Opium, Morphine, and Methadone…

March 21, 2013 Leave a comment

I have a problem.  Maybe a habit is more like it..  I suppose I should really call it what it really is, an addiction.  I’ve often reverted to it in times of stress, when I needed to keep going no matter what.  Its lead me into many problem situations and has caused innumerable problems for me.

My wife would argue that my problem is TV.  She’s actually wrong though.  I enjoy TV, but its not a problem for me.  I just like the noise, movement, and stories it tells me.

No, my real problem, my addiction, is sugar. 

Sugar leads to over eating.

Overeating leads to health problems.

Some of those health problems then lead to a serious lack of desire to move.

I’ve been trying to quit for years.  I thought I could get off the sugar by going with “diet” products.  No sugar, zero calorie, all those promises of better health without sacrificing dessert and sodas.  Unfortunately, there are all sorts of health destroying properties in artificial sweeteners that they’re only now starting to tell us about.  So I stopped using “diet” products and artificial sweeteners over a year ago and when I wanted something sweet just went with sugar.  Unfortunately most commercially available sweets use high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which is just as bad, only in different ways than artificial sweeteners.

So…

I cut out those HFCS products, which actually also includes many things that aren’t sweet, but include the sugars to make them more palatable.  Let’s be real here, the food industry figured out long ago that adding sugar to food makes people want to east more of it.  HFCS is just cheaper than sugar and mixes far easier than sugar.  Ok I figured if I wanted something sweet, then real sugar, cane or beet, might be acceptable for a treat.

But sleepless nights and stress lead to bad choices and a return to bad habits.  I’ve been eating way too much sugar here lately.  Its adding to my stress levels.  Causing me sleepless nights.  And tonight, terrible stomach upset, such that I’m up writing this rather than sleeping. 

I have to break this habit… This addiction. 

I have to start now.

It can’t wait.

So I was trying to think of an analogy to use to bring this discussion onto focus.  How to connect sugar to something generally accepted as addictive that has a “natural”, refined, and artificial state.  That lead to this analogy:

Sugar is to opium     (natural form)

HFCS is to morphine    (refined form)

Aspartame is to methadone  (artificial form)

Hence the title.  Addiction is addiction regardless of the substance and addiction needs to be dealt with.  It really doesn’t matter that one substance is illegal.  The truth is, I think sugar is worse because its everywhere, in everything.  Hard to avoid because people have to eat.

There I’ve said it.  I have a problem.  I’m addicted to sugar, and the only way I can break it is to never eat it again in any form.  None at all regardless of what society says. 

Never… 

Ever…

Again…

Domestic Terrorists, Serial Killers, Mass Murders, and Dieters…

August 6, 2012 Leave a comment

What gets you going in the morning?

What makes you want to keep going when you know other people would give up?

What makes you wake up one morning and just do something that forever changes your life?

What motivates people to take action?

I live in South Eastern Wisconsin.  Central Wisconsin had long been the location for one of the state’s most notorious serial killers, Ed Gein.  Between 1987 and 1991, Milwaukee played host to our most prolific serial killer, Jeffery Dahmer.  In the city of Delavan earlier this summer Ambrosio Analco shot and killed his girlfriend, two of their children (a third was shot in the chest but didn’t die), his girlfriend’s sister and a friend before killing himself, making him the latest mass murder in South Eastern Wisconsin.  And Just yesterday morning Wade Michael Page walked into the Sikh temple in Oak Creek and killed five people, including one police officer, before he was shot and killed, making him Wisconsin’s first recognized domestic terrorist.

This has gotten me wondering.  What is it that makes a person wake up one day and decide to do something?  To dramatically change their lives?  What is the motivation?

The broadest definition of motivation is a desire to do something.  That’s pretty broad and doesn’t really explain why people will seemingly one day just up and do something.  Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is still widely used to explain why people do things.  I don’t think it adequately explains why people just suddenly one day decide that today is the day.  Then again, I’m not a psychologist so I could be wrong.

Let us leave the dramatic behind though.  Murder, sometimes just can’t be explained.  Some people are broken and for them it must seem, at least in the moment, that they are making perfectly rational, logical decisions.  No, let’s talk about something perhaps more positive.

Dieters.  More specifically the person who after a lifetime of being fat suddenly one day just changes everything about their life  so that they can become the thin person people never thought they could be.  You know, the fat girl in high school who when she shows up at the 5 or 10 year reunion looks like a super model out of the pages of Vogue.  Or the fat, dumpy, nerdy guy who drops a hundred pounds, goes to the gym and gets in fantastic shape.  When asked they usually give an answer like, “One day I just woke up and decided I needed to do something about the way I looked and felt.  It was all for me.”

