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Thread: The company pot luck page

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    Dryden's Avatar
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    The company pot luck

    My new Primal nutrition plan was put to the ultimate test this afternoon: A pot luck, buffet-style luncheon. The company I work for effectively shuts down at 11:00am while employees tend to their crock pots, or go back to the warehouse to dust off the gas grills, then roll them out into the driveway behind our shipping facility to fire up some burgers, hot dogs, and brats – enough meat to provide at least two servings for each of our 35 employees. The pot luck is something my company does about twice a year, usually once in the spring and again in the fall. Usually one is a lunch and the other an event we call “Big Breakfast Friday.” Today was my first pot luck of any kind since going primal.

    This journey started two months ago for me. It was baby steps at first, a sort of ‘testing the waters’ phase of trial and error before I could conclude whether I possess the fortitude and willpower to alter 35 years of bad habits in such a radical manner. I pegged the odds of my daily lunch of cheeseburgers and fries being replaced with a big ass salad lasting beyond two weeks at 0%. I knew it would probably take less time before “just a sip” of Pepsi was back to being a 12-pack, or “just a cigarette while I’m drinking” was back to a pack a day. Amazingly, the more I read, the more primal I became.

    I’ve always advocated not having a cheat day or cheat meal planned, but instead just letting things happen as they may. If I’m at a party and ‘the guys’ are having pizza and beer, I enjoy pizza and beer. 80/20 Mark says … so that’s the way I’ve gone about it. Until today, this strategy has never presented a problem. Sure, I’ve fallen off the wagon once or twice – got a small ice cream for myself while getting one for the kids, taken the wife out to breakfast and decided to allow myself a plate of biscuits and sausage gravy, or smuggled a couple cookies into my tummy at an Easter egg hunt for the rugrats. These were all times when I’ve given in to the 20%, but they were brief, typically dessert indulgences, and balanced with what was an otherwise primal meal, or primal day. Also, these instances were all very close to when I first started on my path of primal nutrition. Such occurrences are far more infrequent now.

    And so today as I surveyed our kitchenette/break room and realized not one single thing was fit for human consumption, it was with great vigor that I said, “What the Hell!” This stuff hasn’t dropped me in 35 years, one meal won’t drop me today. [Picture the scene from the film Forrest Gump when Lt. Dan climbs the mast of the shrimp boat during a thunderstorm and shakes his fist at the Heavens … I tempted fate today in basically the exact same manner]. So I assembled my plate of frankenfood to the exact specifications of what I would’ve put together for myself had I made it in February: Two hamburgers, each on its own bun, with ketchup, lettuce and some onion. A big scoop of green beans, potatoes, and bacon. An even bigger scoop of BBQ baked beans. A slice of corn bread casserole. A 16-oz Solo cup filled with ice and Pepsi. It was a glorious mountain of food. My first ultimate indulgence. I just had to know! Would it prompt an absurd chain-reaction of hormonal imbalances throughout my body leading me to the brink of an insulin-induced catatonic stupor? Or would *gasp* nothing happen and I remember how yummy all this bad stuff was?

    It’s frightening now to consider that I cannot unread what I have read. I looked at the cornbread casserole and thought about how the bt pesticide is injected into E.Coli bacteria, then that gets injected into the sweet corn to make it RoundUp Ready. Certainly this had to have been GM corn. Last time I looked, corn wasn’t ready for harvest in Ohio the first week of May. Then I thought about how virtually every single thing on my plate probably had corn in it – all derived from that E.Coli laced bt corn courtesy of Monsanto. It was certainly in the BBQ sauce those baked beans were swimming in, the corn fed to the cattle before they were ground up into patties, the ketchup, the buns, even the Pepsi. If I am properly accounting for everything, the only really healthy items I had in my meal today were the lettuce (and that was iceberg lettuce, which has no nutritional value), a couple rings out of a sweet onion, and some ice cubes. So, yeah ... basically nothing, and that's out of a mountain of food that weighed probably more than a pound.

    It was enough to make me nauseous, and that was before I decided to throw caution to the wind and go about eating all of it anyway.

    Dammit, I’m not going to let my nutritional ideology interfere with my enjoyment of food, even foods I know are bad. More importantly, I will not allow my ideology to interfere with the social experience that surrounds the act of eating food. I don’t want to be ‘that guy’ that makes the host go out of their way to fix something special according to my dietary needs.

    Well, sadly I must confess, I believe I am now that guy. I say again, we cannot unread what we have read, or unwatch the documentaries we have watched, but I now almost wish that I could. To draw on another scene from a movie, I defer to The Matrix. “Why oh why didn’t I take the blue pill?!”

    First, as I’m writing this, digesting all the HFCS and chemicals and antibiotics and so forth, I think I may be high. I have a headache, bordering on a migraine, and the back of my tongue physically aches from the tartness of the ketchup and Pepsi. I drank a lot of Pepsi in my former life. I don’t know how much, I was afraid to count. Some days it was perhaps three or four cans, on others I imagine I could (or did) put away a whole 12-pack. I took my first sip in nearly two months today and my taste buds were so overloaded by the sweetness I must have made a face approximate to the one a five year old makes when trying his first sour candy. This is also my second attempt at eating ketchup, and just a little at that, since going primal, and once again I found ketchup is too sweet to eat.

    I used to thumb my nose at those snooty French that would be interviewed in documentaries such as Super Size Me and wonder what on earth they could be eating in France that was so damn good that would make them detest American food so badly. Now I know. My eyes have been opened. I think I may even want to move to France!

