In order to avoid the massive amounts of hormones and antibiotics in beef and chicken from most of the major growers, I switched over to organic meat — meaning the cattle and fowl are free range. Cows are grass-fed in pastures, chickens in natural sunlight. If they are being fed corn it is not genetically modified…basically they are living a life closer to what nature intended than in the cattle and chicken farms that show very little respect for the lives that they raise and slaughter. I’m not a vegetarian and I have nothing against raising cattle or fowl for human consumption. But to see cows standing knee deep in their excrement in vast, acres of excrement and mud…no. That doesn’t sit well with me.
On the fruit and vegetable end of things, after much deliberation, I’m buying a combination of organic and locally-grown produce. I’m shopping for most of my food at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, which both offer me a good range of meats and produce and they fit my food choice preferences. I get most of my local produce at the Tapia Brothers market (if you are in LA, at the corner of Havenhurst and Burbank) where much of their product is from their farm across the street or brought in from a range of less than 50 miles. So it is farm-ripened rather than truck/transit-ripened.
Because I’m lactose intolerant, I have to ingest soy milk if I want to have a semblance of milk in my diet or cooking, so I purchase organic and limit my intake to about 8 oz a day max. (The isoflavins in the soy milk are good for you in small amounts, but not in the large amounts that we are ingesting by virtue of all the soy fillers in most prepared foods.)
AND, the biggest change is that I’m ONLY buying fresh food and making all cookies, cakes and avoiding any packaged goods. Once I started reading labels and discovering just how much soy and corn is added to just about every packaged food, I couldn’t, in good conscience, continue to keep ingesting it. My own theory is this: soy and corn fatten up the cows and chickens, and if we have such huge amounts of soy and corn fillers in OUR foods, then we will fatten up as well. In addition to this, the changes to our food supply really started within the past 10-15 years — coincidentally the same period of time as I’ve had trouble losing belly fat. You could say it was my age. You could say that I wasn’t getting enough exercise.
In my case, I radically changed the foods I put into my body and those of my family. I’m NOT dieting. In fact, I’m eating whatever I want, whenever I want…however ALL the food is chock full of goodness and not an artificial filler in sight. I’ve now officially lost about 8 pounds over the past three months. No diet. No change in my level of activity. Just no preserved/packaged foods (i.e. no soy/corn fillers), fresh local or organic produce, and free-range organic beef and chicken. The fish is often farm-raised, but then I’m making sure it is organic (so even though corn-fed, it is not genetically modified corn) or wild-caught. I have my own continuing battle over farmed fish vs. wild-caught because of the wild fishing methods being harmful to other sea creatures…so I’ll keep having a think on that one. I don’t see a clear answer yet on the fish front.
But 8 pounds? Just from avoiding the fillers? Does it take me more time to prepare all my foods? Yes. Definitely. From soup stocks to baked goods…a lot more time. Is this higher quality of food more expensive? Yes. Definitely. However, I’m no longer spending a cent on packaged anything, so it seems to even out. Am I wasting food? Very little. Most leftover bones, and vegetable scraps go into my freezer for soup stock. It took me a few weeks to realize that such fresh food goes bad more quickly, so I’m heading to the store and local farmer more often, but other than that, it is becoming a fairly easy and enjoyable way of life. I really feel that I’ll lose another 5 – 10 pounds over the next 6 months to a year as the belly fat continues to dissolve without fillers and excess estrogen (from pesticides and preservatives) to keep it there.
I don’t worry about when I eat out or if my daughter desperately wants something that is filled with corn syrup and fillers, because it is the rare occasion and not the rule.
I feel incredibly healthy. So, there is the update.