Women: EAT LIKE A MAN!

Turn on the television. Count how many ads you see for food specifically geared towards women. Do this for an hour, that is if you can stand television today for that long. How many of them devote their entire message to eating less?

All of them.

Special K wants us to eat their breakfast sandwiches that are 190 calories.

Multiple yogurt companies stuff bland, vile sludge down our throats with less than 50 calories, 0 percent fat and ‘high protein’.

Do you really want a small, shitty pack of “cookies” that are 100 calories? Have you seen those? Those are hardly cookies. Give me two packs of those, a bowl and some whole milk. That’s cereal!

Skinny Cow wants us to eat those little itsy-bitsy teeny weeny, yellow polka dot bikini –

Wait.

Those tiny portions of ice cream! All geared towards women!

Tiny food.

To make you tiny.

Healthy.

Empowered.

Right?

WRONG.

We are STARVING. We under eat. We are orthorexic and anorexic. In vast proportions. Or should that say ‘portions’? We stuff ourselves at 11pm, butts hanging out our fridge, gorging on calories we do not allow ourselves and secretly shame ourselves for.

When was the last time you saw a food ad geared towards men? Perhaps light beer. Remember Hungry Man microwavable food? They advertised over 1lb of food in a microwavable box for men. REAL MEN EAT REAL FOOD YARRRRRR. Men are not made to feel shame for their food choices. Men are not told to eat this, or avoid that. Men just EAT THE FOOD.

No matter how enlightened, secure, or empowered we feel in our daily lives towards every other thing, food is women’s achilles heel. These companies know this all too well. Magazines all push articles on losing weight with some new fad diet or another.

My mother used to purchase Women’s World magazine many, many years ago. A long time friend of my wife had an interesting and hilarious observation: “Why do all the women on the cover of Women’s World look like they want to EAT YOU?!” On one side of the front cover, they’d advertise a new way to lose weight. On the other? CAKE! COOKIES! WAIT UNTIL YOU TRY THIS NEW RECIPE FOR FUDGE! Or something.

There are so many ways the world makes us feel unworthy, fat, and hideous. We are taught to hate our bodies. Restrict this food or that food. Then we can binge on ‘bad’ food and hate ourselves even more.

The cycle continues.

I am a 5Rhythms devotee. It is a beautiful type of ‘moving meditation’. We move to music of all sorts, un-choreographed, allow what is presently with us internally to just be, and move how we feel without judgement. We may bawl our eyes out. We may feel elated and rejuvenated. It is an awe-inspiring modality for dealing with pent up emotions, for looking deep into ourselves, for connecting with total strangers in a beautiful, intimate way. We let our souls shine and let it all out!

Did I mention it’s a ton of fun? Even when you feel like your heart is torn in two, 5Rhythms will challenge you in every way possible.

This past April, I attended a three-day workshop called “All My Relations” given by the wonderful, wise and always hilarious Kathy Altman of The Moving Center School in California. On day two, after three hours of continuous, rigorous movement, we broke for lunch.

I had packed white potatoes sliced thin, and fried in bacon fat that morning. I also packed with it a hearty portion of shredded chicken breast. I was absolutely famished, my stomach grunting it’s disapproval. I looked around at my fellow dancers to see what everyone else was eating. I was stunned.

Salad.

Yes, salad.

SALAD?!!

After sweating for hours, pouring with sweat and emotion, many ladies deemed salad as a great post-workout meal.

I wanted to cry.

I have noticed over the years that women eat salad in front of each other. Why do we seek approval from other women on our food choices?

Other dancers consumed dates, crackers and hummus, grapes, berries. That sounds yummy, but is that a meal unto itself? After three hours of dancing your ass off?

95% of my fellow dancers at this workshop were women.

After attending a workshop in July given by the lovely, passionate Lucia Horan, I was approached by a woman from out of town. She asked if I knew the area well…and where could she get a good…

…wait for it…

…SALAD!!!

I have nothing against salad. It can be a great meal with the appropriate ingredients, protein, heck maybe even some squash thrown in. I gotta have my starch. And frankly, so do you!

