Whats Up With That? - Katy Byrne


Gut feelings

Health is a big deal. I have friends who eat mainly protein or veggies, rice or nuts — no carbs or gluten. (Or, are we nuts?) It’s so crazy trying to figure out what to eat. I have a hairball to get out about it (maybe that’s why cats live such long lives.)

It’s a lot of work to study all this health stuff, and I then we all die of something anyway. And people who live long lives often do eat bread or bacon, or drink beer. Now the experts can’t even decide if bottled water is any good. Food manufacturers have us on fiber one day and green beans the next. It bugs me. What to do?

Speaking of bugs, did you know that much of the world is busy eating insects? OK, so protein is good, but what’s next?

Now bugs are indeed popular and protein packed. “Oprah magazine,” April, 2014: “Sauté crickets with garlic and olive oil, toss in vegetables…World population will reach 9.6 billion people by 2050, yet we’re already approaching peak food production.”  Maybe the next trendy restaurant will be called, “Flies at the Boon Fly “or “Wine and Worms” or “Tarantula Tours du Jour.” Am I getting carried away? How about “Bugs n’ Beer” or “Mosquito Mousse?”

So we are supposed to eat right, lose weight and avoid anything toxic, even though everything seems to be toxic? I asked the cashier at the market to read the label on something I was buying. It looked so fresh. I couldn’t find my glasses at the bottom of my purse, so I asked her to read the label. She studied: carrots, beets and “gum” something. She whispered, “What is that?” I laughed, “I imagine it’s something that gums up the works.”

And eating meat. What to do?  I see the animal screaming while I take a bite, adrenalin high, terrified while facing guns or slaughter. Meanwhile, pigs – the most intelligent animals – are roasted in full form at parties. Appetizing? And otherwise serene Sonoma residents are arguing about dog walks. Hey, let them walk with us at Montini – we’re family!

Meanwhile, online sales of whale and dolphin meat are being curtailed (so to speak.) Recently, an international court ordered Japan to halt its whale hunts. Hooray! Someone is thinking — besides pigs, whales and dolphins (the most evolved brains in the animal kingdom).

Did you know “high levels of dietary animal protein in people under five years of age were linked to a fourfold increase in their risk of death from cancer or diabetes?”(“Guardian,” March, 2014.)  Oh well, party on. I guess you are what you eat.

There’s always tuna. I ate some this week myself. Then, I read in “The Good Fat Diet” by Gold: “Another toxic element to which fish may be exposed comprised metals, mercury, lead, cadmium and arsenic.” He continues: “Despite such possible threats, the increase of two to three fish-centered meals a week should not raise any qualms in the consumer…” I am totally reassured, especially with all the people around me dropping like flies.

It’s all a bit too much. But, today I felt pretty good about my coleslaw, fruit and eggs. Then I found an article saying, “eggs are good if they’re free-range, unless it’s the rare salmonella problem.” So really, who’s the bad egg?

It would be nice if I were toxin-free and light on my feet. But life is short and we do the best we can, don’t we?

Like the probiotic vitamins I was taking. All the literature said it was great for building good bugs in the bowels, but then I got so cramped I decided, nope, not for me. So I had bread with plenty of butter and enjoyed a Three Musketeers bar, even though I know the sugar will do me in. Gut instinct can be a mixed message.

Katy Byrne is a licensed Psychotherapist in Sonoma, Ca. specializing in life’s transitions, eating disorders, coupling, conflict resolution and the kitchen sink.

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