Thursday, July 31, 2008

Musings on Aspartame, Fruit and Cheese . . .

I recently picked up a copy of Skinny Bitch and then more or less devoured it in one sitting. Its not so much a diet book as a collection of vegan propaganda (and I say that with love, I don't mind vegan propaganda one iota). I'm a pretty saintly eater to begin with. I don't eat meat (including chicken and fish), I buy veggies from farmers markets, and I only buy whole wheat pasta and bread (for at home, although I will eat white four products out at restaurants). I did pick up a few things from the book though that I've put into place and have made a big improvement in how I feel.

First and foremost, I've given up diet sodas. The book's chapter on aspartame reads like a horror story. To summarize, aspartame was deemed unsafe countless times by independent researchers and deemed safe as many times again by researchers funded by the soft drink industry. It was rejected by the FDA something like 9 times before it finally was approved for use in food, and the studies cited in the approval were all either incomplete, inconclusive, or funded by the very organizations that would profit the most from being able to market aspartame products. It also causes memory loss, among other crappy things. I'd been meaning to give it up someday anyhow. I certainly wouldn't drink diet soda while pregnant and I'm hoping to get myself knocked up sometime in the not so distant future, so I figured now was as good a time as any. I gave it up almost 2 weeks ago. When I feel the urge for a diet coke I have a tall, lukewarm glass of mint tea instead (tastes better than it sounds!). I feel more clear-headed, more alert, and just better all around. It was also PAINLESS to give up, so I highly recommend giving it a shot!

Also, I've made friends with fruit. I'm not a big fan of sweets in general, so I've always been more of a vegetable person. The book spoke very highly of fruit though, so I've been giving it a go and cutting up a bunch for breakfast every morning. I buy 2 apples, 2 peaches, a grapefruit and a big thing of strawberries at my organic market on weekends and that seems to work for the week. It also seems to take less time than waiting for the fecking toaster. So winners all around.

And then there's cheese. The book makes a really great case for giving up all dairy. Especially cheese. But I just don't think I can. I've switched mostly to cheeses (and milk, for that matter) that are hormone and antibiotic free, which is half the reason for giving up right there. But as a matter of principle, I just don't know if I can let the cheese go. The book explained that there's a chemical in cheese that converts to morphine in the body which would EXPLAIN SO MUCH! I like a little morphine with my crackers, sorry.

PS: I bought the coat. Not the jacket. Just the coat.

3 comments:

Jane said...

Facinating! I have all but given up diet soda. I allow myself one at a restaurant from time to time. Never at home and not at school anymore. Now, the cheese- my cousins and I are all cheese freaks. Really. Turns out our great grandfather was a cheese maker in Switzerland. So, that's just too deep to quit. I can give up cheap cheese tho.

Domesticrazy said...

I need to read that book...

ReFabulous said...

I gave up aspartame while pregnant with Owen (and Nolan, and Matthew...) and you're right -- it's not that hard, and you do feel much better. Try some iced green tea with a squeeze of lemon... mmmmm. My favorite! I'll have to try the mint!