Absurd Cleansing


Human nature never ceases to amaze me – vanity, denial, stubbornness, greed – collide at a place called the “cleansing diet”. The age of celebrity created a fad so stupid it defies explanation. Latched onto by pseudo health practitioners; marketing gurus and social media took care of the rest.

Obesity rates rise faster than pulses watching Miley Cyrus’s Wrecking Ball. Over processed, imitation flavours, all you can eat, super-sized meals; don’t worry’ – you can be thin and fabulous with a cleansing diet and some colonic irrigation. All the “beautiful people” do it, it must be the answer;  this is where the stroke of genius behind cleansing absurdity comes in – cleansing diets are marketed to every demographic imaginable. The obese can drop 20 pounds in 10 days, the “fabulous” can poop away a few months of excess, the organic crowd can purify their bodies, while those on the fence take the cleanse to be hip.

The “master cleanse” is a 10 day program of putting nothing in your body except a drink of maple syrup, lemon juice, water, lemonade and cayennes pepper. Top it off with laxatives and your body should be good as new, hey Beyonce does it. Dr. Oz jumped in the ring with his quickie 48 hour cleanse of prune and quinoa smoothies, while sipping dandelion tea in an epsom salt bath. I haven’t even touched on concoctions available in health food stores or colonic therapies marketed as “new age” wonders. Holy crap, and I mean that literally.

I’ve always believed; man became mankind when we looked in the mirror and found fault in our reflection. Pondering how stupid vanity makes us, or how gullible humanity behaves, doesn’t make me very happy.

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/guide/detox-diets-purging-myths

It Bothers Me…..


A few weeks ago I was driving in heavy traffic at the end of a long hot day. As I approached an intersection it was obvious that road construction was partly to blame for the traffic crawl. My decision to bail and take another route solidified when a break opened in the lane beside me. I signalled, started to pull into the lane, when suddenly a car races forward, cutting me off. What happened next pushed my very last button. I pull into the lane once this accident waiting to happen is clear of my vehicle. The light changes, traffic starts to move; all traffic except aggressive jerk – now his signal light is on indicating he wants to turn into the lane I just left. Holy crap! For five whole minutes  jerk is at a full stop in front of me – I lost it – people must have thought I was crazy as I leaned on the horn screaming “what is wrong with you”. I really don’t like jerk drivers.

Mosquitoes find me irresistible.  Sure they attack my arms and legs, I react badly to their bites but can deal with these assaults. If only it stopped at that – somehow these demons manage to torment me by zeroing in on feet, knuckles, elbows, and ankles. I hate mosquitoes.

Who am I to judge another persons life style. Knock yourself out – choose to be a vegetarian or vegan – you have your reasons; moral , religious, ethical – no problem. My blood pressure only rises when you dress tofu up as turkey. Tofurkey makes me want to scream. Why would you want to pretend to eat turkey? It’s soy beans, a lifestyle choice you’ve made, not damn turkey.

Dogs are not supposed to wear shoes. There’s nothing cute about your Pomeranian’s sneakers. While I’m at it – dogs want to run in the park, not be pushed about in a carriage. Dogs are not dolls waiting for you to play dress-up.

I’m a smoker; I know the health risks, it’s my choice, and smoking is legal. The government collects millions of dollars in taxes from cigarettes. A package of 20 cigarettes costs over ten dollars but I can’t smoke in a city park, on the beach, in a bar, restaurant patio or within 6 metres of any business.

My blood boils when entering a premise populated by militant recyclers or delusional environment fanatics.  Terms like sustainable, free trade, ethical, organic, and local fill the air as they make coffee one cup at a time using single plastic packages of “organic, free trade espresso” in their expensive coffee machine. Are you kidding me? Single plastic packages for one cup of coffee? While on the subject of coffee – I refuse to utter the words venti or grande – my coffee is small, medium, or large.

I can’t ponder any more, it’s making me grumpy. What bothers you?

“Egg”splanation


My “wish list” the other day included one hoping consumers learned the difference between “free run” and “free range” eggs. I thought it unfair to leave that dangling. We pay premium prices for free run, free range, and organic. I laughed out loud when the egg question was explained.

