Of Food and Folly

In the past month or so I have almost completely dropped the positive dietary changes I made while I was sleeping on a polyphasic schedule. I’ve been eating processed foods, meat, eggs, cheese, sugar, even corn syrup... and wheat.

I feel like crap.

I feel sluggish and loathe to focus. I am significantly more lazy. I don’t have any energy unless ingest caffeine, and if I don’t continue to do so, I crash (if I do continue to do so, I can’t sleep). The little joints in my fingers and toes hurt a lot, constantly, and the larger ones in my ankles and wrists and knees occasionally indulge in obnoxious stabbing pains that catch me off guard. I’d say the worst more recently is in my fingers, toes and knees. My wrists and ankles are obviously the reserves.

I don’t want to go running—in fact, I haven’t been running. I haven’t really even been walking regularly. I don’t want to go anywhere or do anything. I’m insanely stressed out by small things, so I won’t even explain that we’re working on buying a car (on a deadline, no less). I’m not getting as much work done as I was a month ago. And the cramps I experienced during my period last week sucked.

It feels like the world is moving very fast, and I am too slow to keep up. Compare that to any number of combinations I’ve experienced first-hand that result in me feeling like I have a head start on everybody else, and you have one frustrated and dissatisfied Megan.

There are some half-solutions I could employ. I could force myself to start running again. I could start taking six fish oil capsules a day. I could militarize my work schedule.

Or I could go back to eating real food. Because that would make all the other things – running, working – easy.

I’ll show you the culprits, up close and personal. Pizza. Hot dog buns. Coca-cola. Ben & Jerry’s. General Tso’s chicken. Crab rangoon. You know what the problem is, don’t you? Social food. I’ve turned into a complete wimp in the face of social food. I’m afraid to be left out. In the last few months, I’ve been a huge wuss; I’m not woman enough to stand my ground and take care of myself if everyone else isn’t doing it too.


It’s astonishing to realize that I felt like this all the time before I started making lifestyle changes. How did I live like this? It’s driving me batty. Even more, how does anyone? Even if you set aside the arthritis pain—not everyone experiences that particular inflammatory side-effect—the rest is bullshit. It’s just not okay to feel this way. Ever. And the worst part is, the food just isn’t that good. Fresh, real food is so much tastier and effective than the crap I’ve been eating!

Isn’t it interesting that we’re willing to compromise the sanctity of our bodies for a little short-term satisfaction? It’s eerily like drug addiction. Just pay attention to the way you eat, sometime, and see if you notice some strange correlations. Why do you eat the things you do? Is it because it’s the best food you could be feeding yourself? Does it seem to have weird side effects? It’s an interesting line of inquiry, I’ll tell you that. It leads you to bizarre and amazing places.

As for me? I haz delicious, organic brown rice.

Watch while I eatz it.

Lemon Ginger

Since the moment I discovered a lemon ginger “shot” at the Whole Foods flagship, I’ve been obsessed. First I looked at juicers, but then I realized that I my blender / food processor might do the trick, with some fiddling. This morning I turned a quarter lemon and a chunk of fresh ginger into juicy, messy pulp. I ended up putting it through my spaghetti strainer so I could drink it without picking ginger threads out of my teeth. I don’t really want to buy a juicer. But ginger is a tough cookie.

For the adventurous ginger-maniac, I do not suggest adding yerba chai concentrate to your lemon-ginger-apple juice concoction, even if it’s your favorite thing ever and sounds like a good idea. It’s not. (Well, okay. It’s growing on me.)

The lemon ginger shot downtown tasted like a freight train, or an atomic bomb. Juiced lemon, juiced ginger, straight—no sugar, thank god. It was a trial by fire, like Asuka’s idtakko. It was the greatest thing I’ve done all week.

Oh yes, lemon ginger shot. I will conquer you.