Woman was not meant to live on salad alone!

Neither was man.

But Hungry Man never came out with a Hungry Man SUPER MASSIVE SALAD KIT YARRRR!

Many months ago, I was at work on my lunch break. I ate what I brought: some combo of meat, veg and starch. But it wasn’t enough. I was still so effing hungry. My metabolism is bat shit most days.

Enter chocolate.

I popped into Godiva, spent $12 (yes, 12 DOLLARS) on a large block of delicious, sensuous chocolate. I walked around the mall to kill time all while eating said bar of awesome.

The looks I got. The side-eyed stares, the disapproval. Yes, I am eating chocolate, stuffing my face, because it’s DELICIOUS and I LOVE IT and SO DO YOU so EAT SOME ALREADY. AND SHUT UP.

Men eat. They eat what they want, when they want it. They don’t watch Dr. Oz and babble about eating coconut oil to boost metabolism and lose weight.

They don’t eat low-fat ice cream. They don’t eat salad post-workout! Men EAT and they have no shame, no concern for anyone else’s perception. Nobody turns an evil eye to a man eating ANYTHING he wants. Had I been a buff, hot, sexy man walking around the mall stuffing my face on Godiva, no one would batt an eyelash. No one would disapprove. But there I was, tall, relatively slim, FEMALE and gorging on chocolate while looking at clothing in H&M.

It’s not our fault. Television, magazines, billboards, Victoria’s Secret, Cosmo, Hollywood, fad diet gurus, Dr. Oz. Big money goes into making us feel like SHIT.

From childhood, we are told we’re not good enough. We’re not thin enough, hot enough, sexy enough, smart enough.

WE ARE ENOUGH.

You are always enough.

Stop believing in everyone else’s version of what you “should” be. You are your own compass, your own map. No one else is going to figure out you for you.

Determine how much you need to eat daily based on your height, weight and activity level. You will be very surprised at how much you need to eat!

http://www.health-calc.com/diet/energy-expenditure-advanced

Eat everything. There are no ‘bad’ or ‘good’ foods. This is hyper-food-extremism at its worst. Butter is not the devil and sugar is not responsible for everyone’s health problems.
Relax. Cook and eat with friends. Don’t eat in front of the television. You do not enjoy your food that way. You do not enjoy the company of your lover or BFF that way.

Enjoy good wine. Drink beer from local craft breweries. Sleep. Pray. Meditate. Let go.

When was the last time you showed yourself loving-kindness? Not just in a spiritual manner…but with food? When did you last derive pleasure from a meal? One that made you go “OH MYYYYYYY” a la George Takei.

If you haven’t in a long time, leave the comfort of your couch and computer and get in the kitchen. If you don’t have appropriate groceries to make a sexy meal, then go out and buy them.
Make pasta carbonara. Fresh, hot pasta, bacon, a splash of hot pasta-fied water, egg yolks, parmesan cheese, freshly cracked black pepper. It’s easy and delicious. It’s slippery, silky, rich and simply, incredibly orgasmically divine.

When I started to Eat the Food, I bought fresh egg bread from a local Italian bakery. I had also just bought eggs, my favourite butter (L’Ancêtre from Quebec. Worth every penny), local maple syrup and whole milk. All from Blossom Organic, one of my favourite food stores. I went home and whipped up a huge batch of french toast for myself, wife and 10 year old niece Dani.

The sweetness of the maple syrup, contrasted with salty butter, and dense luscious egg soaked bread was un…be…lievable. I was in heaven. I couldn’t believe I had denied myself for so long. We women, we’re good at that. Denying, suppressing, apologizing, guilt-tripping, rationalizing. To whom? Ourselves? To this world that pushes us around?

Fuck it. Fuck Hollywood. Fuck television and fuck disgusting 50 calorie yogurt and stupid packets of shitty cookies. We have hated ourselves and hated food for far too long.

It is time to take it back.

Take food back.

Take us back.

Julia Child has a wonderful line about ‘diet food':

“The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.”

And…

“I think every woman should have a blowtorch”.