Was it really?

Is that what truly motivated them?

Or was there somewhere back in their mind, hidden behind all the altruism and positive self-help platitudes, a seething desire to just show the people who tormented , ignored, or belittled them that they were wrong.  And really is that such a bad motivator?

Really, isn’t it OK at times to say, “Screw You!  You didn’t think I was good enough for you when I was fat.  And now that I’ve shown you I’m not defined by my weight, now you want to be my friend?  Well screw you, we’re not friends.”  Isn’t that a valid motivational reason?

I myself am fat.  I’m working on changing that, but I’ve been thinking about what is my real motivation.  Yes, yes, health, longevity, better able to deal with moving around and all that, but is that my REAL reason?  A little history I suppose is in order.

I was a thin youth.  I mean really thin, and I suppose at that age one might have expected me to be a very attractive man as I grew older.  I had some traumatic events happen in my youth though that I guess subconsciously made me want to hide and withdraw from the world.  Well as a youth in elementary, middle, and high schools, you really can’t withdraw.  You’re going to have contact with people no matter what.  As a result though, I started to eat poorly, gain weight, and kind of let myself go.  It was never too bad, because I was still active and therefore didn’t really get to be too huge.  I was big enough though as a teen for my father, who could be verbally very cruel, tell me he was going to have to have me fitted for a bra.

I would have to say that this is one of my first “Screw You” motivators.  I have a higher fat content in my chest because I was put on an estrogen precursor in my teens as a way to deal with my eczema.  Something that I should have been on and monitored for about 3 months I was on for 4 years completely unmonitored.  Is there any wonder I looked like I was developing feminine breasts, though they really weren’t that big, I also have thick pectoral muscles under the fat because I was a wrestler and Olympic  power lifter, which can make them look much bigger than they really are.

To say I was self-conscious would be an understatement.  With the trauma that motivated me to withdraw, and my father’s less than kind and inspirational attitude toward me, I wasn’t very outgoing.  I went to college, met a girl, quit school and moved out and got a job that didn’t leave me much time for anything other than work.  Somewhere in there I decided to start working out again, just like when I was younger.  I got pretty darn buff and was even considering becoming a body builder.  Then I went back to school to finish my degree.  At first it was part-time, which meant I had to cut back on my workouts.  Then the food pyramid started to be pushed as the ultimate way to eat right by all the body building magazines, if I may say a huge fucking mistake, and I decided to go to school full-time while still working full-time.  Bad eating, little sleep, deep mental scars that hadn’t been fully explored, and lots of stress lead to giving up me gaining weight.  And I gained it quickly.  Even though I was still trying to workout at least 3 days a week I gained a hundred pounds in less than a year.  By time I finished my degree, I had stopped working out all together and my weight was over 350 pounds.

Getting my degree eased the stress somewhat and my weight gain slowed.  It didn’t stop, but it slowed.  Six years later when we were getting ready to adopt our daughter, I was closing in on 400 pounds and I wasn’t happy.  My weight stayed steady for several years, I guess the stress was easing, or I had hit the point where my body just wouldn’t let me gain any more.  In those years though I got some I guess I have to say odd information directed at me.

We had a friend visit us.  I don’t know what she was expecting.  I’m not sure at that point and especially at this point in my life I really care what she expected.  But at some point in the week she confided in my wife (the very cute girl who somehow took a shine to me in college) that I wasn’t the kind of guy she was looking for.  That’s OK, I wasn’t even thinking along those lines anyway, but nice to know.

A few years later at a party, I was talking to a female friend and her then boyfriend, now fiance, soon to be husband, and she said something very similar.  She added that it was specifically because of my weight.  Once again, nice to know, but I wasn’t really interested in her that way either.

It’s now a couple of years later.  I’ve since lost about 70 pounds, but I’m still just over 300 and finding it hard to stay motivated to do the right things.  My major downfalls right now are working out and getting enough sleep.  I do eat much better.  No longer do I bother indulging in fast food, and I use to adore Burger King.  I’ve given up wheat and breads pretty much completely except for our once a week pizza night.  I had gone gluten-free for a while, but I really didn’t like the substitutes.  So six days a week I’m completely paleo and Friday night we have pizza.  For over a year I’ve been struggling with breaking that 300 mark so we’ve joined a gym and are now trying to get  back into the habit of working out at least 3 days a week.  We haven’t made a full week of it yet, but we will.

