Monday, April 19, 2010

Dilemmas and Myths

The past few days have been extremely uneventful, consisting of me at Starbucks with a book in one hand and an americano in the other. I realize I could just make myself some java and read at home, but the weather has been too crappy to actually get outside to do anything and I can't stand sitting in the house all day doing nothing. But apparently sitting around doing nothing somewhere other than home is completely acceptable. I always run into a couple of people I know while I'm at Starbucks so it makes me feel at least a tiny bit more productive than if I had just stayed home.

I have recently finished reading Micheal Pollen's "The Omnivore's Dilemma" and am about a third of the way through "The Vegetarian Myth." I have been on a huge non-fiction kick and been reading nothing but books about food for about a year now. I think I keep reading these books with the hope that somewhere in their pages I will come across a statement or an idea that will provide me with an "AHA!" moment and then suddenly the clouds will clear and I will know exactly what to eat. The problem is, I don't think any one knows what to eat. Try as I might to alter my dietary consumption to suit my morals and be environmentally friendly and more nutritious, I am learning quickly that it's essentially impossible. Every food has some kind of moral implication that could be argued, every food involves death of some kind and every body is different. There are no answers, and instead of an AHA! moment, all I am finding is more contradictions to previous beliefs and more confusion. I love food. I became a quasi vegetarian in September and restricted my animal protein intake to grass fed beef and actual free range chicken (versus the chicken labeled as free range in the grocery stores which basically means they have about a square foot of dirt they can walk on between hundreds of chickens) and fish. I was determined to only eat meat if I could figure out where it came from and how it was raised. This had nothing to do with animal welfare; it was an entirely selfish choice based solely on the fact that I did not want to be consuming the hormones and steroids that they feed the animals to help them grow twice as big in half the time it would naturally take. Cows weren't meant to eat grains, cows eat grass. But, being a student, this was not economically feasible, so I opted to not consume meat (except fish that were not farmed) and with the exception of a week at Christmas when I was home, have not really consumed any since September. But the more I read, the more I realize that there is no escape from industrial agriculture and industrial farming. Unless I want to move to a farm out in the country and grow and raise everything that goes into my mouth, it's simply impossible. Part of me wants to just screw it all and just rely once again on the supermarket shelves to fill my belly but I don't think I'm quite ready to give up yet. In the meantime I suppose I'll keep reading and keep formulating my own philosophies drawing upon bits and pieces of everything I've learned and hopefully, eventually sculpt my personal AHA! moment.

Today was my very first trip to Summerside into the Prince County Hospital as a dietetic intern. A fellow intern and I drove out super early this morning to take a computer training course. Not exactly my ideal way to spend the day but it had to be done. All of the charting for the patients is now done on computers, and we had to learn how the charting program worked in order to complete our daily tasks as interns once we start our placements. It was pretty straight forward, and instead of taking the 4 hours that our internship coordinator warned us of, it only took one hour. The nurse who was giving us the tutorial on the computers was anxious to finish up because her daughter was running in the Boston Marathon today and it was being broadcast on tv in the afternoon and she didn't want to miss it. I ended up being home by 10:30am and found myself wondering how to spend the rest of the day. One of my favorite things in the whole world to do is to watch sports on tv and nap on the couch. I don't really like watching the typical hockey or basketball on tv, but I love watching the more obscure sports like bobsled or skiing or track etc. The sports that CBC will play only for about an hour on Sunday mornings. Luckily, today that niche was filled with the NBC coverage of the Boston Marathon. So I spent a fabulous afternoon watching the marathon and napping for 4 hours. It doesn't get much better on a rainy day!

I met up with a friend and went for a nice leisurely 10km run after she got off work. I was majorly humbled every time I glanced down at my Garmin to see my pace time after watching the Ethiopians run faster per mile than I was per kilometre. Way faster per mile than I was per kilometre. But either way it was nice to have someone to run with for a change. I've just started training for the half marathon (it's still 10 weeks away) but already I'm learning that running and training for something by yourself kind of sucks. Being able to get out and run at least once a week with someone else has been extremly helpful and motivating. Sometimes the old ipod just isn't company enough!

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