No Processed Foods

After reading Pollan’s In Defense of Food, I have taken up just one of his edicts: eat only real food. I’m trying to do this in a way that doesn’t revolutionize my lifestyle so dramatically that I can’t maintain it. Rather, I’m starting slowly and then I’ll work up to the revolution.

Largely, I’m trying to cook more and I’m avoiding food with words I can’t pronounce or recognize. I’ve extended this a little further to say that I won’t eat foods that list ingredients that I can’t buy individually. For example, I have a weakness for chips and I don’t want to completely give that up (because then I’d break my rules and eat them). Instead, I’m not eating any creepy chips. As much as I love them Sour Cream and Cheddar Chips (ingredients: Potatoes, Corn and/or Cottonseed Oil, Salt, Whey Protein Concentrate, Whey, Cheddar Cheese (Cultured Milk, Salt, Enzymes), Maltodextrin, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Monosodium Glutamate, Natural and Artifical Flavors, Onion Powder, Disodium Phosphate, Buttermilk Solids, Butter (Cream, Salt), Sour Cream (Cultured Cream, Nonfat Milk), Blue Cheese (Cultured Milk, Salt, Enzymes), Sodium Caseinate, Citric Acid, Garlic Powder, Lactic Acid, Artificial Colors (Including Yellow 6), Disodium Inosinate, and Disodium Guanylate) are out – instead I have some plain chips (incredients: potatoes, salt, sunflower oil).

I have a few things left in my kitchen cabinets and freezer that I will eat – including some chicken breasts (that technically don’t have any processing listed but I’m sure they’re full of hormones and other terrifying things considering that they’re individually packaged and pre-frozen). So far, however, I’ve been able to largely keep my promise to myself – because it’s not a diet – nor do I need to diet.

The only other thing that I have to do is eat more vegetables and plants (the less refining the better), which is something I like to do and I just need to be more conscious of. As I continue on my journey with this, I might try to replace more meat in my diet with vegetables and beans. I know that I overestimate how much meat I need.

Here’s to whole foods! And to wonderful risotto I made the other night!


“Feelin Good”

I was just thinking about these lyrics today (perhaps because I’m writing lyrics that are oh-so-difficult and complicated). The simplicity and metaphoric and literal clarity of this lyric makes me sigh with contented joy – as does Nina Simone’s brilliant arrangement and recording of it.

Birds flying high, you know how I feel.
Sun in the sky, you know how I feel.
Reeds driftin on by, you know how I feel.

It’s a new dawn. It’s a new day.
It’s a new life for me.
It’s a new dawn. It’s a new day.
Its a new life for me.
Ooh and I’m feeling good.

Fish in the sea, you know how I feel.
River running free, you know how I feel.
Blossom on the tree, you know how I feel.

It’s a new dawn. It’s a new day.
It’s a new life for me.
And I’m feeling good.

Dragonfly out in the sun, you know what I mean, don’t you know?
Butterflies all havin fun, you know what I mean.
Sleep in peace when day is done, that’s what I mean.
And this old world is a new world and a bold world for me.

Stars when you shine, you know how I feel.
Scent of the pine, you know how I feel.
Oh freedom is mine and I know how I feel.

It’s a new dawn. It’s a new day.
It’s a new life for me.
And I’m feeling good.

Now for the embarrassing part, this lyric was written at least in part by one of the lyricists I most often rib when I’m talking about bad lyrics. I didn’t know this until I looked up the information today. It seems that this lyric was originally from The Roar of the Greasepaint – the Smell of the Crowd and was written by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley. Is’t possible that Leslie wrote this AS WELL AS “The world has lost its head / And every evil hour is filled with dread / I’m floating on a lake but upside down / And when I try to breathe, I start to drown”???

Say it ain’t so!

Bad Day Blues

It’s snowing outside just a little and I’ve been awake since 4, since he woke up, since our silent sadness shook his sleep one too many times and he shut the door, went into the next room, sat down at his computer. It’s horrible to be the cause of all this, horrible to not know if I’m right or wrong, horrible to have shattered what was to be another perfectly lovely evening of our perfectly lovely life together.

Because we do have a life together – whatever I may tell myself. This is my life and his together. And I’ve called it all into question and neither of us know where to turn. We both know that this is the simplest thing we’ve ever been a part of and that’s rare and good. But is it enough for me? Is that simplicity sustainable without a deeper current running underneath it? Or is that just it: that one needs something simple so that one can build upon it – a primer. I have all the metaphors in the world. All the shitty overused metaphors and even a few that my own. But none of the changes my indecision, my confusion, my lack of conviction. And it’s my mine to have. He told me his.

It’s 7:40 in the morning and I’ve already done a great deal of my work for the day. That is a good feeling. The rest of this day is grey and ulcerous and shriveled.