Of Misunderstandings & Great Books

I slept like a rock last night. Solid sleep with minimal interruption. You know why? Because I am doing Tara’s ACC this month and because of that, I walked 10.1 kilometers yesterday (6.3 miles). Let me explain. I walked home….a little over 7 kilometers (and nearly got run over TWICE…..both of which involved screaming and swearing on my part….the adrenaline of which certainly fuelled my speedy ascent). Let me back up. On Monday night Ray asked me if I wanted to go on a date on Friday. He said “Drive home on Friday and then walk from home to the pub (3km) to meet me for dinner.”. I thought that was very sweet and fully agreed….and then decided I would walk Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Mid afternoon we talked on the phone and he asked if I would switch date-night to that night instead of Friday….mostly because we would never get into the pub at that time of day on a Friday. I agreed and said “But you know I’m walking home today, right?”. He acknowledged and I assumed that he would be at home waiting for me and we would pop over to the pub together. About 2 kilometers left in my walk I got this text from Ray: “Here.”  Do you see where this is going?? I got home after a 7km march uphill (and a solid jog at the end) to find that there was no one home, door was locked. A quick phone call revealed that Ray had mixed up our conversations about the date night and went from work right to the pub. And then asked if I could just walk over….you know….since he’d already ordered beer. My first reaction was “absolutely not” and then I realized that if I did walk over that I could add to my ACC tally. Once my irritation wore off I made pretty good time over to the pub. When I got there I was soaked with sweat and looked like the backside of ass…..but what do you expect when you walk over 10k in 90 minutes?

Dinner (and my gluten free Omission beer…which I used as an electrolyte replacement, LOL) was delicious after all that walking! So that was the extent of my Tuesday. By the time we got back from the pub and went and picked my car up it was 8pm, I had a hot bath and then crawled into bed! I have a pretty wicked headache (yesterday too) that I wish would just die…..so I’m trying to drown it in Coconut Oolong tea. It’s not working yet but I’ll keep at it! 😉

Last night I finished the book “Eat the Yolks” by Liz Wolfe. I’d ordered it from Chapters after seeing all the hype online about it (I’m not normally a hype-chaser….I think I was bored at work that day) and it came in early last week. I’d kept reading reviews about how it was funny and witty and I couldn’t imagine how a book about the science of food could be so….but it was! It was a very entertaining read, I found myself chuckling more than once. It’s very much like listening to a very smart girlfriend talk in a dry, witty way. The book completely changed my view of cholesterol, saturated fat (even though I already knew it wasn’t bad), heart disease and various other lies that the government has banded together with big industry to “educate” us on. The book is ultimately that, an explanation about why the things that we’re brought up to believe are untrue, where they came from and what the actual science says. I will fully admit that it is even more difficult for me now, to sit and listen to people I know make comments about avoiding saturated fats and animal products and subbing in “vegetable” oils (NOT made out of vegetables, btw) and how milk should be our source of calcium. I’ve learned over the years that most people aren’t interested in hearing different points of view and many people are seriously attached to what they think they know and often act like you are attacking them when you try to mention that things may not be as they think. Of course, there are studies that prove almost any point of view and people cling to these like a drowning man to a life raft…..but Eat The Yolks explains why those studies aren’t exactly honest and it’s actually a bit infuriating once you understand what BS you’ve been fed. She also discusses why supplements aren’t an awesome idea; mostly because they are often synthetic and because they are always singular…and real food does not have singular nutrients, it has co-nutrients that all help each other get absorbed, converted and utilized.

I do have to say that there was one main turn-off about this book and that was the fact that she talks on about properly raised animals and the products that come from them as well as healthy soil…and she talks about them A LOT. It isn’t until the very last page or two that she makes a concession to say that getting and eating only properly raised animals and produce raised in healthy soil is simply not feasible for everyone. It isn’t until the very last page that she says to make whatever small change you can and let it build on the next. To find eggs from a local chicken pasture or to use the farm markets when possible. At various points throughout the book I thought to myself “you can stop now, you’ll never be able to achieve this level of “goodness””. Of course, I didn’t stop reading and the book has so much useful information in it that I am very glad that I didn’t. But I had to remind myself more than once that I do the best I can with the resources that I have and that simply has to be good enough. Would I love to be able to meet my cattle farmer and watch the cows range and know that my pork came from happy pigs that wandered around eating grubs and small animals like they are meant to do? Of course I would…but I can’t. I found the book a bit aggressive in the repetition of “properly raised animals, raw dairy (which is illegal in Canada), healthy soil” and how produce and meat raised in any way other than completely naturally, is stripped of most nutrients. I get why she says it, I do, it’s the absolute dream to be able to turn our backs on factory farms with their inhumane treatment & feeding of animals and to snub our noses at any produce that comes from an industrial farm. But I felt that this was all said to the exclusion of simply doing the best you can with what you have available. Yes, meats and produce raised in industrial farms DO have less nutrients than their natural and organic counterparts, they just do. But you are STILL better off eating grocery store meat and produce than ANYTHING that comes in a box, bag or package…..and I felt that point was missed a bit along the way.

In all I would highly recommend this book to ANYONE who has an interest in their health or who cares to further educate themselves on the science of nutrition or who had a funny feeling that government recommendations have purposes and motivations that have nothing to do with our health. Read it! Then read it again and then pass it around!