A POST-PRIMAL PRIMALPAT…OR HOW I WENT NUTS BEING PALEO

Dear friends,

I spent three years of my life living in fear of food. I had a very black and white view of nutrition as I relentlessly researched the webpages of Mark Sisson, Chris Kresser, WAPF and similar sites. I joined Paleohacks. I ‘liked’ and joined many paleo/primal friendly groups on Facebook. It become my whole life. I was consumed.

I turned my physical and mental health upside down. I became a woman obsessed. I was labelled the “Food Nazi” by my family and I drove them crazy.

COMPLETELY CRAY CRAY.

I thought I was so smart. I thought I knew what I was talking about.

I was going absolutely bonkers inside my skull. I agonized. I scolded. I lectured. I turned into a complete asshole.

You, dear readers, have unfortunately been witness to this helter skelter journey.

I spent far too much money on supplements, naturopathic doctor visits, allergy tests of different kinds, and more supplements. I removed perfectly nutritious food because a blood test told me so. Blood tests I have now learned to be completely unreliable. I posted about candida like I was some goddamn expert. I was convinced I had it, and schooled others thinking “I’m so fucking smart!”

Meanwhile, my health continued to decline. My gastritis constantly seared the pit of my stomach eating high fat, loads of vegetables, meat and no fruit. I tried all sorts of different digestive aids to help combat this to no avail. INCOMING TMI: Bowel movements hardly ever happened no matter how much ‘roughage’, coconut oil or magnesium I was consuming.

Still, I could not let go of my primal/paleo/completely nutty way of eating even though it clearly wasn’t working for me.

One night, I found Matt Stone. I started reading his blog, and found other people whose health declined when they went primal/paleo.

We were told by other Primal-ites to “GROK HARDER”, “EAT MOAR FAT” or even worse “YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG”.

No, I wasn’t. I was super strict at my absolute worst orthorexic.

My wife and I had a long conversation about my relationship with food. We realized many things together, including:

I stopped enjoying food. It was no longer pleasurable.

I was more stressed about my health than ever, and spent far too much time researching on the internet about what my problems could actually be. I was digging myself into a hole of serious paranoia.

I decided life is simply too short to worry about food. I decided to reclaim my life back, to enjoy food, to stop being so obsessed.

This realization also came after completing an 8-week course in mindfulness meditation in late 2012. I will share more on this with you later. It gave me a much broader perspective about well-being. I learned that ‘thoughts are not facts’. I learned to return to my breath. It absolutely and completely changed my life. Suddenly, my priorities were changing. I started taking classes in 5Rhythms, a form of ‘moving meditation’. My mind was changing. I was learning to be calmer and less anxious. Both of these practices were forcing me to take a long, hard look at my eating practices, my food obsession, my health paranoia.

It dawned on me that relaxing my views on food, and practicing meditation daily was of much bigger benefit to my physical and mental health than eating primally ever was. Than researching ever was. Than being a know-it-all douche was.

Slowly, in the earlier part of 2013, I visited my much beloved health/food/nutrition websites far, far less. I started consuming less fat and eating potatoes regularly. POTATOES! MY POLISH ANCESTORS REJOICED!

I was tired of the paleo/primal community. Many folks who follow this lifestyle are oftentimes arrogant, smug, lecture on shit they really know nothing about, and become extremely hostile in the face of dissenting views.

Kind of life religious fanatics.

There are people in the community who eschew eating any fruit whatsoever, but consume gobs of butter and coconut oil in their coffee. I even posted about Bulletproof Coffee right here on my blog, although I never consumed it daily. I think it’s revolting, and I LOVE BUTTER.

I don’t have a problem with the message of eating paleo. I do have a problem with diets, or excuse me, ‘lifestyles’ becoming big money, and gargantuan empires of greed. Take my supplements! Buy my books! Pay for my coaching! I thought paleo was supposed to be about simplicity?

For the record, I have not completely given up on reading health related blogs. I am a big fan of Go Kaleo, 180 Degree Health, and Cheeseslave. I do not pretend to know anything anymore.

