Friday, June 18, 2010

Insomnia bites

I can't sleep.
I'm pretty sure it's the combination of a too long nap this afternoon + too much food in the evening + too much on my mind tonight. Being unable to sleep is like being trapped. Being trapped in my head, in my bed, in my room, in the night. The perfect cure for everything right now would be a walk, but that just doesn't seem like the best thing to do by myself at 1am. This makes me wish I had a dog. A big, calm, easy natured dog that could go on a walk with me any time of the day.
Alas, no dog. Just a blog.
Instead I peruse some of my favorite foodie internet sites for meal inspiration. I've been craving poached eggs lately - and there just ain't an animal free substitute for that one. Bummer. I'm sure I'll have an egg again someday. Albeit a egg from a chicken that actually lives like a chicken ought to live. I have nothing against eating animals or things that come from animals - I just have an aversion to eating things that are raised in conditions that keep them on the brink of death (or, let's be honest, push them over the brink) in the kind of conditions that remind me more of that human battery scene from The Matrix than Old McDonald's Farm. Without a second thought we spend the extra money to buy toilet paper that's two-ply and quilted to pamper our backsides but pay so little attention to the quality of food we fuel our bodies with. I gives me indigestion.
I have patients that go days - DAYS! - without eating a single piece of unprocessed produce. Breakfast: two sausage burritos and a diet coke. Lunch: fettucini with chicken and texas toast. Snack: crystal light and cheetos. Dinner: fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes and gravy, ice cream for dessert. Repeat.
They use better gas in their cars, better fertilizer on their lawn, better shampoo for their hair. Absolute crap in their body. The sad thing is you only get one body. New car every 5 years, new lawn every spring, new inch of hair every 2 months. One body.
Somewhere in the last few generations we forgot how to cook. How to make things like broccoli or carrots taste good instead of boiling it into mushy submission and then assuming they always taste that aweful. Instead we all hung up our aprons and started paying minimum wage to short order cooks like Marie Callenders, Dave Wendy, Chef Boyardee, and Stouffers (because nothing comes closer to home). Why are we surprised when we "suddenly" have heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, knee replacements, slipped disks, sleep apnea, stroke, hypertension, trouble conceiving, lethargy...
Everyone blames the environment we live in. I agree, it's a huge factor. But WE create the environment we live in. Think about it. You do, every last bit of it. We created the demand for a McDonald's in every town in America, not the CEO of McDonald's. It's the simple economics of supply and demand. Demand less, supply goes down, environment changes.
But it's true, once you get to a certain point it's hard to turn the tides to a healthier lifestyle, but you have to start somewhere don't you? Or would you just rather continue to get sicker and sicker? The way I see it, it's try or die folks, try or die. But maybe I'm just tired....


  1. Sometimes I just try not to think about what has happened to the cereal Ian is eating (and sometimes I snack on it). The man likes HFCS, okay! I even READ him the bad ingredients!

    I wonder if people know that their food is making them sick. A friend of mine recently stopped buying as much processed food and is already noticing a difference in her energy levels.

    Isn't it also interesting to sneak looks into people's grocery carts? It tells a lot, doesn't it?! I bet it really does for you.

    BTW - are you sleeping normally again?

  2. Preach it, sister! Seriously, this is a major concern. If you have another sleepless night (or a night you want to make sleepless), google "The Axis of Fat." Read, but I would advise against commenting on their site. It's a collection of blogs written by (self-proclaimed) "fat" people who are advocating "fat acceptance." Some of it makes sense--ie: it is wrong to discriminate against someone because of any aspect of their body (BMI, skin color, whatever). Also, it is far healthier and more productive to love ones body rather than hate it (see "Healthy at any size" movement). Where I get distressed, however, is the outrage they express over other people's concerns about health problems stemming from "fatness." Spoiler alert: "the obesity epidemic" is considered a dirty phrase on that site. There is some serious denial going on...It reminds me of the "ana" sites where people with anorexia encourage each other to keep up their eating disorders. I'm pondering the cultural and physcological causes and on-going effects of this war of body/self hatred...and the internet...what a mess! Reaffirms my belief that happiness needs to be priority, and that happiness starts with the simple building blocks of a healthy life, healthy food, exercise, sleep, shelter, and safety. So many Americans think they have their basics met, and so few do!