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This post is the beginning of a series that I am writing about how I have been eliminating toxins from my life and resources that you might also be interested in learning about or applying yourself over time. Please bookmark and share!
This all started because of my kids; my daughter to be exact, and the observation that kids, especially girls, are entering puberty many years earlier than my generation had. That scared me. I have heard many theories about this but the one that stuck with me, and one that I could try and control, was diet.
I started to learn more about growth hormones in meat and dairy, antibiotics in the animals, preservatives in packaged processed foods and then, onto pesticides and fertilizer on our farmed foods and then even deeper into learning about genetically modified food. What a nightmare. Or, shall I say, awakening?
While it may seem daunting in the beginning, rest assured that it doesn’t have to be. I firmly believe in changing what you can, little by little at a comfortable pace. Not like a crash diet where one day you change everything. No. Maybe this week you start buying organic produce or eliminate one thing from your diet. If it’s too hard, add it back in and change something else that you might be able to do more easily. Or just cut back a little on something. Believe me…there are plenty of things that can be done.
I started out eliminating poultry from my diet after reading Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer. I am not an animal activist. It is what goes into the animal and what gets into the meat during processing and therefore into us, that drives my no-meat diet. Eating Animals is not graphic or written in a shocking way. It is matter of fact and includes interviews with farmers that ‘do it right’…humanely, and clean.
I learned that if I was going to eat meat, which was the safest and best and I also learned differences between things like air chilling and water chilling…the reason I don’t eat poultry anymore. This is the book that I’d been waiting for that would kick me into effortless change of my dietary habits.
That said, I would like to add a caveat. I don’t have a label for how I eat. While I discourage labels (other than on my food!), sometimes they are helpful just for ease of communication. I say I don’t eat meat, but I do. Very seldom, but I do. I say NO POULTRY but, at Thanksgiving when I cook an organic, air cooled turkey, I might have a bite or two. I eat fish (but limit certain types), seafood, eggs and rarely dairy. I try not to eat unfermented soy. I try not to eat wheat at all costs, sugar only where I can’t avoid it, and I try to limit other white carbs. But I like my rice.
There is no way to put a label on any of that. And the more I state my personal eating do’s and don’ts the kookier it sounds to someone outside of me. That is why it is a journey and why I don’t judge what other people do or eat, whether it be good, bad, fad diet or quirkier nuances.
I try things and some become long-term changes because I like how I feel when I’m doing it. Other things, not so much. Nothing is hard and fast, set in stone. If I like the taste of bacon, I’m gonna take a bite or two. (I’m shocked that I don’t like bacon anymore). A little of something is not going to kill me. A lot of something that I have determined isn’t good for me will make me feel uncomfortable for a while. Sometimes, I decide it’s worth it. With that thought process, I’ve found that it’s much easier to do all of this and I hope it makes a difference to others as I share about it.