My students brought me in a beautiful cake this morning, to celebrate my 28th birthday last Monday. We're having a little party this afternoon apparently. I was so touched with their planning and organizing, but there is one problem. The cake. The first ingredient is sugar. The second, partially hydrogenated soybean oil. The third, bleached enriched flour. Need I go on? I've talked to the kids about real foods, and especially sugar, but they're still processing some of what I said. =) To them, a birthday isn't a birthday without cake! To me, it's a hormonal imbalance on a plate. It's that boulder in the belly feeling. It's like putting glue in my intestines for 3 days, hoping something will clear it out. I can practically feel my body going haywire as the cake sits seven feet away from me, waiting for the upcoming party. How do I manage to express my gratitude without compromising my health?
I face the same problem in different clothes, almost daily. How do we stand for real food without being either self-righteous or self-induced outcasts? Sunday night, Mark and I went to a funky little place called Redbones Barbecue in Davis Square. I passed on the carcinogens and hormones with a side of beef, and found some delicious wood grilled chicken and dirty rice with chicken livers. Last night, I had dinner with my English language learners, Dong Hee and Nadwa. Dong Hee took us to a Korean barbecue, where I did not pass on the beef, but thoroughly enjoyed it with the many fermented side dishes and vegetable options. I want to be able to enjoy food in a social setting, without being wound up about the varying degree of toxicity of what I'm eating. And considering we don't normally eat away from home more than once a week, I think it IS possible to worry less about that one meal, and focus more on the healing powers of the other 20 meals. Plus, maybe the psychological benefit of fellowshipping with friends is enough to counteract a small dose of *trash*.
That said, I will not be having my cake and eating it too.