I love a little calf, in all its cuteness, but I’m an omnivore. Worse, I’m a lazy omnivore so I’m not out tending a herd, nor do I hunt for my dinner. When I’m paying attention, I try to circle the outer aisles of the supermarket. When I’m in free-fall, you’ll find me filling the cart with all the wrong things at the end of the aisles. And then, sometimes, I’m drawn in to harvest those processed products that are shelved in the middle aisles. And so appealingly between waist & eye height. If I could eat such brightly packaged products with impunity, I might find it easier to eat less meat. Sadly, I can’t. They hurt me.
Whenever I’m building up to starting a diet, I start out focusing on all the things that have to go. That’s likely not the best psychological approach but it’s what I do. When I catch myself doing that, I try to refocus on things that I should, instead, be adding to my diet. Focusing on adding real, good food is a positive experience. It’s better to displace those food-like products, rather than think I’m depriving myself by eliminating them. One of the first, & possibly one of the best, things I can focus on adding is grass fed beef & pasture raised meats.
Yesterday, I took off to visit my local farmer who does this kind of thing. It’s a lovely country drive, through rolling hills. A varied view of lakes, rivers, forests & fields makes it a very pleasant journey. Chatting with the farmer is always pleasant too. His house & the surrounding buildings are so clean that it’s easy to feel good about buying food here. The cows are in the fields, munching on fresh green grass. Tails swishing at flies. Or lying about in groups, taking the shade of the trees from the summer sun. This was how I remember cows being as a child. And this is in pointed contrast to the factory farm operations, where the animals stand shoulder to shoulder, knee deep in muck & dung. Here, they eat inappropriate foods that make them fat quickly. And would likely make them sick, were they to live long enough to experience that.
I’m not claiming higher ground here. I thoughtlessly eat the cheaper, though likely less healthy, meat from those intensely farmed animals too. While I am challenged by the notion of being a grass fed human, I just know that the beef from a grass fed cow is better. For me. And for the cows. Yes, it is more expensive. And yes, I can lose weight eating the factory farmed meat. But there is something ritualistic about having to go out of the way to get the real thing. I also tend to eat a lot more veggies (what are those!?!) when I move towards eating well. And that tends to reduce my overall meat intake. Sometimes significantly. That can have a very positive impact on the cost per meal too. This all sounds so good, & feels so good, that I wonder why I don’t do it all the time.
Today … my freezer is now filled with grass fed beef & pastured pork. But I haven’t started the real diet yet. And one of the downsides of this preparatory phase is the clear out! I’m wired to not waste so the notion of tossing out all the bad stuff in my fridge & cupboards just doesn’t sit well. I’m more inclined to focus on the Monday start. And then I devour all the bad stuff over the weekend!
Though I haven’t yet decided if it should be Monday next week, or Monday the week after. I know, I know! But what can you do?
PS … Remind me to share yesterday’s Indian Coddle recipe somewhere along the way! 🙂