Friday, May 31, 2013

Nurse the Hate: Hate The Health Food Store

Today I walked into a natural foods market.  When I want to feel well intentioned, I will walk into markets such as these to buy some sort of whole grain organic free range veggie wrap for a somewhat disappointing lunch.  The idea of healthy eating is always greatly outweighed by the cold hard facts that most healthy eating tastes pretty terrible.  This is one of life’s greatest injustices.  If God truly loved us, cotton candy would be as healthy for you as kale.  This very fact alone may account for the reason I am a practicing pagan with a loose association with Basha The Wind God (who will fuck you up if you talk shit about him).

As I shuffled around the Natural Foods Market I could not help but notice that every customer in the store looked absolutely terrible.  I don’t mean physically unattractive, which they were.  I also don’t mean unfashionable, which they also were in a Kansas thrift store meets String Cheese Incident parking lot sort of way.  I mean that these people all looked horribly unhealthy.  The number of physical abnormalities combined with flat gray skin pallor did not exactly scream out “looking good, feeling good!”.  These people all looked like they needed bed rest, fresh air, and some pills. 

I have two theories.  One is that people go to health food stores immediately after being diagnosed with a horrible disease.  I imagine the doctor’s office where he takes off his glasses and says, “It’s never easy to have to deliver news like this…”.  After the initial shock wears off from the hopeless diagnosis, the individual, in a classic moment of “bargaining” decides that they will finally change their lifetime of terrible diet into a flurry of “healthy living” that will spare them their foretold gruesome future.  Despite the fact that even they must know that a month of whole grain falafel  miracle lentil salad won’t undo 34 years of Subway meatball subs, they must figure, “it’s worth a shot”.  That would explain the shell shocked expression on many of the customers I saw today.

My second theory involves the impenetrable fad diets that permeate our culture.  After eating nothing but meat and eggs a la Atkins failed to work as a lifestyle, it became time to for Alan to grasp onto P-90X and the Mediterranean diet.  That became a drag, so then it was off to yoga for voodoo mysticism and Asian cuisine.  How about that Caveman diet?  That makes sense.  Nothing has changed in 50,000 years.  Go kill dinner with a spear and forage for berries and watch the pounds fall off!  Since our society isn’t built that way, why not give organic local food a spin?  It’s got to be better than be arrested for running around in a loincloth eating robins and squirrels.  Sooner or later, Alan found himself looking for answers in the dreaded Health Food Store.

Organic food is clearly a good idea, but somewhere along the way it got intermingled with hippie mysticism, the most dangerous hocus pocus out there.  Got cancer?  Eat kale and be cured!  What?  You aren’t eating flax seed?  “Hey man, my best friend Sky started eating flax and now she can walk.  She danced her ass of at Moe in the Hamptons on Spring Tour.  Seriously man…”  The whole thing is so confusing.  Nuts are good for you, but not those nuts.  Eat more fish, but if you eat those fish they all have mercury and it will kill you.  Don’t eat beef, unless you need iron.  Oh, and not that beef.  Before you eat that chicken, do you know how it was raised?  Free range?  That doesn’t mean anything.  Do you know what they do to those birds?  Do you know about the chemicals man?  It’s a store filled with self righteous guys with knit caps and beards and old hippie women in un-ironed sack dresses and ugly shoes.  And all the good things they do for themselves via their organic diet, they un-do with heavy pot smoking and the myth of organic cigarettes.  It's a wilderness of mirrors.

My mystery grain hummus spelt magic wrap today was OK.  Still, I don’t know if I will go back to the Natural Food Store.  I guess it all depends on how this strange ache I have on my right side plays out.  If I tweaked a muscle, I think I’ll stick with a reasonably responsible diet and as much working out as possible to at least maintain my girlish figure.  If I find myself later sitting in a doctor’s office, as he puts an X-ray up on a screen and says, “In all my years of practicing medicine, I’ve never seen anything like this…” while shaking his head?   I’ll probably think, “Shit.  What was it?  Kale?  Is that the stuff?  Sunflower seed flax granola?  Spirolina shakes?  I gotta get a beard and get to the Health Food Store!”


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