but rather to base it on product composition (i.e. a recipe). As their Web site states:


“FDA's continuing policy since the 1970s assigns the manufacturer the responsibility for assuring the validity of a product label's stated nutrient values.

Accordingly, the source of the data used to calculate nutrition label values is the prerogative of the manufacturer, but FDA's policy recommends that the nutrient values for labeling be based on product composition, as determined by laboratory analysis of each nutrient.”


No one knows how Likely is it the Nutrition Info Listed on our Favorite Foods is Wrong. This is truly anyone’s guess, as even the FDA does not have reliable data on the number of labels they’ve reviewed for accuracy, according to GAO.

There was one report a few years back in which the FDA implied that more than 28,000 food labels were checked in a 14-month period. However, they only checked to see whether or not the Nutrition Facts panel was present, rather than whether or not it was accurate.

Last year “Good Morning America”  hired a lab to test a dozen packaged food products to see if the nutrients matched the labels. All 12 products had label inaccuracies of some sort and three were actually off by more than 20 percent on items like sodium and total fat.

But even if the label is present and accurate, it must be more than 20 percent off in order for it to violate federal law, and government food labs have a 10 percent margin of error. This means an item labeled as having 400 calories can legally have up to 480 calories, plus there is the 10 percent testing margin of error.

There are other food-label loopholes to watch out for as well, including:


• Ingredients called “incidental additives” do not have to be listed anywhere on labels. These include substances transferred to food via packaging and "ingredients of other ingredients" that are present at "insignificant levels" and have no "technical or functional effect."

• A label can state it is “free from” a substance if there is less than 0.5 grams of it per serving. So a product that claims to be zero-calorie or gluten-free or trans-fat-free can actually contain up to 0.5 grams per serving. This may seem insignificant, but if you eat more than one serving (as many people do) it will add up fast.

• Undesirable ingredients are often “hidden” on labels. A classic example of this is with the food additive MSG, which is often disguised under ingredients like glutamate or glutamic acid.

• “Natural contaminants” are also allowed and present in your food. This includes things like insect parts, insect eggs, and rodent hairs.

• Many other items are also exempt from being labeled, or may be stated in a way that makes it hard to find. This includes genetically modified ingredients, irradiated ingredients, and ingredients from cloned animals.

So  the bottom line is that we simply can’t exactly know what is in our food ... including how many calories ----- without investing in some independent laboratory analyses.  Unless we want to  make a trip to the lab on our way home from the supermarket,  the best we can do is ... and that STILL won't give us exact calorie counts... purchase mainly whole foods like fresh produce, eggs and meat, then prepare them at home.

We face Lying Food Labels  - -  even at Trader Joe's.


Communication
- POSTED ON: Feb 24, 2013


Healthy Eater?
- POSTED ON: Feb 23, 2013


 
 

What does “Healthy” eating
really mean?


Here’s an amusing article I recently found posted on Northwest Edible Life, (a home gardening blog).




The Terrible Tragedy of the Healthy Eater
            by Erica - Northwest Edible Life - August 1, 2012

I know you. We have a lot in common. You have been doing some reading and now you are pretty sure everything in the grocery store and your kitchen cupboards is going to kill you.

Before Your Healthy Eating Internet Education:


I eat pretty healthy. Check it out: whole grain crackers, veggie patties, prawns, broccoli. I am actually pretty into clean eating.


After Your Healthy Eating Internet Education
:


Those crackers – gluten, baby. Gluten is toxic to your intestinal health, I read it on a forum. They should call those crackers Leaky Gut Crisps, that would be more accurate. That veggie burger in the freezer? GMO soy. Basically that’s a Monsanto patty. Did you know soybean oil is an insecticide? And those prawns are fish farmed in Vietnamese sewage pools. I didn’t know about the sewage fish farming when I bought them, though, really I didn’t!

The broccoli, though..that’s ok. I can eat that. Eating that doesn’t make me a terrible person, unless….oh, shit! That broccoli isn’t organic. That means it’s covered with endocrine disrupting pesticides that will make my son sprout breasts. As if adolescence isn’t awkward enough.

And who pre-cut this broccoli like that? I bet it was some poor Mexican person not making a living wage and being treated as a cog in an industrial broccoli cutting warehouse. So I’m basically supporting slavery if I eat this pre-cut broccoli. Oh my God, it’s in a plastic bag too. Which means I am personally responsible for the death of countless endangered seabirds right now.

I hate myself.


Well, shit.

All you want to do is eat a little healthier. Really. Maybe get some of that Activa probiotic yogurt or something. So you look around and start researching what “healthier” means.

That really skinny old scientist dude says anything from an animal will give you cancer. But a super-ripped 60 year old with a best-selling diet book says eat more butter with your crispy T-Bone and you’ll be just fine as long as you stay away from grains. Great abs beat out the PhD so you end up hanging out on a forum where everyone eats green apples and red meat and talks about how functional and badass parkour is.

You learn that basically, if you ignore civilization and Mark Knopfler music, the last 10,000 years of human development has been one big societal and nutritional cock-up and wheat is entirely to blame. What we all need to do is eat like cave-people.

You’re hardcore now, so you go way past way cave-person. You go all the way to The Inuit Diet™.

Some people say it’s a little fringe, but you are committed to live a healthy lifestyle. “Okay,” you say, “let’s do this shit,” as you fry your caribou steak and seal liver in rendered whale blubber. You lose some weight which is good, but it costs $147.99 a pound for frozen seal liver out of the back of an unmarked van at the Canadian border.

