Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Yoga for the Soul

365 days ago, I was smack dab in the middle of my very first Advocare 24 Day Cleanse. I was starving, detoxing off of caffeine, craving salt like a crazy woman, and was one cranky bitch. And yet, I was doing the best thing possible for myself - eating green! The cleanse itself was the jumping off point to a whole new mindset for me: green is better, processed is bad. Seems fairly simple. 

When the Cleanse was complete, I wrote this blog about organics, and about the ways that I'd learned that eating green and choosing organics was completely worth all of the hype. Food tasted better. Fruit looked real instead of plastic, veggies needed to be rinsed off because they came out of the dirt, and I could not believe the difference in my meat and dairy, especially eggs. I was on board! 

A year later, I still believe that organic food is the best for you. Where I used to spend an hour grocery shopping at Fred Meyer, I now spend a whole Saturday picking berries and visiting local farmer's markets. And honestly, I love it. I have always enjoyed my "me" time at the grocery store, but spending a day in the sun, with some chill music and a friend, is even better - it's like yoga for the soul! I spent an entire day outside this weekend, buying much more local produce than I could possibly need, but just enjoying some best friend time and good music, and then ended the day with a local hard cider out on Sauvie's Island - it was great!

Could I do better? Yes. I don't buy 100% organic produce, because sadly I can't afford to. (Which is bull shit, by the way, that it costs a percentage more to purchase clean, non GMO, non cancer causing fruits and veggies.) 

But I am doing much better than I was at this time last year. I read labels. I never, ever buy meat that isn't organic. I also only buy organic eggs and milk. I buy as much of my produce as possible from local farmers. So it is a change I was - and still am - committed to. Because I don't want to get cancer from my lunch. 

It seems so easy, the whole eating green mentality. And yet, it's not. And it's not because of - big fucking shocker - money and politics. Because of course, we cannot just eat food. Instead it has to be about being spoon fed by whoever makes the most money. And suddenly, reading your food labels becomes way more challenging than it should be - to the point where half the time I just say fuck it, and take a leap of faith that the yogurt I am buying is not full of chemicals (though I am sure more often than not, it is). 

Did you know that Naked Juice is owned by Coca Cola? And that Odwalla is owned by Pepsi? Or maybe vice versa, but the point is, what the fuck kinda double dipped bull shit it that?!? Soda is like, literally, the worst thing to put in your body, and the giant soda-producing companies are going to trick me into thinking that Odwalla and Naked are chemical free?! Yea right! Sure enough, they just recently came under attack for having cyanide or some shit, in their Naked juices. No, not cyanide...formaldahyde! Umm, yes, the shit that you put the dead pig in that you have to dissect in high school. The stuff that prevents your dead pig from decomposing in your classroom before you're done studying it's guts. 

Fuck that.

It becomes so difficult to choose healthy, non-GMO, pesticide free products, that I bet half of the people who are trying to do right by their bodies end up giving up. It's hard! Grocery shopping, which I did used to enjoy, now feels like homework, and most of the time, I just decide that all I need is produce because I'm too freaked out by what is in anything else. And it should not be that hard. Nobody should be able to trick us on their labels; it should be straight forward: this shit will cause cancer, and this shit won't. People should not be scouring labels for the truth after some bold faced lie about "natural" ingredients is blasted on the front of the box - these labels fool people into buying unhealthy, dirty foods instead of the natural, green options they are after. It's wrong. And we should be mad about it. And we should not be tolerating it.

But we are. I mean, some of us are. It is very refreshing to see my Facebook bombarded with posts from people not tolerating it, from people writing articles and publicizing what really is a serious issue. 

365 days after my initial cleanse and my initial attempt at eating more locally grown, chemical free, organic foods, I have learned a lot about what is safe to go in my body and what isn't. I have learned that non-fat is usually worse than full fat, and that the best things for you are generally not even sold in the grocery store. I have learned that I love picking berries, looking for new farmer's markets, and being outside when I buy my food. In reality, it is unlikely that I will ever be able to consume 100% clean food - but I can try my best to do so. All it takes is more effort and more patience, and if it means my salad won't give me cancer, I am willing to do the leg work.

You should be too. Read your labels. Know your product. And most importantly, buy foods that make you feel good.