Monday, April 26, 2010

Natural means nothing!

So, how many of you have ever eaten a store-bought tomato and thought, "man! this is SO much better than the tomatoes I bought from the little old man on the corner selling produce out of his truck!" ???? ....Cricket, cricket....yeah, me either. So, I started buying all/most of my produce locally grown. This means my food comes from places I can actually drive to, volunteer on, or call--and they're all made up of real people who I could meet face-to-face at anytime over the course of my day-to-day life. There are tons of "little old men" selling the freshest, healthiest, best foods my Georgia-grown dollar can buy, and I am all for supporting the little guy and the local economy!(Especially with the selfish motivation of looking and feeling better!)

See, the thing with PCOS is that its a hormone disorder....remember the insulin resistance? Yeah, that is made worse by eating genetically altered or modified foods. Now, its important to note that I did NOT want to jump on any organic, going-green propaganda bandwagon....this came down to an "I have to do this" not an "I think its cool to do this" thing. I do NOT think its cool that I have to pay more money to buy healthy, unaltered foods. Not cool at all. Especially working for the State! My salary barely affords the luxuries of Ramen noodles much less "grass fed beef"....I don't know how the people with kids do it! State workers aren't even eligible for food stamps!

Anyway, I digress. Here are the 12 Commandments of Organic Eating:
1. Meats: beef, chicken, pork-- these are all animals that are mass produced, fed grains, injectibles, hormones, etc. Animals, by default, also have a pancreas...which, by default produces insulin...the insulin then gets passed onto ME when I eat them. The hormones/injectibles add to the "junk" that gets passed on and because their diet was unnatural (cows aren't bred to digest grains, but rather grass) it basically helps in making me sicker. Same with all the other meats. It doesn't matter (for me) if I get it grilled, boiled, steamed or fried: the non-organic meats have the same effect on me no matter how they're prepared.
2. Dairy/eggs: this sort of goes along with the meat scenario. Well, actually they're FACTS, but if you can only afford a little bit of organic it should ALWAYS be meat and dairy. Simply changing these two things in the last week has made me feel oodles better!
3. Strawberries, raspberries, cherries
4. Apples & Pears
5. Tomatoes
6. Spinach & Greens
7. Coffee (yeah right, that junk is like $13/lb!)
8. Potatoes
9. Peaches, nectarines, etc.
10. Grapes
11. Celery (oops! I forgot that was on the list)
12. Peppers

Numbers 3-12 are mostly on this list because of the pesticides associated with growing "pretty" crops, however fruits and veggies DO get injected with hormones too. One easy way to tell with produce is by looking at the PLU codes. Four-digit code, 4011 for example, is a conventionally grown fruit/veggie. This means it isn't injected, but isn't organic...its "standard." A 5-digit PLU beginning with a "9" like 94011, means the food is Certified Organic. Anything else, you don't want to eat. Some start with 8, that means its been genetically modified. Stick with either the 4-digit or the 5-digit beginning with 9!

Another grocery shopping modification is no High Fructose Corn Syrup. I don't care what those commercials say about "it comes from corn....its completely natural..." that's a load of grain-fed bullsh*t, if you ask me and I want no part of it! Natural means nothing. High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is a clear and colorless liquid, which is synthetically and chemically derived from corn. It is commonly used as a sweetener in many processed foods because it’s cheaper and sweeter than sugar. HFCS is everywhere. It’s even in products that you wouldn’t expect it to be in. HFCS is comprised of two simple sugars: fructose and glucose. HFCS is very different than table sugar.

So, what’s the difference between table sugar and HFCS? In HFCS, the glucose and fructose are unbonded, resulting in “free” sugars. Table sugar on the other hand is a disaccharide with a bond between its glucose and fructose.

In other words, HFCS is not natural. It’s not something that you could ever make at home. HFCS takes dozens of mechanical and chemical processes to produce. If I can't make it, I don't want to eat it....and not being able to "make" it has nothing to do with not knowing the recipe! I don't have a bunch of over-paid scientists who are trying to convince the already over-weight Americans that HFCS is a-okay! It isn't. Its awful. And, PCOS research shows that HFCS--even in moderation--is a key component to causing PCOS and insulin resistance. Again, natural means nothing.

Keep in mind that I'm not trying to preach here, or force any kind of anything down anyone's throat. I am, however, writing all of this out as a reminder to myself of why in the world I am shopping at a tiny, kind of smelly, hippie grocery store and how great its going to feel in a few months when all this "crap" and unhealthy hormones are out of me. The old saying "you are what you eat" is exactly true!

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