Thursday, July 8, 2010

Food evolution

Since the moment I was diagnosed, I have been building up my own brand of a food revolution. I have to warn you, I ain't no food expert and am only beginning to touch the surface of this stuff, but in the name of what I can control, the great unknown and alternative medicine, I have to look to what I put in my body as the first thing I choose to change about myself. It'll be a bumpy process, to be sure, but what do I have right now other than time to iron things out?

I went most of the first three decades of my life being fairly unaware of what I ate or didn't eat. When you have an Italian mother who cooks like a hot damn, you don't give the search for good food much effort. I had a few friends with mothers who would make them take metamucil with their orange juice, bake with carob chips or get their peanut butter drained from a big vat in the health food store, but had no reason to think about food processing other than being annoyed my mom refused to buy wagon wheels, wonderbread or hamburger helper. "Managgia, I can make you a homemade hamburger helper that's better than anything you'll find in the store!" Not the point, mom.

So I ate lasagna, veal, ravioli, roast beef, wieners and beans and eventually pot noodles, bagged salad and the otherwise vodka-centric diet of my 20s.

When I met Pete, I met a boy who had had a few brushes with foodiedom, from being brought up in an English household (strange) working in a hospital (bad) to dating a Japanese chef (good... well, sorta good). We tried new foods together (or the handful of foods he hadn't already sampled), gorged in unbelievably great restaurants together, went on detoxes together, and gave up milk for soy together. I guess the foodie in me awoke with Pete and I haven't looked back.

When we moved to Victoria two years ago, Pete and I were pulled into that thing we had made fun of as Vancouverites - seeking out all things "Island". Locally raised and processed is a big deal here and it's easy to get caught up in the search for small farm markets and growing our own veg in this unbelievably ideal climate.

This awareness has slowly evolved into a search for what the hell it means to buy organic, what is local vs. organic and where the fuck has kale been all my life?

Compared to many, I am but a babe in the woods, but I'm taking steps. No more nitrates. No more hormone-injected meat. And as for my beloved soy? Sometime around Christmas, my dear sister-in-law regaled me with the tale of soy=estrogen and I've been guzzling the milk drawn from the tiny teats of almonds ever since. Whether the soy, the birth control pills I've been on for 20 years or the bevy of questionable food products I've been inhaling for years had any hand in crafting or feeding my estrogen-receptive tumours, I'll never know, but at least this way I have a shred of control over my conscience from here on in.

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