As you know, John and I spent last weekend near Lancaster, PA. What you might not know is that one of the nicest bloggers ever lives there! Zoe (of Whole Eats & Whole Treats) and her husband Brad were kind enough to have us over while we were in the neighborhood. Let me tell you, she is JUST as sweet as she seems! If you haven’t checked out her blog yet, do it now. It is chock full of recipes (especially recipes for desserts…yummm!)
I really wanted to meet her chickens. I know how silly that sounds, but John and I have been talking about getting chickens for a while, and I wanted to spend some time with them. Zoe, of course, obliged and led us over to them. It probably seemed strange to her that we wanted to “meet” her chickens and see her gardens, but we live in the suburbs. We like to PRETEND it is the country, but really, it isn’t.
Anyway, seeing Zoe’s chickens totally solidified the idea for us. Well, seeing the chickens AND tasting how DELICIOUS the eggs were solidified it. She was generous enough to send us home with 4 dozen eggs! She keeps saying how we were helping her out by taking them off her hands, but I don’t totally believe it. Based upon what we have to pay for nearly-but-not-quite farm fresh eggs, it seemed like an AMAZING gift.
One of the things we talked about what the type/price of food available to us in our area. When we shared with her the price we have to pay for raw milk in NJ (when we can get it at all), her eyes nearly popped out of her head! We continued to discuss eggs, chicken, and meat, and all the while she was shaking her head. It really made me think about how hard we work to be able to afford the type of happy food we eat. It also added another layer to our understanding of why people eat the Standard American Diet and how far we need to go before progress is made.
What can we do to bring our ideals (happy animals that weren’t “grown” in factory farms or CAFOs, fresh products, non-GMO food) to the rest of the country? How can we make it more affordable for suburbanites like us?
I went to the doctor for my physical and I also had some routine bloodwork done. This week I got the results back and I wanted to discuss a few things with you all.
In general, the results were great. I had great levels of the vitamins they tested for and my blood sugar was in a healthy range. The only note on the chart was about my cholesterol. It was “high.”
Well, the “overall” number was only 12 out of the preferred range. Twelve WHAT over the range, I don’t know. My “good” cholesterol was good, above the minumum they wanted. The problem was my “bad” cholesterol. “They” want it to be under 100, and mine was 135.
Not my panic, mind you, but the panic that I was SUPPOSED to be exhibiting. After this revelation, as I sat there in the office, my doctor started rattling off the things I shouldn’t be eating. The beginning, it was good, “Are you eating out more? That could have something to do with it. Make sure you are getting enough exercise, too.” Then, it started. “Try not to eat too much red meat. No full fat dairy, only skim. What oils are you using? Stick with only olive oil.”
You get the picture.
I didn’t say anything to her. I like my doctor. She is a good doctor. She doesn’t push medications for everything. I have asthma, and she supports the fact that I (for the most part) manage it on my own. On the flip side, when I need her, she helps. Honestly, it wasn’t worth the debate. I may someday take this up, but I’ve found that people that are sold on the “meat is bad! fat is bad!” diet craze are very resistant to hearing the opposite.
You may be asking what I WILL be doing about my “high cholesterol.”
Nothing. I am doing nothing about it. I look and feel better than I have in a very, very long time. I have great levels of all the vitamins they are checking. My blood pressure is great. Most importantly, I don’t know that having cholesterol slightly higher than the level recommended by doctors is going to lead to anything terrible. I have heard that high cholesterol is correlated to other diseases, but is the cholesterol the cause? Not necessarily! Contrary to what many medical and pharmaceutical professionals would like you to think, correlation is NOT causation.
I may change how I feel about this over time. I may not. Right now, I am going to continue eating in a way that feels right. I refuse to let some arbitrary limits change my common sense.
This post may include rambling, babbling, and run-on sentences. Consider this your warning.
Lately there have been a few food-heath related things bopping around my crazy head, and I feel the need to share them. I mean, what’s the point of having a blog if you don’t use it to throw your thoughts out on it?!
First. My mother-in-law was telling me about a conversation she had with a young woman she works with. This woman is my age, in fact, she graduated from high school with me. She has a little boy now, about a year old. They were discussing her son, and food. She said that she doesn’t cook, because she doesn’t know how. They were walking through the supermarket during this conversation, and my mother-in-law started to tell her how to cook different things. Her reactions were, “Ewww!! People actually EAT that?!” in reaction to fish and “With all the BONES in it???? Gross!” in reaction to a simple roasted chicken.
Now, I know that very few people my age are as into cooking and food as I am. I get that. BUT!!! How are fish and chicken gross?!?!?! It boggles my mind. How is it that fish and chicken are disgusting to people, yet fast food, chemicals, and genetically modified things are a great idea.
Speaking of GMOs, let me tell you about a conversation I had with some of my high school students. One of the girls came in to the dance studio all upset about something she learned in school. She takes a horticulture class, and they were learning about how much of our food is (or will soon be if changes don’t happen!) genetically modified. This sparked a heated discussion among the girls after school. They couldn’t believe that things like that exist. One of the girls, whose mother is all about organic food, was confident that she doesn’t eat GMOs. Then, her friends started naming things like cornstarch that she never thought of. Then, pot-stirrer that I am, I mentioned that there are plans in the works to allow a certain amount of GMOs in organic foods, “since it is inevitable.” Riiiiight. Seeing the girls so worked up and… passionate about food left me SO heartened about the future. As long as there are still people that CARE, there is still hope.
I’m sorry this is such a rambling post. Truthfully, I am not even going to go back and re-read this. If I did, I would probably just delete it, and I don’t want that.
So… Thanks for reading.
Do you have thoughts floating around your head that you want to share?