The Big Lie

I spent the holidays in the interior of BC, in Enderby. I took the bus to and from my friends’ home, as driving conditions can be dodgy that time of year, and for the trip home I bought myself snacks, including some meat sticks which were supposed to be gluten-free, lactose-free, blah blah blah.

I just ate the last of them, because I was hungry and I’m also preparing to join a 21-day Primal Blueprint challenge which starts on Monday, which means getting rid of all the non-primal food in the place. They began to taste sickening while I was munching – both faintly sweet, and oily in an unpleasant way. After eating them, I was watching tv for a bit before buckling down to dinner food prep. I briefly got hand shakes, and felt weak and flushed. My stomach is unsettled, and my ears have developed tinnitus. Why did I even finish eating them? Why didn’t I just throw them in the garbage, where they belong?

Ironically, I had just come back from buying organic onions and cabbage, as well as free range local eggs, at my favourite store, The Local Harvest. I then supplemented with vegetables from Superstore (one yellow pepper, bok choi, avocadoes, plus lemons and limes) to add a bit of variety to my diet. I hadn’t eaten yet today, so I wanted a quick snack and thought “Oh, those meat sticks need to get finished up!”. In hindsight, I would have to say that no, no they didn’t.

Processed food is the big lie. I know this, but every so often, after making lots of meals from scratch, I forget and buy it because I want something “convenient”. Well, it’s not convenient to feel unwell and have ringing in my ears. Worst of all, now I feel like having a nap instead of chopping my vegetables and getting dinner in the oven.

Nonetheless, I am going to chop up cabbage, onion and apple, to go underneath some turkey pieces. I will roast the whole thing in the oven, not worrying about the veg being over-cooked because honestly, right now it’s easier on my digestion to have the vegetables broken down. Still, lots of nutrition in those three, and the turkey legs dripping down on top will add wonderful flavour. And cabbage, if I am recalling correctly, is a good prebiotic, though it would be even better as probiotic sauerkraut! But I can’t make sauerkraut and have it ready to eat in the next two hours, so roasted it shall be.

I do want to learn how to make sauerkraut, though I’m a bit intimidated by it. It sounds simple – it’s just that whole “expose it to bacteria and let it start to ferment” bit that trips my “that’s unhygienic and you’ll get food poisoning!” button. Still, in the interests of food security, I need to learn how to preserve food in ways that don’t necessarily require refrigeration, not to mention eating seasonally. And I definitely want to know how to preserve food without nasty “meat stick” chemicals that cause me to feel like garbage.

When I was three, my parents and I lived in a basement suite, and the owners lived upstairs. Mr. Owner made his own sauerkraut, and to this day I still recall eating it by the handful out of the barrel at his invitation – incredibly good, with its bright tangy flavour. He beamed to see me enjoying his food. Canned sauerkraut is not the same. And after eating those meat sticks, I need a good dose of helpful probiotics. My poor microbiome. Sorry, bacteria. I’ll try to do better going forward. No more of the big lie.

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