Workshop Plug

Why yes—I am posting to shamelessly promote Crow’s workshop on Sunday! No no, don’t second-guess yourself. You’ve got it right on the button. ;}

Crow Mitchell's Alchemical Joy

The Awesomeness of Crow

Before I went camping this weekend, I was having the worst allergy attack of my whole life. In absolute desperation I emailed Crow Mitchell, who I knew previously through Marty’s gaming group, because she had mentioned something about Psych-K, which is a method of communication with the subconscious for the purpose of reprogramming a belief system. It has ostensibly been applied to many ends, including allergies (among other things), and Crow is someone I trust — so it was worth looking into.

Crow’s explanations and my own research revealed a solution that seemed to run along the same lines as psycho-cybernetics, which I adore, and the world views of people I respect, like Steve Pavlina and Wayne Dyer. I had recently picked up a book by Bruce Lipton, too, and that didn’t hurt! I did not research Psych-K exhaustively, but I did schedule a session with Crow last Wednesday afternoon. It was super interesting. Although neither of us expected all problems to be solved in one session, I don’t think I expected as nice a result as we got. As with any work involving the subconscious, or unconscious, or other-than-conscious, Psych-K seems to be a continuing process. Before we can alter a belief system and achieve the desired result, we have to know what’s really going on. And sometimes figuring that out is a challenge!

To make a long story slightly shorter, we did affect my allergies. The session lasted about an hour if I remember correctly, and we did a lot of muscle testing to determine our best course of action. Most of you are aware that I am super allergic to cats. Er, at least, I was. Now I’m not so sure, because after Wednesday’s Psych-K session, I sat on the floor and snuggled kitties! I petted and played with them, and snuggled my face into their fur. Yes. Yes, I really did. And for the first time that I can remember, it wasn’t about my allergies — it was only about whether I could keep from choking myself on flying cat fur. Ha! I didn’t sneeze, or experience explosive itching, or end up blowing my nose every five minutes. I felt… absolutely fine.

For me, it doesn’t matter whether we dispensed with a real cat allergy, or just a mental conviction that I was allergic to cats: If the result is one where I spend an afternoon covered in cat hair and don’t run home crying and miserable, it’s a great result. And the fact that I went to her with seasonal allergies but ended up fixing an animal allergy — temporarily or permanently — doesn’t bother me, because it’s clear that something really fascinating is going on with this Psych-K stuff. Incidentally, the awful seasonal allergy symptoms I was having did go away, almost entirely, for most of the weekend. Friends who are experiencing the same symptoms didn’t have them let up the way I did, which makes me really wonder. (I felt a little bit guilty listening to people blowing their noses and sniffling through the day when I felt mostly awesome. Oopsies.) We’re planning another session soon, and considering the subject material we covered last week, I can easily see not only how we ended up helping my cat allergy but how we might concentrate in a better direction and affect my seasonal allergies better this time around. It’s so interesting to have people around who work in these ways! And hell if I’m going to pump myself full of drugs for three weeks every summer. You know? That’s crazy.

I don’t know whether the cat allergy solution will stick or need to be reinforced. I don’t know what will happen next. But I never, never expected such an interesting experience, and such a promising set of results. This is an experiment I want to continue! It’s such a new area of interest for me, and I plan to do more exploring. I do feel the need to put in a plug for Crow, however, as brilliant as she’s been. You have never met a person so connected, complete and understanding as this woman can be. She works in Psych-K, energy healing, life coaching, sacred geometry, and we’ve started referring to her as a raw food alchemist. You would not believe the awesome food she fed me this weekend, either. She makes a mean raw cacao-avocado dip, I’ll tell you. Here’s her link and some more information. And her cell number is 512-626-7700, because I believe in her strongly enough to engage in some shameless promotion — and because she’s incredibly useful to have around. She’s just good people, man. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Thank you for reading about my experiment! I’m going to go finish off the chocolate dip… yum…

Glorious 5:15 AM

I attempted to sleep in this morning and was unsuccessful.

What does that tell you?


I love that it’s only 5:45 am, and I have the whole day stretching in front of me. It’s huge! Days have so much time in them!