Anyway, this all leads me back to my main point.  Motivation.  Is Screw You a good motivator?  I think in my world it just might be.  Yes I know all the reasons why I should lose weight and get in shape.  But when it comes right down to it I really want to tell (metaphorically) those people who put me where I am or told me I wasn’t good enough for them the way I am, “Screw You!”

Is This Some Kinky New Fetish….

Just a quick note tonight. I’ve just spent the past hour going through my comments spam filter. Of the nearly 300 spam comments there, about 150 of them were for piano benches. Another 75 or so were about banana nut muffins. Those seem like awful high numbers for just random spam. So I’m thinking that there must be some strange kink or fetish that involves piano benches and banana nut muffins. Its either that or those are code words for something else. I didn’t follow any of the links in those comments, mostly because I really didn’t want to know and was really kind of afraid of what I might come across.

I think it would be so much more entertaining if we let our minds wonder on this one. I really want to know what people think about this. Comment on this post, and use the word “Piano Bench and Banana Nut Muffin” in the post so that if it does end up in the spam filter I know not to delete it. Let’s be creative but remember this is a family site so keep your comments rated pg or pg13.

When Good Intentions Result in a Big Fat Lie…

My local grocery store, regional chain Roundys, has started offering organic, free range, vegetarian, chicken.  Which I’m all kinds of in favor of.  I like the choice to buy, for an elevated price, humanely raised, chemical and antibiotic free, chicken.  I have a major problem with it though.

“What could that possibly be?”  You ask, with a shocked look on your face I assume.

Let me tell you.  You can’t have truly “free range” and “vegetarian” chicken.

I know, free range is a marketing term that in reality means that the chicken spends some time outside of its cage.  This is a good thing because it means that the chicken gets some exercise and grows much slower.

“Why is that a good thing?”

Well, normal cage raised chickens, who are given growth hormones and antibiotics in order to fatten up really fast, usually grow so fast that their seldom used legs cannot support their weight.  The result is that when the birds try to stand, they break their legs.  This is not a humane way to raise chickens.  So chickens that are “free range” at least have a fighting chance at a better life.  That said, factory free ranging is little better than caging chickens.

Factory free range chickens are usually kept in barns.  And there can be thousands of chickens in that barn, crammed in wing to wing, barely able to move about.  Certainly not the bucolic picture of the chicken coop with the hens and chicks scratching in the dirt outside with the rooster standing watch on a fence post.

This is the reality of terms like “cage free” and “free range”

They really can’t move around all that much, but at least they can move.  They also won’t suffer from broken legs or being debeaked.  Don’t even get me started on that barbaric, inhumane, despicable practice.  Unfortunately in those close quarters, they also can’t give themselves dust baths, which help them prevent lice infestations, they’re prone to easily transmitting diseases, and violent behavior and cannibalism are prevalent.   What does that matter though, they’re free range and cage free.

The other term I’m opposed to is vegetarian.

Chickens are not vegetarians.

Let me repeat that.  CHICKENS ARE NOT VEGETARIANS!

Chickens are omnivores.  Just like humans.  In those bucolic pictures of chickens in the farm yard, scratching in the dirt, those chickens are doing a couple of things.

First, they’re scratching up grit to eat.  Grit is just what it sounds like, dirt and small stones.  A chicken’s stomach, gizzard, is not really well suited to grinding up its food for digestion.  Beaks are not really meant for much more than cracking things open and picking thing up, and chickens have no teeth so they can’t chew their food.  Grit works through the muscle action in and around the gizzard to grind the food so the chicken can extract the nutrients from what they eat.

Second, the chicken is scratching looking for bugs.  Yes chickens eat bugs, they’re especially fond of June bugs I’m told by my chicken raising friends.

So, a vegetarian chicken just isn’t one hundred percent natural.  And the only way you can ensure that a chicken gets only a vegetarian diet is to make sure that it never has access to the soil.  Barnyard soil has all sorts of bugs and small creatures in it that chickens will happily eat for you.  What they’re really telling you when they say that the chicken is vegetarian is that the farmer is not feeding it any animal byproducts.

“What kind of animal  byproducts could they be feeding chickens?”

Good questions.  Because chickens being fed a diet of corn, greens and seeds need extra calcium, a common practice is to add ground up egg shells and bone meal to the food.  Now bone meal is nothing more than what it says, ground up bones.  Those can be beef, pork or even chicken bones.  And to boost the protein in their food, they’ll also add in things like eggs, and meat byproducts.  Again, meat by products can come from any thing; beef, pork, chicken, etc.  What do chicken farmers have in abundance to make bone meal and meat byproducts from?  You got it, chickens.  So between the egg shell, albumin, bone meal, and meat byproducts, is it any wonder that that chickens in over crowded conditions become cannibalistic?  This is also one reason why caged chickens are debeaked, if they don’t the chicken will start eating itself.  Now there is nothing natural about that.  That is simply a sign of an animal in severe distress.  One of the big problems with animal byproducts in animal feed is that it isn’t always the highest quality nor cleanest, as a result things like arsenic are added to the feed to kill parasites. So vegetarian only means that the chicken isn’t being fed anything but vegetables and grit.

