Tuesday, May 31, 2005

A Natural Cookie Monster

When I became a vegan in February (2005), I also gave up refined sugar and processed foods and I began buying foods as organic as possible. For the most part, I have really stuck to this. Sugar was/is a drug to me; an evil, wicked, back-stabbing, two-timing devil of a drug and it makes me so foul-mooded that my lip perpetually curls hatefully, and in those moments, I have no recollection as of why I feel that way. I call it Sugar Blackout. Other processed crap just perpetuates the cycle; cravings are never satisfied, you just eat until you're vomitous. Or is that just me? To me the most important health change during my Age of Veganism has been giving up the processed crap. In fact, if a gun were to my head and I were forced to choose between a piece of smelly, samonila-infested, fleshy grilled chicken or 3 ding dongs and/or 4 Krispy Kreme donuts, I would have to choose the gross chicken option. The chicken may nauseate me, but I know that on the crack donuts I will be a mean-ass ciznunt that hates life in a matter of a half hour.

With white refined sugar a thing of the past for me, I have explored a million new options for a sweet treat. And I've realized that no matter how many food groups I eliminate, I will still be able to find a great cookie. If I boiled my eating habits down to simply spinach and tofu only, I guarantee you, I would find a cookie made soley of those two things. What I'm trying to say is that even though I'm not a hateful bitch anymore, I am still severely addicted to cookies. I just alter the cookie to whatever restriction I place on myself. My ability to roll within the guidelines is astounding.

My first cookie love in my Vegan Age was Uncle Eddies Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. This cookie is a small coaster-sized orgasm. I once asked another lover of the Uncle Eddies how to curb the addiction to this piece of heaven. She said, "You have to eat so many that you literally can't ingest another for months." Unfortunately, I know exactly what she means. Here were the reasons I had to give up Uncle Eddies VPBCCC's: 1. I thought about them a good 15 hours a day. 2. They have approximately 17,000 calories in them, half of which come from peanut butter fat. 3. They are sweetened with organic evaporated cane juice. Now, doesn't "organic evaporated cane juice" sound au natural? It kinda is and it kinda isn't. I learned that this sweetener is a couple processes away from being good ol' white sugar. It's sugar with the minerals left in. But it's still sucrose which is the type of sugar that makes me crazy, makes my addiction well, addiction.

So, I narrowed my cookie selection to ones either malt barely sweetened or fruit juice sweetened. My new love is Michelle's Chocolate Chip cookies that are vegan and fruit sweetened. But I'm convinced a report will soon come out that these cookies have, all along, been laced with lard and pure corn syrup and pounds of white sugar. They are that good. They are beyond good. I saw a woman buying a bag once and I said, "I don't know if I can buy those any more because I just eat the whole bag." She said, "I freeze them and just eat one at a time." I immediately thought, "bitch." But I tried it. They tasted so good frozen, I ate the whole bag. FUCK ME. If I buy a bag of Michelle's now, I give them all out until there is only 2 left. The other cookies I will eat are Fabes Mini Chocolate Chip cookies which are pretty good, but not good enough to eat the whole package; precisely why I should really just buy those.

I read an article today declaring the Atkins, South Beach and Zone diets bullshit. They said their "diet" really worked though it was not really a diet. It said the key is -- and I'm not kidding --- Eat Less, Exercise More. And I immediately thought, Fuck you assholes. We're not morons. (Wait - are we?) On paper, eat less, exercise more is supposed to be so suprisingly simple that we, the masses, by god just . . .might . . .do . . .it. And I so plan to once I can find a way to squash the cookie addiction. Even Sesame Street has decided that the Cookie Monster has to cut down on so many cookies. I was so embarrassed. I used to think that the Cookie Monster was so my man. And now he has to announce that cookies are only a "sometimes" food. He's all, "Me love cookies. But me only eat them sometimes now." And I'm all, "Fuck you, Cookie Monster." And he's all, "Eat Less, Exercise More." And I'm all, "Fuck me, Cookie Monster."

Fun at Work

For a few months after The Holiday Gorge, I worked at a health food. I used to conduct my own experiments on the customers unbeknownst to them. I started out doing menial experiments, like, we sold these apples called Pink Ladies and many times when I placed the fruit on the scale they, especially men, liked to announce, "Pink Ladies." Then I started counting how many Pink Lady Buyers actually did this and it was a surprising amount. The second I told a coworker about this phenomena was the second people stopped announcing Pink Ladies! which disappointed me highly. Other experiments included guessing forms of payment before customers paid- like, was there a type of person that pays a certain way (there is, fyi). I tried to guess people's ages if they had to whip out their driver's license for check writing. It went on and on, in my mind.

My last experiment before I left the health food store seemed more meaningful. I tried to spy who looked the healthiest and then observed what they were buying. In this experiment, the first flaw was that there is a distinct difference, I noticed, between who looked healthiest and who looked hottest, as in a model-type or buff-dude look. The majority of very healthy types (as in those who buy the purest and most whole foods) were mainly, but not exclusively 1. Hippy Types (I smelled pacholi oil all day long which was surprising because I thought pacholi obsolete) and 2. Asians; from very little-english Asians to very americanized Asians. For the most part groups 1 & 2 have phenomenal skin and are much more ageless than anyone else who came in the store. But they were not necessarily "hot." For example, we had a famous nutritionist who had a radio show called The Truth About Nutrition who came in daily to get freshly juiced vegetables. He was gangly and pale; he had absolutely no style, but there was not a nicer guy you will ever meet. I thought, This is what a very healthy person looks like? Then I found out he was 51 years old. He literally, no bullshit, looked 10 years younger than that.

