I had been waiting for about two weeks to see “Fed Up” since I heard about it. Good thing for me, I was able to find a theater in Atlanta that was showing it last night. I went with a good friend, Miss J$, and once we had our popcorn (and a beer while waiting…it was Friday, after all), we were ready for the show.
Some back story first. Story time! Gather round. I have a long standing sordid history with food. I grew up with the now gloriously titled Standard American Diet (or S.A.D. for short…ha!) like most other adorable freckled southern girls. Chicken fingers, french fries, soda, lasagna, spaghetti…yummy! I became a vegetarian 11.5 years ago in college. I was studying Buddhism at the time and read that animals want to live just like you and I want to live. It struck me deeply. Luckily I was working in at a restaurant that had tofu and vegetarian food as well as seasoned veg-heads that could answer my questions. Later, I began my first pescetarian phase, then went back to vegetarian, then back to pescetarian. It was a food roller coaster! Throughout it all, I gained weight, I lost weight, and I later realized that I was the “potato chip vegetarian”, the one that can eat all the bread and pasta in the house, cause ya know, it’s vegetarian. Not healthy! But I honestly didn’t know any better. Last year, I realized that I had reached max capacity physically and needed to change. I embarked on what I call the “wack-a-doo” diet, which involved going to a weight loss center and paying out the ass to drink stupid protein shakes and barely eat. It did work, and 80 pounds were lost. Score! This wack-a-doo diet made me seriously look at my own eating issues, and it also made me wonder how I want to live my life. I decided to start researching a bit, which lead me to “The China Study.” Run, don’t walk, to read that book. It was honestly a turning point. A seriously brief synopsis of this book is that animal proteins feed cancer and disease. I then went down the rabbit hole of veg-head bloggers and cookbooks to discover that being a vegan in 2014 is not only easy, but super duper awesome and kick ass. Along the way, I have tried to help my parents to get their diets in order so that they live longer. Eating bacon every Saturday and Sunday morning, while delicious (even this veg-head can agree to that), is not the healthiest way to live. Add in some McDonald’s take-out, some fried pork chops, scalloped potatoes, and canned peas, and you have entered my parents’ dietary lifestyle. What’s not to love? It would be fine and dandy if my mom had not had cancer earlier this year and if my dad was not seriously overweight. It is time for a change.
Let us return to the movie. With all of my recent research into the food industry, factory farming, and processed food, I found this movie to be eye-opening and a sharp nail to the coffin. It made me realize that even if I was now officially a Vegan, I had started to slip back into some old habits with food. I want to be a good example to my nephews, who are on their own journey being addicted to the S.A.D. and craving soda. Is it just me or is 7 years old too young to drink soda? This movie dealt heavily with the epidemic of childhood obesity, type 2 diabetes (which we are now seeing in children), the government’s deep pockets and love affair with the food industry, and how the food we eat makes us sick. Every day. Even our children. Especially our children. A poignant quote from the movie is when someone said that if a foreign nation was making our children overweight, sick and dying, that we would go to war with them. Instead, we allow the food industry to make our choices for us. Sugar (hidden in processed foods) is the devil, and it lurks everywhere. Another fun fact I learned: the sugar industry has made it so its percent daily value NEVER shows up on ANY nutrition label. Check it out for yourself, because I was shocked. Sugar will never have a percent next to it, ya know, cause it’s special like that.
While exercise is very important to leading a healthy lifestyle, you have to eat healthfully at the same time. I don’t know about you guys, but I am fed up with abiding by what the food industry is telling me to eat. Even if I am a veg-head now, eating processed foods still means eating tons of salt and sugar. No me gusta! The more one moves towards a Whole Foods Plant Based diet, eating foods as close to their natural state as possible, the more one will live a truly amazing life. Who doesn’t want to glow from the inside? I know I do.
After seeing this movie, I’ve decided to move away from processed foods and start eating like the universe intended. WFPB is the way I want to go, and while it may be difficult, that is how I want to live. Now, what the hell do I do with my processed foods? Give it away? Donate it? That’s a difficult decision, because why would you want anyone to eat that crap? At any rate, I’m going to start on Monday. Mainly because Mondays usually suck and that’s when I begin anything new. Also because I’m going to see “Neighbors” tonight with Miss J$, and I want to have my last crappy foods. Seth Rogen would want me to eat popcorn while watching him be hilarious.
Has anyone made the switch to WFPB? What did you do with your processed foods?