Food nazism doesn’t equal health. EATING MOAR FAT doesn’t work for everyone. We must look at the bigger picture.

LIFE.

BALANCE.

You can eat as ‘healthy’ as you imagine yourself to be, but obsessive mental patterns relating to your ‘health’, micromanaging every ounce of food that enters your mouth, spending vast amounts of time on the internet, and acting like a pompous, self-righteous ass is not HEALTH.

Spend time with your friends. Read fiction. Get laid. Hug your dog. Kiss your cat. Watch a movie. Go for a walk. Take a deep breath. LIVE LIFE.

Eat, love, laugh, sleep, breathe.

In the face of life’s deep beauty and awe, what we think we know is utter nonsense. It means absolutely nothing when compared to The Big Picture, and is tantamount to ego stroking and proverbial dick measuring.

I refuse.

I bite my tongue.

To all of you, I give my sincerest apologies.

We have better things to do than argue with idiots on the interwebs.

We have better things to do than act self-righteous about how we eat.

No one wants to listen about how amazeballs you are for not consuming any sugar of any kind, how wheat is teh devilz, or what your Crossfit WOD times are.

I wasn’t sure how to approach this topic. I knew I had a lot to say. But I was pissed off, still in shock and denial, and needed to percolate before I could share this message. I was inspired by Melissa Mcewan’s post on the same topic. I breathed an enormous sigh of relief when I finished reading it.

“I’m not alone!”

No, I wasn’t. And neither are you.

I eat what I want now. Gluten, at it’s worst gives me headaches, although it is not consistent. I do not eat it all the time. I’m back to eating glorious, nutritious eggs, and yummy cheese. I’m eating rice, lots of potatoes, and FRUIT! I drink beer here and there too. BEEEEEEEER. I’ve been loosely following Matt Stone’s advice, although not going absolutely CRAAAAAAAAY over micromanaging myself.

Unreasonably Dangerous Onion Rings has a hilarious post on “Six Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Take Dietary Advice From Cavemen”. And a very good rebuttal to those rebuking the previous post.

Friends, if you came to my site and enjoyed my recipes, I’m overjoyed. I’m still proud of the food I posted for your eating pleasure. Please ignore all and any health advice I wrote about. I may edit those articles to strikethrough the nonsense, because I don’t know what I’m talking about. I’m not going to pretend to anymore.

Scott from RealFood University recently wrote a post on “What’s So Bad About Pleasure?” It put a big smile on my face. You know who would approve of this article?

My food and cooking mentor, James Barber.

James Barber: who talked about being relaxed in the kitchen, using what you have, never needing fancy equipment, and using love and enjoyment as a generous ingredient.

“Cooking is like making love: you do the best you can with what you got!”

James Barber ate whatever he wanted, and died at 84, sitting at the kitchen table, with soup simmering on the stove.

I want a death like that.

We’re all going to die. No Way of Eating, diet, or “lifestyle” is a magic pill. We must enjoy our time on this planet. We must savor every moment, stay present in every breath. If I wake up once day and find out I have cancer, will I vilify myself for not GROKING MOAR HARDCORE? For not eating enough grass-fed beef and leafy greens?

Nope.

Obsessing is not living. I choose life.

The great Julia Child once said, “Everything in moderation. Including moderation”.

James once said, “Cooking, like sex and dancing, is a pleasure best shared”.

Fuck yes! Eat The Food!

Oh, so much to tell you all!

I cannot believe I have been away for over five months, approaching six. I feel strange having abandoned a blog and a following I loved and worked hard on.

It’s not because I do not care.

It is simply because my priorities changed.

I also came to some astonishing new realizations about primal/paleo eating: it doesn’t work for everyone. And it didn’t work for me.

I’m still in a mild state of shock over this conclusion. I, like many, thought I’d found the holy grail of health, of vitality, of true nourishment.

I need to collect all my thoughts, all my feelings and every last syllable before I write a very long, and very overdue post.

This site is also getting a serious face lift. I’m not digging the current theme.

Stay tuned for a mind-altering, eye-opening, shocking new post! Coming soon to an internet browser near you!

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