Sunday, May 16, 2010

Breaking News: Crap Food Leads to Crappiness

Before chronic migraines, I ate a lot of crap food. I was too lazy to really cook, so we ate out a lot. And when we did eat at home, it was the half-processed, easy-make food from cans and boxes that can be found in the inner-most aisles of the grocery store where the trans fats rule and the junk-food gravitational pull is the strongest. We were afraid to buy produce because it always went bad before we ate it, and there is nothing sadder than a mushy bag full of rotten, wasted money in the fridge.

The food epiphany only struck me a few months ago. I didn't even want to think about what I was putting in my body, I didn't have the strength to change it, so I felt, and my head hurt way too much to be cooking. But then I discovered green smoothies. And that gave me more energy, and more importantly it gave me the confidence in my abilities to consume produce in a timely manner. So we bought more produce, and I started making salads and soups and stir-fries and smoothies almost every day and not only was I eating all of the produce but we were running out! I was becoming some kind of crazed plant eater, stomping around my kitchen like godzilla, roaring, "MOAR VEGGIES, RAWR!"

A poorly drawn scene depicts the lower half of godzilla (because I can't draw a dinosaur head to save my life) threatening a bug-eyed stick figure. The stick figure holds his arms out defensively and has a speech bubble above his head that reads: "I'll go get the spinach! Please don't hurt me!"

And my poor boyfriend would make yet another trip to the store to fill up the fridge and pile the fruit bowl high and all the while the poor guy wants a burger and fries so bad he dreams about it, and wakes up sad.

I'm participating in a food study that asked me to describe my dream breakfast. I, of course, wrote an erotic story about green smoothies. Okay, not erotic, but I do get really excited at a few points:

As soon as I wake up, I start thinking about my morning smoothie. Do I have enough spinach? Are those bananas about to turn? My mental inventory concocts the perfect recipe for the day and as soon as I'm hungry, it's on. First, the greens. Fill a big bowl with water, plop them in to soak. Find the yogurt and soymilk, grab a banana, consider a pear or some frozen blueberries. Toss some ice in the blender and it begins. I add the spinach once it's clean, filling the blender once, then twice as the little metal blade chews the tender leaves. Add the dairy and the bright green turns a creamy mint color. Add the rest of the fruit of the day and let it go for a minute as I put things away. The counters clean again, I pour my toxic looking beverage into a huge pink cup and try not to guzzle it all at once.

You know you want one.

Since this new eating mindset occurred to me, I've read a couple of books about food (In Defense of Food, anyone? LOVED it.) and watched some documentaries (The Future of Food was very interesting.(That's a Hulu link, for as long as they host it.)) about the evils of corporate farming practices. And it's not good. So I've been trying to buy organic and to be aware of the packaging and whether things are cage-free or hormone-free, and it's funny that the more free of additives or maltreatment a food is, the less economically free it actually is, meaning eating organic is totally unaffordable for me, a person on disability living in an urban mecca of hippies and technology where, if anything, eating organic should be cheaper because there is such a demand. At least that's how it works in my head. Stupid capitalism.

So, with all this suddenly responsible eating I'm trying to do, it wasn't a huge surprise that I started to feel better. Not in a "vegetables cured my migraines!" way, but more in a "crap food is a trigger that I'm now avoiding" fashion. And the less crap food I eat, the more obvious it is that all the salt, sugar, preservatives, artificial colors and msg are terrible for me. My head has spoken, loud and clear:

Eat well, and I'll kick your ass just a little less.


WinnyNinny PooPoo said...

Great Post! Even milk has additives, used to be so many millionth parts formaldehyde per gallon...

You would think with all the preservatives in what we eat we would live on like stuffed Triggers never deteriorating instead the opposite.

Love the stick figure/Godzilla pic!

Migrainista said...

Yeah, Good Food!!! I'm with you...only my blender is in storage so I have not been able to have a smoothie in some 18 months.

So glad you found this trigger and are eating better because of it. :)
Good health to you!

Heather said...

GREAT post! I too have been trying to buy more organic foods (especially milk and meat) and cook from scratch as much as possible. It's extra money and work but worth it. Although I'm still waiting on the physical benefits, I love the peace of mind it gives me!

Anonymous said...

I totally support your wonderful efforts to eat well. I only eat organic myself. Crap food is indeed just that (crap). I'm sooooo glad you feel better. If I were to eat all the "good" food you are listing, I would be in total pain all the time. Spinach is high in histamine and oxalates. And soy is high in oxalates too. I've never heard them connected to migraines, thank goodness!

jasminepw said...

Great post - love my fruit smoothies. I haven't been imaginative enough to start making vege-based smoothies yet, but I'm thinking about it now :)

Megan Oltman said...

Hey Steph - You made me hungry for smoothies! I will have to get out the blender and get back to it. I love "eat well and I'll kick your ass a little less." Always looking for those things that kick my ass a little less - they add up!
- Megan