    How did we (America) as a society get to this point? Do hundreds of millions of people honestly not realize how bad all this stuff tastes? Are we really so desensitized to sugar that we cannot taste how horribly butchered even the most basic of condiments have become?

    I am considering leaving my office, getting in my car, driving over to my mother’s condo, and smacking her for even getting me started on this stuff when I was a baby! Of course, I’m only considering it. I wouldn’t actually do it, though that has more to do with the fact that right now I don’t think I can even see straight, and in about 30 minutes I’ll probably need a nap, or a slice of cake.

    The typical, whole, American meal … it is enough to literally make a person ill, and that's just one meal. I now have to consider this experience and compound it over a day of eating three or four meals of the same approximate nutritive quality, and stretch that dietary intake across days, weeks, months, years and decades.

  2. #2
    RezH's Avatar
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    It's not that difficult to avoid crap foods if you really want to try. Eating just the hamburger patty would be fine. To be honest, you simply succumbed. Many people don't have access to 100% grass-fed, and get by on the corn-fed beef.

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    I empathize with your situation somewhat. But I don't really relate or understand:

    It was enough to make me nauseous, and that was before I decided to throw caution to the wind and go about eating all of it anyway.

    Dammit, I’m not going to let my nutritional ideology interfere with my enjoyment of food, even foods I know are bad. More importantly, I will not allow my ideology to interfere with the social experience that surrounds the act of eating food. I don’t want to be ‘that guy’ that makes the host go out of their way to fix something special according to my dietary needs.
    Why can't you have fun while eating good healthy food that you enjoy? That would seem like a win/win

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    Don't beat yourself up over it. Like Rez, I personally would have probably opted for just a plain burger and left it at that. (and that's if I weren't intending to warrior or fast five on that particular day) My coworkers already know that I'm an eccentric bastard and that I'm more than willing to be 'that guy'.

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    DianeThePurple is offline Senior Member
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    Well, lesson learned I guess....

    I missed something though. You said it was a pot luck? What did you bring?

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    I can relate to what you say when you say how sweet everything tastes. Today, a good friend of mine at work gave me a bar of milk chocolate that she got from Las Vegas for me. I couldn't even finish 1 piece of it - it was cloyingly sweet for me and this is coming from a former chocoholic and sugar-fiend.

    The inculcation starts with the corn syrup-laden formula.

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    Dryden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFastCat View Post
    I empathize with your situation somewhat. But I don't really relate or understand:

    Why can't you have fun while eating good healthy food that you enjoy? That would seem like a win/win
    It's more to the point that in a large social gathering I don't want to be picking this out of that, or tossing away the bun, etc ... etc ... I figured I'd just go ahead and enjoy the same thing everybody else was enjoying. I mean, it couldn't be that bad, right? I've only been primal two months, certainly my body hasn't righted 35 years of wrongs so quickly that I already can't tolerate a meal I could have routinely put away just a few months ago and asked for seconds. Boy was I wrong!

    Quote Originally Posted by DianeThePurple View Post
    Well, lesson learned I guess....

    I missed something though. You said it was a pot luck? What did you bring?
    My wife and I work at the same company. She signed us up to buy all the hamburger and hot dog buns. *rolls eyes* Yes, I've gone primal yet my wife signed me up to be the minister of carbs!

    It's really funny now that I've had a chance to think about it ... back when I first saw Super Size Me, I remebered watching the early scene when Morgan Spurloch first starts his 30-day bender and winds up throwing up after the lunch meal (which IIRC was a double quarter-pounder w/ cheese, fries and Coke, supersized obviously) on the second day. When I first saw that I wondered what was wrong with the meal he got to cause that sort of reaction, if it was a stunt to make a point in favor of the film, or if there was something really wrong with him and his digestion. Now, in hindsight, I recognize that him having entered the film on a varied diet primarily assembled by his girlfriend, a vegan chef, he was probably VLC, and rarely if ever consumed sugar, corn syrups, etc ...

    After eating lunch today I now recognize that throwing it back up is a completely appropriate response, since such hefty portions of the foods we are conditioned to eat is toxic. It's disconcerting to have the revelation that a lot of us are (were) in such a constant state of illness that we can't even tell how sick the food we're eating is making us. Heck, my dog has more sense than that.

  8. #8
    Diana Renata's Avatar
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    It's totally mind boggling isn't it?

    There have been times were I've been tempted to go back to a "normal" day, just to see how I handled it, but I just couldn't ever bring myself to do it. I have turned into such a food snob, and I'm not the least bit ashamed. Hell, I won't even buy Walmart's second-rate produce. It's Wegmans, the farmers market, or nothing at all. If it's not good food, I'm not eating it. Period. Yup, I'm "that girl" and damn proud of it. The guys at work think I'm odd because I'll turn down ice cream sundaes, doughnuts or pizza, but happily fry up some eggs on my electric griddle. Cheffin' it up in the break room baby!

    It's sad to see what people poison themselves with on a daily basis. Yeah, people probably think I'm weird, or some kind of "food nazi" but you can't unlearn what you've learned. Maybe that's why so many of them stay willfully ignorant.

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    ikaika's Avatar
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    It sounds like you're not complaining, simply sharing your experience/experiment, so thanks for sharing and I'll DEFINATELY keep that in mind if ever an "Oh, screw it" moment arises!

    Feel better, dude A nice cup of tea, a short fast, and a great salad always makes me feel better!

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