It’s been awhile since I’ve written, I think I got over the initial ‘excitement’ at having a blog. But I’m determined to keep going. In the meantime, I’ve done even more reading and am learning new things everyday about how food affects our bodies. Also, a lot of the books go into detail about the environmental impact of the production of certain foods (ie. Meat, vegetables etc) and also the animal welfare aspects of producing meat. However, most of the books I’m reading are American so I would be interested to know more about animal welfare/animal production in Australia. Growing up on a farm (small, hobby farm), with around 20 head of cattle, I know that we didn’t mistreat our steers. They were never given hormones, they had large paddocks to roam, plenty of food; this is a different story then the American books I am reading.
Typically, I’ve always shied away from learning about meat production, mainly because I love animals. I actually hate the thought of killing animals for their meat. I know it is what has always been done and it’s all about the food chain/circle of life/caveman or blah blah blah, but it does baffle me. However, I’ve always just taken it for granted, just willed my mind to block out the fact that I’m eating the flesh of another (previously) living being. Anytime anyone tried to talk to be about how the chunk of meat I was hacking into was an animal I would shudder and say ‘don’t talk to me about that’.
The problem is, I like meat. I like the taste, I like what it does to a meal; there isn’t any very good, non-processed vegetarian or plant-based substitutes, and I’ve had a lifetime of thinking that meat was ‘good’ for you. BUT, all the new research I’ve been doing is telling me meat isn’t great for the human body. Now, I’m not saying that I think everyone should only eat plants. I am hesitant to inflict my views on others strongly. So, at this point in time, I am attempting to use less animal products and eat a mainly plant-based diet. Meat is apparently very hard to digest. Here is an excerpt from the book I’m reading, The Kind Diet.
“A carnivore’s intestines are only about 6 feet long, because meat isn’t meant to hang out in the gut gorever. Our intestines are 20 feet long; when we eat meat, it takes a full 72 hours to pass through us. That’s 3 days, and your body, my friend, is 98.6 degrees (F) inside! It’s like having a steak sit out in the hot sun for 3 days straigh. Eventually it will start to rot and putrefy. And that’s what’s happening inside you”.
See some info here, here and here. I would highly recommend reading The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone (yes, the girl in Clueless). It seems to be a very easy read which has combined a lot of the learnings I’m finding. Unfortunately, I’m not very good at re-explaining things.
I hesitate to call myself a ‘vegetarian’ or ‘vegan’, because quite frankly I’m not, and I doubt I ever will be, however I really am aiming to minimise the amount of animal products I use. I am learning about new ways to substitute animal products. Flax seeds and psyillium husks for eggs, vegetables for meat, non-dairy milks etc. I’m trying to limit the amount of meat we eat in a week to 1 or 2 meals, sometimes none (if I can convince Sam to! He’s not entirely convinced of my newfound-knowledge!). What meat we do use, I try to ensure we get organic, we have been buying from either Flannery’s or The Meating Place in Paddington. I also haven’t been consuming any dairy (ok, I’ve cheated a bit on this, I ate some cheese and an icecream whilst away over the weekend), eggs or other by-products as much as possible.
But, I have a confession to make: I’m craving chocolate. I can’t give it up. I’m really struggling. What is that saying? 13 days to break a habit? I need to do that. All my talk about giving up processed foods, and I can’t give up chocolate. I’m yet to find a good substitute! Any suggestions would be very welcome.
In the meantime, here is an awesome lasagne recipe. I love a good lasagne; there is nothing quite like it. This one is I guess a moussaka/lasagne, I’m not entirely sure of the difference between the two. It started with an eggplant; my latest vegetable in my quest to try new veggies, I’ve never particularly like eggplant, but after this, I’d definitely buy again. Other ingredients included a thin layer of fresh mozzeralla (I think it was the first time I ever bought one of those soft round blogs of it?) and organic, fresh lamb mince.