Saturday, September 02, 2006

Back to Nature

Thursday, as the outer bands from Tropical Storm Ernesto rolled over the city and dumped several inches of rain onto Charleston, my company decided it would be nice to order in pizza for the whole office so no one would have to go out into the rain. So they did, which was a really nice thing to do, but for me it was the straw that broke the camel's back. The straw, that is, of unnatural food.

The lunch was pizza from Papa John's supplemented with bags and bags of Doritos and other snack chips, 2 liter bottles of soda (including lots of Mountain Dew), and bags of Oreo and Chips Ahoy cookies. (Yes, I do work at a software company--how did you guess?)

Now, I'm not one to put up my nose in the air and sneer at pizza, Oreos, and Coca-Cola. But, I've been on the road a bunch of the past month and, frankly, my diet has been nothing short of lousy--fast food grabbed in airports, candy bars from vending machines, take-out pizza and Chinese on the days when I've been at home but too tired to cook.

The tropical storm luncheon put me over the edge. I can't eat like this anymore.

This isn't one of those things where you think: gee I better cut back a little. This isn't an intellectual thing, nor a moral thing, nor a health thing. It's a raw physical revulsion to industrial food.

I'm shot. I'm through. I can't take another dose of high fructose corn syrup, guar gum, or modified corn starch. I want to purge my system, eat clean. And I don't mean wheat germ or bee pollen or any of that natural food store stuff. I mean just good old fashioned food from nature. I don't want to put anything into my body that wasn't available to humans before the Industrial Revolution.

It's also not an easy thing to do. At work, I'm surrounded by people who are too kind: they bring in Chick-Fil-A biscuits and Krispy Kreme donuts and bags of gummy worms and cookies and candies and pass them around for all to share. What a wonderful gesture! But, my stomach physically aches any time I think about another mouthful of candy or a bite of pepperoni pizza.

So, my plan is to go fresh & natural: no more fast food, no more candy and sodas. Coffee is fine, as is iced tea: foods made from packages whose ingredients list has no commas: "ground orange pekoe tea leaves." No more peanut butter crackers or donuts for breakfast. Fruit, lots of fruit. Good bread with real butter. Homemade meals. And, for Pete's sake, no more high fructose corn syrup.

I've done okay the past two days, but the challenge will be when I get back to work on Tuesday. We'll see how long I can hold out.

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