Earlier this year I dated a guy whose energy was heavy, dark and jumbled. After he was gone I had trouble sleeping – just like he did. It was as if I took on his energy. My mind raced and even when I did fall asleep I couldn’t stay asleep. I had to purge myself of him and clean up my body; something inside (prayer and meditation) told me my adrenals were fatigued so I researched how to cure adrenal fatigue.
Turns out it wasn’t just that guy’s whack energy, I was also eating foods that messed with my adrenals. Specifically fat free, flavored Greek yogurt and factory farmed meat. I watched an old episode of VICE where they covered factory farming and even though I watched Food Inc. and Supersize Me just a few years ago, it was obvious I needed a reminder.
These cows are quickly fattened (about 50 days) by a diet of mushy corn and grain; they are sedentary in a dirt field oftentimes wading through piles of their own poop. That’s not the normal habitat of a cow. Eating and living like this causes the cows to develop an obese and stressed body. And then we eat that. You are what you eat, my friend. You are a stressed, fattened obese cow eating mushy corn and grain. Cows like to eat grass. In a field. You’ve seen the pictures.
This is just skimming the surface. I’m not really going to even go into what is done to dairy cows, just so we can have milk, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, sour cream, etc. That article is loooooong but it everything you need to know. You can also get a basic understanding about chickens and pigs in that same article.
After I realized that my adrenals were shot and sad meat was part of the problem, I decided to buy only grass-fed, pasture raised beef. Yes it’s more expensive, but that is a decision I’ve made in my budget. I don’t eat as much meat now, but the meat I eat is happy. When I eat at restaurants, I try to order meat that is ethically farmed. Sometimes I still eat the factory meat because I’m not perfect, I’m not that dogmatic, and vegetarian tacos are awful.
I’m not saying go vegan. I’m not vegan. I am saying we don’t need to eat meat every day. I am saying, do you research, learn what labels mean. Check for sales! My grocery store just had a sale on pasture raised organic beef and I saved more than $35 by stocking up. The farmer’s market is a great place to find local healthy meat. I strongly suggest you have conversations with your famers because many of them do not carry the “organic” label simply because it costs more, however they do raise their livestock with organic methods. Cage free chickens are often in conditions that are just as bad as being in cages because they are crammed together in a warehouse, so close they can’t even move. But they’re technically not in cages, so the FDA allows farmers to put this label on your food. Imagine being stuck in an elevator with too many people for your entire life. It’s like that.
Buy unflavored, unsweetened Greek yogurt and add your own berries, honey and other healthy mix-ins. And look for cruelty-free dairy farms, because baby cows should not be ripped away from their mothers, just so we can have yogurt.
When you hear “free range” you probably imagine the animal is roaming a lush green pasture, frolicking in the flowers, eating bugs and grass, right? Wrong. Free range means they “have access to an outdoor area.” Oftentimes the chickens don’t explore this area because they have not been trained to go outside. And it is not a lush green field. It is a concrete slab. There is no digging or pecking and the chickens slam their beaks into the concrete, rather than the dirt.
A great example of what our animals should look like can be found at Polyface Farms. Joel has written several books on sustainable farming and the videos with him and the animals are EVERYTHING.
I understand we have budgets, but we also this one body and I believe my body is a far more valuable investment than a new lipstick, sweater, or pair of high heels. Learn about labels, learn about the lives of the animals you are eating, and learn about what the FDA is NOT telling you.
*Update* After several months of cutting down on dairy, sugar and sad meat – and completely cutting out that guy I was dating, I’m happy to report that I am sleeping easy!