Now, the "hot" types bought the muscle-head crap, full of processed shit. If it was low carb, hi protein no matter how many chemicals it took to get it that way, they'd buy it. But their skin did not necessarily look that great. Their bodies were phenomenal, but hmm, I dunno, at what price? And I don't know how old these people are. They may actually look years older than they do. I wish in my experiment that I could've seen a read out of everyone's internal health. If they looked so good on the outside how do they really look on the inside? Would those that eat fresh, whole foods, be, unknowingly, more susceptible to disease and sickness if they did not? Will the Crap Eaters be eventually? I just wish I could see inside. That would've really helped my experiment.

I obviously feel one has less of a chance of disease and sickness with clean eating. I think the hotties are mainly hot because they concentrate a lot on exercise. Their bodies were scultped and lean, and that looks good to me. But they do not necessarily look clear and healthy; they lack the glow of a pure eater. There are obviously those that are hot that have pure diets, as far as I can tell. I had an Indian woman come through my line that was DROP DEAD gorgeous, 8 months pregnant though from the back she was simply a size 2 with no hints of pending child, and she was buying all vegan food. I asked. She said cheerfully that she was a vegan. I said, Your doctor doesn't push you to quit veganism while pregnant. Then, she said smiling, I'd get another doctor then.Which brings me to the major difference of pure eaters vs. meat-head product consumers: overall demeanor and personality. By far - very far - the pure eaters were much nicer, more relaxed, generous, kind and patient. Come to think of it, what is hotter than that?

Monday, May 30, 2005

Salsa Cardio!

In an effort to keep working out consistently, I tried a new class on Saturday. I had intentionally not taken this class in the past. The name of it stood out off my gym's schedule, and I dismissed it as too gimmicky and quite frankly, maybe beneath me. (Good for me.) The class is called Tango Salsa Cardio. Not kidding. In my head, the class is pronounced in an exaggeratedly Antonio Banderas accent: "Tan-go y Saall-sa . . .Cardio!" I amuse myself every time I think of it. But I went on Saturday because, what the fuck already with me. The class is at a perfect time slot for me and judging by the name should play my most favorite music ever. So, Qual es mi problema already . . . ?

I arrived a little late to the class and much to my surprise (not sure why I was surprised), the class was PACKED. I had to find a tiny spot in the back corner. The instructor's name is Terri, a tall black woman that has the body of a track star (where she can reach over shoulder and pull her wallet from her back pocket), and I've actually taken a step class from her before. From what I remember, she teaches a really tough class; loud and bossy, but pushes you to aggravatingly new physical limits. She seems a tad crazy and pretty self absorbed - not in a look at me I'm perfect way -- but I'm kinda caught up in my own world and you better try to keep up with my routine. And the sister was wearing a wig. A medium-auburn with subtle highlights wig that was fastened in place by the madonnaesque microphone headset that instructors wear now. I was like, This lady is out of her gourd, and I really, really like that about her. I spot the favorite regulars immediately, front and center. A girl wearing a bandana and braids and a half top (there's always one of those), a former ballerina (you can tell by how she stands and rolls her pants down and her shirt up in a Fame kinda way) and the resident hot Latina that has almost Orange-Countied all the latina right out of herself. She's got the ass and the gorgeous face naturally, but the light blonde highlights and the bolt-on titties were disturbing. She was pretty in a way that she'd claw your eyes out if you even THINK you are finer than her.

I thought to myself, I so got this. Terri asked, "Anyone new to this class?" And through the forest of about 30-35 women, I shot my hand up from the back. She said, "Ok, well welcome," she looked around the class. "I am a very calm and demure teacher." The class roared with laughter. I chuckled and thought, Bring It On, Wiggy.

Basically the class is a standard dance class with latin flavor and if you have no dance background you are lost in the first nanoseconds. She taught a routine with ass-shaking, shimmying, hip-thrusting, sexy walking, . . . we all but ripped off our tops and threw them to the ground. And I could not have been more thrilled. I was like, THIS is my kind of class. I am not a technical dancer. I can't kick my leg near ear or do the splits on command, but I am gritty and sweaty and if anything, I can shake and shimmy and thrust and sexy walk some front-row bitches to blush. They ignored me, but when Terri told the class to check out the Ballerina for the ass-shaking portion of the program (apparently she's the best Ass Shaker) Terri said, "Wait, check her out (me). I like that!" I said, "MmHmm," and embarrassingly I may have smacked my own ass, but hey, I was in the moment. I have to say, I was completely winded after the many repetitions of the routine. As I gasped for air, I'd hear Terri yell again, "5! 6! 7! 8! . . ." I even sat out one of the many repetitions which for me is unheard of because there is not much I love more than to show off all my above-stated skills.

I was sorry after class. I was sorry that I ever doubted the class just because of the ridiculous name. I was sorry the class was over though I was drenched and in need of an oxygen mask. And I was sorry for the front-row favorites because once I have enough stamina, I'll be taking their spot.