Even though The Inuit Diet™ is high in Vitamin D, you learn that every disease anywhere can be traced to a lack of Vitamin D (you read that on a blog post) so you start to supplement. 5000 IU of Vitamin D before sitting in the tanning booth for an hour does wonders for your hair luster.

Maxing out your credit line on seal liver forces you to continue your internet education in healthy eating. As you read more you begin to understand that grains are fine but before you eat them you must prepare them in the traditional way: by long soaking in the light of a new moon with a mix of mineral water and the strained lacto-fermented tears of a virgin.

You discover that if the women in your family haven’t been eating a lot of mussels for at least the last four generations, you are pretty much guaranteed a $6000 orthodontia bill for your snaggle-tooth kid. That’s if you are able to conceive at all, which you probably won’t, because you ate margarine at least twice when you were 17.

Healthy eating is getting pretty complicated and conflicted at this point but at least everyone agrees you should eat a lot of raw vegetables.

Soon you learn that even vegetables are trying to kill you. Many are completely out unless they are pre-fermented with live cultures in a specialized $79 imported pickling crock. Legumes and nightshades absolutely cause problems. Even fermentation can’t make those healthy.

Goodbye, tomatoes. Goodbye green beans. Goodbye all that makes summer food good. Hey, it’s hard but you have to eliminate these toxins and anti-nutrients. You probably have a sensitivity. Actually, you almost positively have a sensitivity. Restaurants and friends who want to grab lunch with you will just have to deal.

The only thing you are sure of is kale, until you learn that even when you buy organic, local kale from the store (organic, local kale is the only food you can eat now) it is probably GMO cross-contaminated. Besides, it usually comes rolled in corn starch and fried to make it crunchier. Market research, dahling…sorry, people like crunchy cornstarch breaded Kale-Crispers™ more than actual bunny food.

And by now you’ve learned that the only thing worse than wheat is corn. Everyone can agree on that, too. Corn is making all of America fat. The whole harvest is turned into ethanol, high fructose corn syrup, chicken feed and corn starch and the only people who benefit from all those corn subsidies are evil companies like Cargill.

Also, people around the world are starving because the U.S. grows too much corn. It doesn’t actually make that much sense when you say it like that, but you read it on a blog. And anyway, everyone does agree that corn is Satan’s grain. Unless wheat is.

The only thing to do, really, when you think about it, is to grow all your own food. That’s the only way to get kale that isn’t cornstarch dipped. You’ve read a lot and it is obvious that you can’t trust anything, and you can’t trust anyone and everything is going to kill you and the only possible solution is to have complete and total control over your foodchain from seed to sandwich.

Not that you actually eat sandwiches.

You have a little panic attack at the idea of a sandwich on commercial bread: GMO wheat, HFCS and chemical additive dough conditioners. Some people see Jesus in their toast but you know the only faces in that mix of frankenfood grains and commercial preservatives are Insulin Sensitivity Man and his sidekick, Hormonal Disruption Boy.

It’s okay, though. You don’t need a deli sandwich or a po’boy. You have a saute of Russian Kale and Tuscan Kale and Scotch Kale (because you love international foods). It’s delicious. No, really. You cooked the kale in a half-pound of butter that had more raw culture than a black-tie soiree at Le Bernardin.

You round out your meal with a little piece of rabbit that you raised up and butchered out in the backyard. It’s dusted with all-natural pink Hawaiian high-mineral sea salt that you cashed-in your kid’s college fund to buy and topped with homemade lacto-fermented herb mayonnaise made with coconut oil and lemons from a tropical produce CSA share that helps disadvantaged youth earn money by gleaning urban citrus. The lemons were a bit over-ripe when they arrived to you, but since they were transported by mountain bike from LA to Seattle in order to keep them carbon neutral you can hardly complain.

The rabbit is ok. Maybe a bit bland. Right now you will eat meat, but only meat that you personally raise because you saw that PETA thing about industrial beef production and you can’t support that. Besides, those cows eat corn. Which is obscene because cows are supposed to eat grass. Ironically, everyone knows that a lawn is a complete waste in a neighborhood – that’s where urban gardens should go. In other words, the only good grass is grass that cows are eating. You wonder if your HOA will let you graze a cow in the common area.

In the meantime, you are looking for a farmer who raises beef in a way you can support and you have so far visited 14 ranches in the tri-state area. You have burned 476 gallons of gas driving your 17-mpg SUV around to interview farmers but, sadly, have yet to find a ranch where the cattle feed exclusively on organic homegrown kale.

Until you do, you allow yourself a small piece of rabbit once a month. You need to stretch your supply of ethical meat after that terrible incident with the mother rabbit who nursed her kibble and ate her kits. After that, deep down, you aren’t really sure you have the stomach for a lot more backyard meat-rabbit raising.

So you eat a lot of homegrown kale for awhile. Your seasoning is mostly self-satisfaction and your drink is mostly fear of all the other food lurking everywhere that is trying to kill you.

Eventually your doctor tells you that the incredible pain you’ve been experiencing is kidney stones caused by the high oxalic acid in the kale. You are instructed to cut out all dark leafy greens from your diet, including kale, beet greens, spinach, and swiss chard and eat a ton of low-fat dairy.

Your doctor recommends that new healthy yogurt with the probiotics. She thinks it’s called Activa.


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