In Canada, “free run” chickens are still confined to massive barns, never see the light of day, and are given nesting boxes to lay their eggs. To claim “free range” producers have to let the hens have access to outside the barn once a day. To be clear; we’re not talking flinging open the barn doors onto a grassy meadow – all they have to do is provide an “opening” for a prescribed amount of time.

Organic chicken deserves a serious ponder as well.  Any illusions to a “Sunnybrook” farm existence should immediately be tossed in the compost bin. Poultry is certified “organic” as long as it wasn’t feed antibiotics or animal by-products. Commercial producers can still pack thousands of birds into airless barns; still force feed them round the clock. I guarantee,  commercial organic chickens have never seen the light of day.

There is absolutely no difference in the nutritional content of eggs. Free run, range, or plain old eggs; it’s all the same. Falling for slick marketing ploys designed to feed on social conscience, only puts egg on your face. Organic chicken, free from antibiotics is not a bad idea; provided you suspend romantic notions of birds blissfully scratching around a grassy field.

Stop and think before you buy. Shop at farmers markets if you want eggs laid by happy chickens. Otherwise, save your money and demand unregulated marketing nonsense stops.There truly is no end to the ingenuity of mankind. Marketing is alive and well; human nature dictates no shortage of those willing to line up for “snake oil”.

Free range egg barn.

Last Minute Gift Suggestion


http://www.gardenharvest.org/donateanimals0704.htm

The other day I was in a coffee shop; a Christmas episode of America’s Funniest Home Videos was airing on the flat screen. Clip after clip of children opening gifts they didn’t like. The audience laughed as ungrateful children threw fits over gifts they abhorred. Books, sweaters, toys; flung with contempt – the family with the most petulant child stood to gain $10,000 for parenting these little treasures. I had no interest in hanging around to find out which child was rewarded. A toss up between the boy who hit his mother in the face when his package contained clothing, and a girl who pulled down the Christmas tree when Santa brought the wrong doll. It wasn’t funny.

Rather than ponder what’s wrong with society; I have a suggestion. Give your child a goat; specifically give a goat in your child’s name. It could also be chickens, sheep or cows. The point is not the farm animal but the gift.  Lets teach our children to view the world with caring eyes. They don’t want to pull down Christmas trees.

Garden Harvest is one of many organizations that works to provide reliable food sources for third world families. If you want something more tangible; take your child shopping for a gift to donate to your local Christmas Bureau. I’m not suggesting you deny your little face slapper a gift. Merely suggesting you take this time of year as an opportunity to ponder ways to give back.

temper tantrumrafa 2010, Flickr

My “Ugg”ly Pleasure


Uggs are a sheepskin boot from Australia. Void of shape or style, somehow they managed to adorn the feet of half the women I passed. More accurately; young women, the Lululemon yoga pants set. It didn’t stop there – Uggs supported skirts, leggings, skinny jeans; outfits were built around the ugliest boot imaginable.

I scoffed at Uggs, they were my socks with sandals. My daughter and I joked about “Uggfits”

When my husband announced he wanted to buy Uggs for my birthday, I thought he was joking. Not wanting to hurt his feelings I managed a weak smile. In my heart certain I could wiggle out of it, I played along. He asked me to meet him down town today; with Uggly dread I agreed.

The first store we went to didn’t have my size. Better yet – we now knew they were priced at $200. Things were looking up – fate might just take care of things. We tried again, this time a department store with an extensive Ugg display. Struggling with myself for not speaking up I weakly asked the sales clerk for my size. She was rather odd and cranky, we waited and waited. Five minutes passed, then ten. She emerged from the back room to tell me she couldn’t remember the size I had asked for. Yikes.  The situation was becoming surreal, I took dishevelled and forgetful clerk as an omen that Uggs were not going to be. By now I had plenty of alternatives in mind; my smile was genuine.

Without warning my world came crashing down; she approached us with three shoe boxes. Resigned to my Ugg fate I sat down and pulled one on. Before even standing up, I was converted. My foot nestled in a warm embrace; hurriedly I pulled on the other and took my first steps. I was walking on fairy dust, pillows of magic, with music greeting every step. That was 12 hours ago. My closet lies on the floor as I plan my “Uggfits”. In hindsight my husband knows me best, I wouldn’t have been married for over 30 years if he hadn’t been able to see through my Uggsgust . I may just sleep in them.

Ugg Short Classic Chestnut