The Short Version
Ever since L and M went gluten free, we’ve analyzed and reanalyzed our eating and living habits and how we could change them for the better. As of today, we eat only organic local produce (excluding organic tropical fruit, which we cannot buy locally) when it is in season. All of the animal products and by-products we eat are from local farms that sustainably, humanely, pasture raise their animals. As for grocery items (dry goods), anything that is not made organically we go without. When we go out to eat, unless the restaurant has specified that their meat follows our guidelines, we eat vegetarian. Not only are we eating healthier, better food; we feel better about the way our choices are impacting the environment around us. The reason we have created this page is to open a dialogue about how and why we eat the way we eat. It is important to us that anyone reading our food posts know, without us specifying on every ingredient, what type of food we support and use.
The Long Story
L and M have been on a quest for the past year to change our eating habits. It all started when L found out she has a gluten allergy. M began eating gluten free in support, and she soon also developed a gluten intolerance. (After some researching, it turns out that it is pretty common to develop an intolerance to gluten, and dairy, once you cut it out of your diet.) After going gluten free, we noticed a drastic change in our physical and mental well-being. We decided to look at what else was making us sick – and stop eating it. Processed sugar was the first thing we cut out, but definitely took a lot of will power. We love ourselves some soda made with high fructose corn syrup (M) or artificial sweeteners (L), and it was had for us to say goodbye. L is still looking for a comparable healthy version of Mountain Dew, but we feel much better without that shit in our system. At one point it occurred to us that we shouldn’t just stop eating the things that physically make us feel ill, but also the things that spiritually make us sick. The mind, body, and soul are all connected, right? We realised that if we were going to start eating as well as we possibly could to make ourselves feel better in the physical sense, we should do the same for ourselves mentally. We don’t support harsh or poor treatment of animals. We hate factory farms. We don’t want anything to do with conglomerate companies that have no moral compass. Why give our money to businesses that don’t believe in the same things we believe in? Long story short, we’ve made many changes. We wanted to take this opportunity to outline how and why we eat the way we eat. We encourage everyone to educate themselves on their food, and we hope this will offer some insight into why so many people are making changes similar to ours.
We eat gluten free not by choice, but because of a physical allergy. Even if you do not currently exhibit symptoms of a gluten intolerance, we recommend you try going gluten free for six weeks. (Six weeks is about how long it takes for your body to fully adjust to any dietary change, meaning it will take about that long to feel the full affects of cutting gluten out.) Gluten is not a necessary part of anyone’s diet, and the digestive system actually functions more efficiently without the presence of gluten.
We are lactose-intolerant. While dairy product do not make us violently ill, they do cause us quite a bit of discomfort. We do not drink dairy milk (more later). We do, however, consume butter, cheese, and ice cream from time to time. Ice cream upsets our stomach more than anything else, but it’s pretty damn hard to beat a pint of chocolate peanut butter ice cream when, well, whenever. Even though we do consume certain dairy products, we are very particular about the types of products we purchase. Our butter is always from grass-fed non-GMO non-rbST happy free roaming cows. We buy it locally the majority of the time, but the farmers have a limited supply, so sometimes we have to buy it from the grocery store. When we do, we also only buy certified organic butter on top of everything else. Our cheese we buy locally directly from the farmers. They treat their cows like family. The ice cream we buy is non-GMO, fair trade, happy cow ice cream. The reason we shop this way is because we want to support farmers that treat their cows like living, breathing, creatures – not a machine on an assembly line expected to turn out product at a high rate. Cows from factory farms have shorter and extremely unpleasant life spans. The reason these factories pump their cows full of hormones is because the GMO corn and grain feed the cows are given frequently makes them sick, gives them stomach ulcers, and cancer. The hormones are NOT a preventative measure for the betterment of the cows. Cows are meant to wander around a pasture, chewing on some grass, socialising with their herd. We support farms that give their cows the quality of life they deserve, and treat their animals kindly. We drink non-dairy milk because we are lactose intolerant. We drink flax milk because it is delicious and the best dairy alternative we have found thus far. We switched from soy to almond milk a while back because of the high levels of estrogen in soy milk. If you use soy milk sparingly, there probably is no effect. But L and M love cereal and oatmeal and having a glass of milk with our treats, and we don’t want to risk ingesting that much estrogen when there are other options. Almond milk seemed a lot better. Not as sweet, we bought it organic, we were pretty happy. The majority of almond milks use carrageenan, which has been proven to accelerate the growth of cancer cells when exposed with another carcinogen. We smoke. Enough said. Then we saw the flax milk. It turns out that Good Karma Foods supports the things we support, and has no hidden scary ingredients. We took it home, opened it up, and have never been more pleasantly surprised. Seriously. Just try flax milk. (We have an evil plot to turn the whole world into flax milk loving lunatics. Jump on board.)
