Restricted Ranges Aren’t Always Life-giving

In my frustration over a near 10 lb. weight gain this summer (I see your surprised faces and I agree), I scheduled an appointment with someone who is a nutritionist…of sorts. She’s not a R.D., but has various health certifications and is all about all natural stuff…which is usually right up my alley.There were some cool things to come out of that meeting, but I haven’t felt good about it much since. I wasn’t ready (for lots of reasons) to go whole hog on her recommendations, so I made some decisions for myself that I thought I could live with for a little while. It involved eliminating dairy, gluten and eggs for a few weeks and adding some supplements to my stack of morning pills. I can do it, but it’s more complicated by my vegetarian status.

And then frustration set in.

I haven’t seen/felt much of a difference. Al joined me in the elimination diet, which made meal planning even more complex. Try eating out some time when you can’t have meat, dairy, eggs or bread…and everyone eating with you being happy with the options on the menu. I just wanted to say “F*** this. F**** all this.”

I did, in fact. Eleventy seven times.

And then I started to reconsider my diet even further. Because what was supposed to bring relief and be kinda life-giving was having the opposite effect.

I started reconsidering meat. Because I’m not getting enough nutrients…and am probably missing out on a bunch of protein since I’m also not really consuming dairy.

And I miss steak.

I took some other words of wisdom into consideration and looked for another opinion from a nutritionist (R.D. this time) who might be a better fit. Appointment made.

I also started thinking about how much happier I am when I listen to what my body says it wants and not focus on the numbers. And, to be clear, my body does not want sweet, tasty goodness on a regular basis. It wants fruit and vegetables, cheese and yogurt, beans and nuts and lean protein…and…somewhere in the back of the buffet in my head…steak.

To think about that range of tasty yummy goodness makes me sigh with content. To think about what I’ve been doing for the past couple of weeks…you remember those merfolk that were turned into some type of sea plant by Ursula in The Little Mermaid? Yeaaaaaaah. That. That’s what I feel like.

So here’s to a healthy, widely varying diet that gives life.

Collectively Human

Once upon a time, we all came together for a common purpose, for the greater good, for a cause that was ours and so much greater, for–literally–the sake of the world. Once upon a time, we were not united by nationalism but by our collective humanity.

Once upon a time, the entire world was on fire and the only way to stop it was to get involved. It was the last just war, the time when everyone had to give a little–or a lot. When everyone got involved in some way. When our country was struggling economically and forced into a conflict that brought all of civilization to the brink. Where our nation may have been the most alive as it was faced with the most to lose.

How quickly we forgot that sentiment. As WWII came to an end and our country emerged stronger and more economically stable, when we cared for our neighbor (or even knew who they were), when we understood what it meant to lose it all and appreciated getting some back. How quickly we forgot when, 20 years later, we were thrown into a national climate of division. When we were once again involved in a war–one many will argue we never should have gotten involved in. When soldiers returned home wounded and broken–spat upon and shunned, in spite of the fact that they were still fighting a war that may not ever leave them inside. When no one could agree on politics. When civil rights reached a violent climax and so many had to be convinced to see things differently than they–or anyone in their family ever had.

Bring it forward another 30 or so years. To the most recent horrific tragedy in our nation. An act of terror so unforeseen and stunning that made us feel like we were collectively gut-punched. And then, within the next few days and weeks, we were collectively joined as a nation of people who once again understood what it meant to stand in solidarity with our neighbors. When we once again knew who our neighbors were. When we were joined in our collective humanity, not by our nationalistic unity.

But in the ten years since 9/11, how quickly we’ve forgotten. We’ve forgotten who we are. We no longer look after those around us. We’ve seen more war than any moment in our history. We’ve stood on the sidelines as thousands of innocent Afghan and Iraqi men, women, and children have been murdered or abused at our hands. We’ve forgotten what it means to give a little–or a lot for the common goals that should be higher than ourselves. We stopped thinking about logical conclusions. We stopped looking out for others in order to serve our own selfish desires. At least we no longer spit on our troops.

At some point, instead of demanding Medicare and Social Security (all the while screaming “Socialist!” when it comes to any other government program), instead of refusing to pay a little more in taxes (even though the people who legitimately could pay more think they’re money will run out in 6 years instead of 6 lifetimes), instead of pointing fingers only at the guy in the Oval Office, maybe we should examine ourselves. Maybe we should think about what we can all give for the greater goal. Maybe we should stop fighting over debt ceilings and come to the middle. Maybe we should come to the middle on a lot of things. Maybe we should remember that this experiment we call the United States probably exists and is successful (in spite of ourselves) by the grace of God…and then start acting like we are all children of God. Maybe then we’ll be less concerned about Democrat, Republican, Tea Party or Progressive; Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, or atheist; military or civilian; black, white, Hispanic, or Asian; gay or straight. Maybe then we’ll be less inclined to be self-serving. Maybe then, we’ll stop operating out of a base of fear. Maybe then, we’ll once again be…collectively human.