Well, maybe not started there, but that had a lot to do with more life style changes that I’ve made. Several months after being diagnosed with diabetes, I have lost about 15 pounds and am controlling my blood sugar with diet. The doc offered me pills, but I already take pills, enough pills, for high blood pressure and cholesterol, plus some supplements. (Daily multiple vitamin, fish oil, and I also take ginseng every day, and have for years. It supposedly boosts your immune system, and I believe that.)
I wanted to do this with my diet to prove to myself I could make successful changes, for one reason. I’ve never been big, but was a little rounder than I liked for a while. Now having lost 15 pounds, my blood pressure is under better control. But also, if my diabetes gets worse as I get older, I’ll have to take the pills eventually. I wanted to change my life myself for the better, and the path to go on was to adjust my diet.
So, that’s working, and I’ve managed to do it successfully. But then some things were happening that made me think deeper. Seems like every time you turn on the tv, there is some new problem with food. Illnesses from germs, bacteria, plain dirt, being in and on our food, are scary. This recent massive egg problem didn’t even come into my state, but I saw the images of the way those chickens live their lives on tv, and that was scary too. No wonder one with a disease spreads it to all the others!
Cattle aren’t treated much better, and I’ve seen that on tv too. In addition to the egg scare, several friends made me look at what I was eating in combination with this knowledge about the way the animals we eat live, or exist, and why we should consider whether we want to keep eating that food.
My friend Dwayne has talked about this for years, and has cut down drastically on the amount of meat that he eats. He is concerned about the quality of the meat itself. Plus he feels an individual committment to animals in general, and doesn’t want to play a part in the cruel lives some of our meat animals live. He eats some seafood, and lots of vegetables, fruit, nuts and grains, and some chicken.
My friend Lizzie and her family are conducting an experiment to eat a Vegan diet for one month. They are doing well and Lizzie has such an imagination for thinking up interesting and tasty meals for her family, without meat or dairy. Lizzie is writing a daily blog about their experience, and she gives some excellent info and also some recipes. Here is her “about” page, and you can then read her blog entries in the area called Archives. http://lizzieswords.wordpress.com/about/
So, lots of things have impacted on me and my diet and my thoughts about food over the last several months. I definitely eat less meat than I used to, and less cheese, and less fat, and almost no “free” sugar. (Though I have had a life long serious relationship with cheese and chocolate, and MUST have a small piece of each, almost every day, or I’m just not a happy woman! Small is the operant word, tho.) So, in eating less meat, why not eat better meat? Why not eat meat and eggs that were produced locally, without the hormones and chemicals and all the crap we hear about animals and their feed and diseases on tv?
So, today I took off on an adventure. A meat business about 12 miles away sells local beef and pork products, and local chickens. They do their hams and bacon themselves. (Another old love of mine, of which I now eat very little.) They sell meat from animals raised the old way, like animals should be raised. They have an abattoir where they sell their products in an attached store. I went to the store for the first time today and the store is small, but well stocked with great meat and some cheese products. The place was packed! I waited in line for 10 minutes,with three employees working! It’s ok, I’ll wait! Maybe it was because it was Saturday morning, but lots of people were there to attest to the fact that this place has good meat.
I thought this was going to be expensive, and it is not, at least the place I shopped, and will be shopping. That is part of the reason I am writing this down. People should check out local meat and not make the assumption that buying local meat will break the bank, as I was assuming.
I bought half pound of their WONderful sweet bologna to try, a nice sized ham hock, a 2 pound ham slice, a ham bone for soup base, 2 pounds of great looking ground beef with little fat, and a huge piece of chuck roast (divided it into 4 pieces) for simmering for cool weather soups. My bill was $24. I would have paid that much at any regular grocery store.
Then I went to an Amish store that a relative had said always has their own brown eggs. But, the lady there said their hens hadn’t been laying recently, and they had run out today. And then I went to one of my favorite grocery stores for something else, and discovered brown eggs, from corn-fed chickens and no cages, right in their cooler area, and had never seen them before. (I was never looking!)
So, I am hooked, convinced, happy with my decision, and spreading the word that if you check out local meat, you might be surprised at the quality you can get for a good price. And, go looking and you might just find free range eggs right under your nose, cos lots of other people are looking at and changing the way they think about food too. Stores have to start providing more of the healthier stuff that people want. Look around, those healthier things are out there!