What’s next? Meat. We buy all of our meat from the farmers market. It’s local, organic, grass-fed, free roaming, pasture-raised, non-GMO, hormone-free; all of it. Beef, pork, chicken, and lamb. The why on this is pretty straightforward. We don’t want to eat meat that has mystery ingredients, but more than anything this is about animal welfare. Just because an animal is going to end up being dinner doesn’t justify making it’s time alive miserable. We all are going to die, but L and M sure as hell don’t want to be chained to a metal bed force-fed some pesticide ridden shit day in and day out, shitting where we sleep and sleeping where we shit. That would be hell. All farm animals deserve better treatment than what they are receiving in the factory farms. Pigs and cows are kept confined into barracks, only released when they are being moved for slaughter. Chickens, even ‘cage free’, are kept in a barn without doors, windows, or proper ventilation. Their beaks are seared and cut off when they are chicks to prevent pecking, but because the chickens are so tightly packed into their coop they peck anyway, as a way to relieve stress. Dead chickens are left inside for days before a worker comes to collect them. Their feed is GMO grown corn or soy. We support farms that raise their animals in natural, healthy conditions. The animals are given a shelter, but have unrestricted access to the outdoors. They eat natural diets. This is the type of meat we eat at home. Whenever we eat out, however, we often eat vegetarian. We respect the choice vegetarians and vegans make (L was vegan/vegetarian for six years), but we really love eating meat. However, most restaurants do not source their meat in a way that we support. Unless the meat is local and grass-fed, or the fish is sustainably caught, we eat vegetarian. Mutts and Irma’s both offer grass-fed, local beef. We are still waiting to hear back from a few of our other favorite restaurants about where their meat comes from and how it was raised.
With our produce, we stick to local and organic. Anything that can and is grown in Oklahoma we buy locally from the farmers market when it is in season. The only fruits and vegetables we purchase from a grocery store are citrus and other tropical items, such as avocados and mangos. All of the produce we buy is organic. We purchase organic, because in our opinion, it is better. There are no pesticides, herbicides, or insecticides contaminating our food. And contrary to what some people think, there is no safe fruit or vegetable to buy conventional. Any conventional fruit or vegetable is contaminated. You cannot wash away pesticides. Organic farming is also better for the environment. It is rooted in sustainable farming practices that better, instead of damage, the environment they exist in. We would prefer to buy all of our produce at the farmers market, because any produce sold at a grocery store is picked before ripened and expected to ripen on the way to the store. The quality of the fruit or vegetable is sacrificed for profit. Produce tastes best, and is at it’s highest quality, when picked only when ripe and then purchased. At the farmers market, the farmers are not allowed to bring in any underripe produce. The first time we ate a bell pepper from the market, we could not believe how flavorful it was. We really recommend trying out your local farmers market. To taste is to believe.
We touched on grocery items in the short version, and we would like to expound on that. The reason we only buy organic dry goods (e.g., nuts, flours, chips, canned goods) is the same reason we purchase organic produce: we want our food free of contaminates. Any product labeled certified organic cannot have any GMO ingredients, no exceptions. This means from seed to store, every ingredient inside the package is organic non-GMO and every facility that product went through has been certified organic. There is no cross contamination. If you google GMO, you will discover that there exists a ‘pro’ GMO argument. That’s great. But we disagree. We do not believe that GMO is better, that it promotes a more sustainable life for humans, or that it has a lower impact on the environment. Every hard fact we have turned up proves the exact opposite. Again, it comes down to us wanting to support the businesses, farms, and companies that support the causes we believe in.
The last tidbit we would like to leave is to take vitamins. Even with eating a heavily vegetarian diet and only eating organic, local, and grass-fed foods, we take vitamins every single day. They are one of the few developments in modern medicine that truly has only benefits to be gained.
Eating this way, at first, can be difficult. Like an adjustment, you find hurdles and cross over bumps in the journey. But now, it’s never been easier for us. Our families support how we eat. We continue to educate ourselves every day. The most important thing for us is how great we feel, inside and out.
If you would like to learn more, we recommend watching these documentaries.
Hungry For Change, about the diet and health industry
A Place at the Table, about the food industry
The Beautiful Truth, about how food can be our medicine
The Gerson Miracle, about how food SHOULD be our medicine and why
Forks Over Knives, about needing a change in our diets (we also recommend watching the extended interviews)
Earthlings, about treatment of animals; not for the faint of heart, you can watch it for free on their website
Food, Inc., about the harmful effects of the food industry
Farmageddon, about small farmers
Food Fight, about the local organic sustainable food revolution
Food Matters, about food versus medicine
Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, about juicing
Vegucated, about going vegan
Killer At Large, about obesity in America