Processed People – My process

Posted by on 12.22.09 | 5 Comments
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There’s a trailer on YouTube for a new documentary called “Processed People”. Due to “technical difficulties”, I can’t get it to embed here so hopefully the link will work – For me, it was so worth the watch:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G96Sztb8Ctk

I love this trailer. I’ve been on a kick for a really long time to eat more consciously and along comes this beautiful little trailer which sums up my life and gives my process a catchy name. I Haven’t watched the other trailers for the documentary or ordered the documentary itself yet, as right now, the trailer is adequate. Here’s my learnings this week and what the trailer stirred-up in me:

To say that becoming less processed is a process is a major under-statement.

I’ve been aware of the crap that I put in my body since my twenties and here twenty years later, I still eat crap. And, it’s not like I haven’t tried to eat better because I have. For the most part, the major efforts to change my diet have turned out to be fads, phases or failed attempts.

The thing about those efforts is that while the giant ideas may not have stuck, some of the little pieces did and eventually the little pieces do add up. It has been years and years since there was a box in my pantry and since I knowingly ate pork. The last time I had a soda was in 2003 (a Dr. Pepper) and, other than the very occasional double cheese/grilled onions In-and-Out Burger, I haven’t willingly ate fast-food since high school.

Yet those things are just the tip of the ice-burg in becoming unprocessed.

What I’m trying really hard to do is reevaluate, through more informed eyes, each choice I make about food and then pay close attention to the impact those choices have on me — mind, body and emotion. It requires taking out and examining all my beliefs about diet and food and it’s no small task.

One of the things I’ve taken a hard look at this week is how much meat I eat. Somewhere, I got the idea that if I don’t eat enough meet, I’ll shrivel-up. The truth is that the typical American eats about 8 ounces of meat per day which is about four times that of people in developing nations and, rather than enhancing our health, it hurts it. The meat industry also has tremendous detrimental impact on the climate and is a bigger polluter than the transportation industry. I read that if everyone in American ate just three fewer hamburgers a week, we’d cancel out all the pollution from all the SUVs in the country. The amount of meat I choose to eat is a big deal on many, many levels.

My intention for January is to not eat meat and see how I feel after a entire month without it. Who knows what will happen — going Vegan took a very dear friend of mine out of a deep, extended depression so it may be an experiment that turns into a way of life or it may not work for me.

Another thing I wrestled with this past week is how truly unprocessed food doesn’t always taste as great as its’ processed counter-part. Take the case of the potato-leek soups: I made one using bullion and one using home-made stock and the one with the bullion was far more flavorful than the one without it. The number one ingredient in bullion is salt and the number 2 ingredient is MSG, a toxic flavor enhancer that tricks your brain into tasting flavors that aren’t real. I feel as though my brain and taste-buds are detoxing from crap like this and are having to “turn down a notch” to adjust to the flavors of real food. It sort of feels like I’ve been listening to acid rock for the last twenty years and the channel just got switch to classical.

A huge challenge I’ve encountered – especially during this wonderful holiday season full of pot-lucks and parties — is how to honor my eating choices and this process and still have a life outside my own kitchen. I certainly have a new appreciation of how difficult it must be for people with food allergies or “unbreakable” food rules to engage socially. Even after just a couple of months on this health-food kick, I was sick, sick, sick the other night from eating things that digest quickly for dinner. That wouldn’t have happened before I started this process. It’s like my pancreas has already adjusted to the classical music and can no longer tolerate the acid rock.

And, this coming week I’ll be in the land of Nabisco and Hostess (ie: my parent’s house). Though I never eat any of the junk, it’s hard to refuse your dad when he offers to buy you a green-and-bean-mix burror or a In-and-Out burger because those are the closest things to health-food he can come up with. Maybe I’ll go to the grocery store the night I get there and make a lot of pretty and nutritious food for everyone and start some new holiday traditions.

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