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An end in sight, and food.

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Mar. 8th, 2014 | 11:21 am
music: SKOLD vs KMFDM - love is like

First, I would like to announce that I am graduating next semester. Fall. THIS YEAR. I'm GRADUATING THIS YEAR. I can't even describe how happy this makes me and how relieved I am. Nine months, and I'm done.

So I'm staying in this house, since it would be rather pointless to get my own place and then graduate in one semester. I might find a job I don't care about much here, save up every spare penny for a few months, and then start applying for jobs I actually want elsewhere. I might also volunteer at the on-campus museum over the summer for experience, and next week I'll ask our Web Content Specialist if she could help me get on the right track to eventually do her job.


I recently watched several food-related documentaries on Netflix. I tend to watch them as a way to boost my health consciousness when I start eating like crap again, which seems to be rather inevitable.

The first one was Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, about two men who fasted for long periods of time (like a couple months) on green juice (full of kale, apples, cucumbers... just about anything green), lost ridiculous amounts of weight, went off all their medication, and improved all their numbers (cholesterol, blood pressure, etc.). They both had an auto-immune disorder and were killing themselves with food, so seeing them transform into new and improved people through food and exercise was really inspiring. And I know every time I focus on fruit and vegetables, I feel a lot better. The best I felt was when I was vegan entirely, to the point where I remember chemistry lectures during that time period in 2008. I also have some minor health issues that could probably go away if only I treated my body correctly.

I don't need to lose that much weight... probably around 10 pounds, at the most. Since I want to gain muscle more than I want to lose weight (and the weight loss will happen naturally with muscle gain, anyway), I don't plan on doing any juice fasts. But my father is... well, he's fat, sick and nearly dead. He can barely walk anymore. He just turned 60. He's on about 15 different medications for diabetes, cholesterol, and had congestive heart failure several years ago. He also has a pacemaker and can't get upstairs without almost passing out. So I made both my parents watch it, and my mother says he's improved his attitude about food and health since he saw it. She's been making him food and putting forth a lot of effort to keep him healthy and follow doctor's orders, but he's still sneaking fast food and candy when he's not home. This is essentially what killed my aunt -- she died of chemo-related complications, but after she died my grandmother and uncle found hundreds of junk food wrappers shoved underneath her bed. She might have beat the cancer if she kicked the food habit.

Last week I watched Hungry for Change, which has more experts talking about what food does to our bodies (both the bad stuff and the good stuff), why we're addicted to everything that's bad for us, and what happens chemically in our bodies when we eat certain things. There are foods that I want to try to remove entirely from my diet (soda, dairy, meat, sugar) and foods that I'm going to make a conscious effort to add (chia seeds, berries, dark green veggies), and in the two weeks or so where I've made an effort, I've seen a change in my mood. My school-related panic attacks lessen.

Then when I eat like crap again for a day or two, I fall emotionally, become depressed, and I can't handle the smallest assignments.

After that documentary, I watched Vegucated, which was a little different. It was a project where a vegan woman tested to see whether the average carnivorous person could handle switching to a vegan diet for six weeks. First they just cut out animal products, with no explanation other than "it's healthy!", and they struggled quite a bit. But then they were shown videos of how animals are treated in farms (even organic farms!) and every single one of them switched to a vegan or vegetarian diet after the six weeks was over.

So I'm trying to eat as little processed foods as possible, which is rather difficult because of how busy I am, and how much I hate cooking (when people are in the house, anyway). I tried looking up local foods, but there aren't any organic farms in the Vegas area (why am I not surprised), and I'll have to consider California local. Most of the farms in Nevada are near Reno, anyway, and that's actually farther away from Vegas than California's farm country. We have some farmer's markets, but they're all at bad times for me (except one Saturday market on the extreme opposite end of town, a half-hour away).

I tried looking up what is available seasonally, but California has like 1.5 seasons, so just about everything is available year-round. And since there are barely any farms around here anyway, I guess that's as good as it's going to get. Even if I can't find organic, eating some pesticides is better than nutrition-free processed food. 

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from: timeprojectile
date: Mar. 9th, 2014 04:08 pm (UTC)

Hmm...I remain a bit skeptical about going to dietary extremes such as veganism. If only because I like dairy too much to give it up, and have seen no consistent signs of an immediate relationship between the types of food I eat and how I feel. My weight, however, responded well to cutting back on large meals and snacks. And I try to follow the most scientific recommendations available for diet improvement. This week, for instance, I decided to replace cheese with avocado - a saturated fat with an unsaturated one - and my meals are perfectly tasty for it. My pescetarianism was based on the same principle: animal products rich in saturated fat should be avoided in favor of lower-saturated-fat animal products such as fish and fat-free dairy or in favor of plant-based foods (as long as you make sure to get your B12 somehow, and soy milk is a little expensive compared to powdered skim).

Edited at 2014-03-09 04:11 pm (UTC)

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from: finalarrowhail
date: Mar. 19th, 2014 04:11 am (UTC)

Cheese is typically what keeps me from being 100% vegan, but when I'm eating healthier I notice that I don't eat it as much fairly naturally because it just doesn't seem healthy. I take a B supplement regardless of how I eat, so that's always covered.

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