But a vegetarian diet is not the chicken’s natural diet.  Even if the chicken isn’t caged, it won’t be as healthy as a chicken allowed to eat bugs and scratch in the dirt.

Given all the above, what should we really be looking for in chicken.  If you’re willing to buy the organic, free range, vegetarian, chicken for a premium from the grocery store, take the extra step and go to a farmer’s market.  The chicken there is usually a little less expensive than the grocery store organic chicken, even if it is vegetarian.  But talk to the people selling chicken there.  Ask them how their chicken is raised and what its fed.  Specifically ask if the birds are pastured and allowed time outdoors in the sun and dirt.  If they are, the birds will do what comes naturally and eat the plants and bugs.  By the way, also ask your egg man these same questions.  The eggs will be so much more flavorful.  Did you know that a pastured, and properly fed, chicken’s egg will have a yoke that is almost orange rather than yellow.  It will also be naturally high in omega 3 fatty acids.  You know the stuff that’s good for your brain, heart and arteries.

 

What Does This Mean?

May 13, 2012 2 comments

 

That’s exactly what you should be thinking.  Also add to that high fructose corn syrup.  Because when they take out the fat from foods, they have to replace it with something.

You know what doesn’t have fat?  Fruits and vegetables.  They also don’t have added high fructose corn syrup, and if they’re organic no added chemicals.  Even if you don’t buy organic, fruits and vegetables don’t absorb substantial amounts of chemicals through their skins so you need to peel or wash them before eating.  Regardless, NO FAT or LOW FAT in fruits and vegetables.

You want to avoid fat in fruits and vegetables then here’s the list of foods not to eat.  Note, these are real foods not chemical laden pseudo foods brought to you by those large food manufacturers like Con Agra.

Avacado

Nuts

Olives

Guess what, that’s it.  There are only three real, non-animal, foods that are high in fat.  I know you could always say that there are vegetable oils, soy bean oil, and corn oil, so there must be fat in them.  Yes, but not a significant amount that it can be squeezed out.  No those oils are chemically extracted from their host vegetables and are absolutely not good for you.

You want to be healthy and lose weight, eat real food.  If it comes sealed in a package it shouldn’t be considered food ever.  If you can’t pronounce even one of the ingredients, IT ISN”T REAL FOOD.

 

Categories: Killer Foods Tags: , , , ,

I am terribly sorry…

April 29, 2012 Leave a comment

I’ve been neglecting my own blog and all those who follow it.  I am sorry.

I’ve been spending most of my free time working on my wife’s new website:  Reiki Cornerstones  I really suggest you all check it out if for no other reason than to boost her views.

Beside working on her website and learning all sorts of new things like how to publish podcasts, and shoot video of a diva, I’ve been working on the yard.  I now have several garden boxes on top of my hill and the small 5×5 deck I had been squeezing onto for an outdoor kitchen is gone.   I’ve also been observing the robins that nested on my ladder this spring, taking regular pictures of the nest from the time the eggs were laid until the babies left the nest.  After I go through them all, I plan on posting one or two of the better ones.

The planning has started for the new outdoor kitchen.  There will be pictures and videos made of that entire process.

Categories: Uncategorized

What Does It Take To Fuel A Blog…

March 27, 2012 1 comment

image

Avery Brewing Co.  Boulder Co.  The Reverend Belgian style quadruple ale.

Well ok, maybe not, depending on what you plasm on writing and the time of day.  Mornings I would have to go with coffee.  In the evening though, this high gravity ale is a winner.  The 10% ABV certainly will loosen the tongue. 

So beside evening blogging, what would I pair this with?  Avery’s website suggests gyros or spicy mussels, which I’m not entirely down with.  I think gyros are too greasy, at least the ones I’ve had, and spicy might not go well either.  You see this is a very sweet ale given the high alcohol content which is a result of a very high original specific gravity.  So greasy food would make for a very heavy meal.  The sweetness would be lost in spiciness.

I would Almost say that this, in small quantities, would go well with dessert.  Maybe a tart cherry pie or spice cake.  Or with a savory entre’ of herbed chicken or salmon, maybe even a very simple steamed crab, shrimp, or cockles and mussels.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: , ,