July 28, 2013 (Sunday) and July 29, 2013 (Monday) – took a couple of personal days from journaling.
July 30, 2013 (Tuesday)
One of the things I love most about Primal is that it brought back beloved foods that I thought were out of my life forever. And, it made me think about new foods. Eating marrow bones as a meal. Trying beef heart. And even though chicken liver remains my favorite, I did try both bison and lamb liver. I eat lamb again after not eating it for decades. Putting different fats into my coffee is a lovely thing. I’ve pretty much given up half-and-half because both butter and coconut oil in coffee are better, and more convenient. Yes, better. They’re not substitutes, they are in and of themselves tastier alternatives. Not really a fan of soy sauce, the introduction of coconut aminos is also a wonderful thing.
So it makes me a bit sad when people decide to limit themselves further. Most recently, I’ve seen a trend to giving up coffee, and ditching dairy. There are reasons for giving up these foods for specific health reasons, but they are delicious. I think one of the wisest things I ever heard came from, of all things, an episode of Twin Peaks:
Once a day, everyday, give yourself a present…
We live in a culture where deprivation is thought of as “healthy.” Don’t smoke. Don’t drink. Don’t do drugs. Don’t have sex with strangers. Don’t don’t don’t. What about do?
Most of us have about 75-90 years on this big old rock. Some of us believe there is something after. Some of us don’t believe that. Either way, should we be depriving ourselves of the things that make us happy?
If you come to New Orleans, are you really going to deprive yourself of a muffaletta? A beignet? That, imo, would be as tragic as a vegan not sampling the food at Cochon. I’m not a big fan of sweets, so I’ve never had a beignet, but if I liked fried dough covered in sugar, I sure as hell would have tried these. And maybe the only difference between a muffaletta and an Italian sub is the olive salad and the bread, but unless you live in a city with a large Italian population, they are worth a try. If you visited Brooklyn or Chicago, would you really not have pizza? CA, both north and south has an amazing assortment of international food. I would no more skip Mexican food in CA if I visited, than skip Grouper if I visited FL. I would eat the crap out of seafood if in MA or ME, even if the chowder had flour in it.
I feel like the whole deprivation model is a step backwards. Have we merely gone from low-fat and grains to ruminants and salmon? Whether you believe in a sentient creator or not, the planet has a lot to offer in the way of food, and I kind of feel like it’s disrespectful to demonize things to the point of complete avoidance. Pork and fowl are delicious. Maybe they’re not at the top of the nutrition food chain, but living on beef, lamb, and salmon is as boring as living on tofu and boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
This isn’t a slam at Primal or Paleo. I believe that Primal is one of the healthiest ways of eating that I’ve ever seen written as a plan/blueprint. What I’m sorry to see is the strict approach to Primal.
If I’ve gone from eating bread almost every day to eating it once every couple of months, am I going to die sooner? I doubt it. If lasagna is a traditional Christmas meal, is eating pasta once a year going to kill me? Same answer.
Anyway, I wanted to get that off my chest. I don’t like the Victorian-like model that deprivation is the key to salvation. While it’s fairly easy to take wheat products (and legumes and crap oils) out of normal everyday eating, there are times when it’s good for the soul to just indulge in a childhood favorite, or something that conjures up a holiday from our youth.
Or as my great grandmother would have said, “Mangia!”