The time between 5:15 am and noon feels like an entire day. When I run and shower and meditate around lunch time, it feels almost like sleeping, I am reset somehow—and then noon until the time I actually go to bed in the evening feels like another day. I have so much time now! It feels so brilliant and wonderful! I don’t know what I will decide at the end of the sleep scheduling trial I’m doing (as you might have guessed, I have not always had my alarm set for 5:15!), but at this moment I am so grateful to the universe that I made the decision to try it. It feels so fantastically good!

Lumpy (Sometimes)

Ooooh! I’m so frustrated with this energy shake mix! It said “no blender needed, mixes instantly,” blah blah blah, and I tried to mix it with a spoon while the blender was in the dishwasher and it’s a huge mess of lumps, blargh.

It’s delicious stuff and makes great shakes… in the blender. Use a blender. Oy!

Update: I rescind my previous statement. If you shake it in a shaker glass with a top, it works great! I am going to put this down to my inexperience with shakie drinks… Ha!

In Defense of Food

God, I like food.

I like thinking about it. I like talking about it. And to be fair, I don’t exclusively mean the preparation and cooking of food, though that is a totally neat thing and often very exciting. I’d like to make it even more exciting. But what I really mean, right now, over all, is the concept of food.

The meanings I had for food growing up were so different from the meanings I have now. I don’t know if anyone ever taught me where my spaghetti came from, or maybe I just didn’t let that information in. Maybe it wasn’t interesting then. I had a (very) brief vegetarian phase in grade school, but I still ate the lamb my mother made for her dinner party—I just complained about it. I don’t remember that lasting very long, but at least then I seemed to realize where the food had come from.

These days I am fascinated with the dichotomy between what we eat and how it grew. Often the thing we’re eating bears no reasonable resemblance to the actual organism it once was. It was only in the last few years that I realized how anti-conscious my meat-eating had become, food is something you buy from a store, an object or faceless element, like pumping fuel into a gas tank. What is this funny pile of molecules called “chicken”, completely separate from an animal I’ve never met of the same name? But meat isn’t faceless (or shouldn’t be) and I am coming to believe that even a humble green bean or asparagus deserves more than the lot we offer them—as Reel Big Fish has suggested, even lettuce is worthy of a little consideration. If I’m going to respect a cow or a pig for its nutritional content and creatureness, I can likewise respect a handful of sprouts, or a cucumber, or a carrot. And I think I want to.

So finding Michael Pollan came at a really good time for me, a few months ago. I read the Omnivore’s Dilemma, having seen it mentioned in one of Violet’s articles, as well as having been recommended it by friends in passing. The message I got from this book was all about respecting food, and respecting myself, and being really conscious of the complex systems in the universe that led to me being fed at all—and conscious, too, of the additional complexity added by commerce and industry. And how complexity itself can sometimes be awe-inspiring… or scary. (Or both!)

I looked for Michael Pollan’s blog, feeling that he must have one. But he didn’t. (Or at least, I couldn’t find one.) So I was sad. I wasn’t sure if his other books were anything like this one, so I let it go. But a few days ago, Missy pointed me to Science Friday—and an interview with Michael Pollan! It is this interview I point you to now, because it’s a great interview, and it’s about his recently released In Defense of Food. This vibes perfectly with the way I’ve been feeling lately and I am really excited to read it. In any case, you can listen to the whole interview right on the Science Friday website. (Please do!) It’s super awesome.

Science Friday: Michael Pollan – In Defense of Food (Friday, January 4th, 2008)

I am really interested in your thoughts on this whole issue, if you care to comment on it. Food is awfully exciting lately!

Sick World

“Wal-Mart: Save money. Live better.” This sickens me. Not only in light of all the reading I’ve been doing lately, but as an overarching theme; I am sickened by Wal-Mart. And lots of other things.

If the market follows our lead, friends and neighbors, we are doing a fuck-awful job.

So… how do we fix it?