I’m not sure if it was MacLean’s magazine where the cover story shouted: “Five things you did today that you’d never guess are killing you,” or a combination of two books I recently read, Wheat Belly, and The Primal Blueprint, or residue from any of the dozens of health, diet, cookbooks and exercise books I’ve read over the years, but at this stage in my life, I no longer know what or how to eat.
I no longer feel comfortable eating anything I even vaguely suspect of having been genetically altered, injected with growth hormones, antibiotics, cross-bred, in-bred, (or any bread for that matter), and I’m constantly reading labels I do not understand about foods I once loved to eat and thought were good for me.
I’ve become a victim of “healthy” eating information overload. And it’s becoming a disease in itself for many of us who are genuinely trying to live healthier, longer lives free from illness and degeneration.
The MacLean’s article in the Jan. 30 issue focused on the opinions of oncologist Dr. David Agus, author of The End of Illness. He listed ditching high heels, eating on schedule, sitting less, and getting enough sleep as ways to prolong life. I get that. But ditch vitamins? What?
Or in Wheat Belly, written by cardiologist William Davis, he details how our loaf of daily bread has been genetically altered to look great and have a longer shelf life, but it’s killing us. I’m devastated. What? No bread! No Caruso buns? No buttery croissants filled with homemade raspberry jam on Sunday mornings? No hot cross buns at Easter? Kill me now!
And watch the fruit, too, especially if it has been “herbicided, fertilized, cross-bred, gassed and hybridized,” because it has become too rich in sugar, according to Davis.
I now eye my favourite store with skepticism and suspicion as I scour the pile of fresh fruit for any signs of the above. Sad thing is I have no idea what to look for. When is a fruit “too healthy looking, too red, too big, and too juicy.”It has travelled here from heaven knows where, and there is no way it can look this good without some form of intervention, I reason.
I thought I might find some form of guidance and inspiration in The Primal Blueprint written by Mark Sisson.
Sisson is a buff, 55-year-old former marathoner and ironman athlete, who shunned “chronic cardio” and replaced it with low-impact aerobic activity, occasional brief but high intensity fitness efforts, and a stress-balanced lifestyle with plenty of sleep, sunshine (yes, sunshine) playtime and stimulating creative endeavours. His less-is-more approach to exercise and staying in the fat-burning zone is in sharp contrast to his years as a competitive athlete.
Sisson’s “80 percent rule” allows for the occasional glass of wine or other deviation from his mainly primal way of eating (hunter-gather foods, such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, meat, fish, fowl and eggs). It seems appealing and logical. But again, no wheat, no bread, nor any grain foods for that matter. And yes, no grain-feed meat or fowl either. He recommends only eating fresh fruit and vegetables in season, and by all means, get some sun. (He lives in California.) It’s not possible living in Northern Ontario to follow this kind of lifestyle.
So, I’ll still shop at Smith’s and buy my fish as fresh as I can get if from the fish market. I am very picky when choosing meat and have narrowed down my selections to two types only. I no longer look for plump chicken breasts—they’re likely injected with something to make them look juicy, much like injecting Botox into your lips.
I’ll still try to buy fresh fruit and vegetables in season and freeze them. I will do all of those things to eat better and healthier.
One last thing: I will no longer panic when I read books and magazines telling me what I need to do to eat better, healthier and with awareness. I’ll just take it all—without a grain of salt, of course—in stride or until the next food fad craze or book comes out.