Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Here we go


Okay, the recruitment that I was leading is finally finished and the author night is done (my two big projects lately). As far as I know, things at work will let up and I can attend to more routine tasks and not be in 'urgent' mode all the time. Hopefully no more late nights. Now I can work on getting rid of the fat rolls.

This morning I weighed 138.8 lbs. I would like to get down to 131 pounds, ideally 129 pounds, but I will settle for where I was all of 2008, 134 lbs. (I spent all of 2008 thinking about trying to lose down to 131, but I never did it--see where that got me!) SO...I would like to lose between 5 and 9 pounds and/or see a visible reduction in my belly roll situation, have my clothes fit looser and my thighs less gooshy. I'm not asking for perfection, just a small reduction! :) Basically, I want the clothes that used to be loose to be loose again. And the muffin tops GONE again.

I know exactly why I've gained weight. I eat more chocolate and snacks from the work room in one day than I used to eat in a week or even two weeks when I weighed less. My meals are not as well-balanced or healthy as they used to be. I snack at home on junk nearly every day, whereas in the past it would only be on a special occasion warranting a special trip to the shops to buy the junk once the decision to eat it had been reached. And my workouts, while still quite frequent by the standards of most people, have been inconsistent and not planned with any sort of strategy toward a true training effect.

The logical place to start is what I consider to be the most insidious culprit: snacking at work. When I was doing Weight Watchers, I actually ate NOTHING at work during breaks. I drank pint glasses of tap water. I ate only the lunch I had brought. Then as my fitness and diet improved, I had soaked muesli and fruit and things for snack. Then I started adding in the odd chocolate, and now I eat all day every day like a mad woman. This evolution (or de-volution!) has taken place over 5 years, and in that time I have lost a lot of weight and gained some of it back (about 6 or 7 pounds of the 60-odd I lost), and I have to say, nearly every single day of the week, the table in the workroom has been LADEN with rubbishy food that not one single member of staff should be eating. But we all do. I really must try to get that discipline back. My success used to be worth more to me than a chocolate.

What can I do to keep me off the snack table? I can't just avoid the break room. That is the only place you can to relax and escape work during break. I will figure something out.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

What's going on here?

I've been in a tailspin weight-wise lately and I've been wondering why I keep self-sabatoging. (Is that a word??) I've been eating lots of convenience foods, I've taken up baking a bit (in a small way compared to my old days, but still), and I skip workouts. I cannot follow a rotation to save my life. To save my life! Since last Christmas, I have gained 6 pounds. That last 2 pounds of that have come on fairly fast, which means, I think, that my body is accepting its new 'weight gain' mode and if I don't get control of it now, I'll be in the next size up in clothing before I know it.

So what in heck is going on? When I look back over my year, here's what I see (in random order):

1) My hubby is on yearly contracts at the moment, so we don't know his employment status until about mid-year. (Next review is July 2010--will he stay employed or will we be moving on? Who knows!)

2) Work has been chaotic as the library service undergoes 'transformation'--a euphemism for cutting staff severely and changing everything, without anyone seeming to know what we're changing to. Those of us who are left have been picking up the slack left by those who have either retired or been made redundant.

3) My son turned 18 and graduated high school. Stress trying to figure out his domestic and financial situation as he started university. Now stress because he's already saying he wants to change his major!

4) A family reunion had been planned in the US for early May as a surprise for my parents' 75th birthdays. My dad died in April, so I travelled home alone for the funeral, then hubby and I returned on the tickets originally bought for the reunion, and stayed with my mom, who was very ill for most of the visit. None of us have ever mentioned to her the plan for the family reunion.

5) I have been taking weekly (and sometimes twice weekly) driving lessons and took my driving test in August.

6) Unexpected big ticket expenses have made a dent in our savings. Just a ping, but still.

7) I've felt bad about not eating well or exercising to a set rotation!

Looking back on it, it's kind of a miracle I haven't plumped back up to where I started from.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

World Peace Diet Ch 11

Ch. 11 'Profiting from Destruction' Most ominvores don't realise the terrible price that earth pays to provide them with the vast amounts of animal proteins they think they require. This chapter provides a brief introduction to this vast and endlessly fascinating (and troubling) topic. (These concepts are spelled out plainly and in great detail in the books Diet for a Small Planet and Hope's Edge by France Lappe. You must read them. For a taster of these concepts, this chapter is a start.)

Food animals eat a LOT. And they poop a lot. This fundamental problem has deeply damaging consequences for the environment and economy. To be blunt, the earth does not have the resources to sustain its population if we were all to adopt the current Standard American Diet (SAD), also sometimes called the Western Diet. There is not enough water, land or fossil fuel for everyone on earth to live like Westerners, and that's the truth. An even more inconvenient truth is, the attempt to sustain the Western Diet even just in the Western world is wreaking absolute havoc on the globe's fresh water aquifers, fossil fuel resources, air quality, streams and rivers, wildlife, and genetic diversity--that's something they don't tell you when they ask you if you want fries with that.

Causes for alarm:

  • America now consumes more chickens in ONE DAY than it did in ONE YEAR in the 1930s. And yet, food is a much lower percent of income now than then. Who is paying the price for this overconsumption? The environment, the third world, and the health of the America consumer, that's who.
  • 80% of the grain grown and 50% of the fish hauled in the US are FED TO LIVESTOCK.
  • 6,000 sq miles of land in America is cleared to graze or grow grain to feed livestock each year. (That's 10,000 acres a day, or 7 acres per minute!)
  • A day's production of food to feed one omnivore human requires 4,000 gallons of fresh water. To feed one human a plant-based diet requires 300 gallons.
  • It takes 24 gallons of water to produce one pound of wheat, tomatoes, lettuce or potatoes. To produce one pound of beef requires 5,200 gallons of water. (It takes more water to produce one pound of beef, in other words, than one average human uses to take a shower every day for 365 days. Think about it. That quarter pound beef patty used more water than you do in 3 months of showers. Ridiculous. Shameful. Stupid).
  • It takes 27 times as much petroleum to produce one calorie of protein in the form of beef as it does to produce one calorie of soy protein.
  • Over half of all US farmland is devoted to just 2 feed crops, genetically modified corn and soy crops that are not for human consumption (cannot be fed to humans) but for livestock feed. Two immediate problems there: 1) monocropping is a recipe for catastrophe in the event of a blight, 2) if you are what you eat, do you really want your dinner eating something that isn't fit for human consumption!

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

What are year of fitness can do

This bloke decided to get fit and took a photo of himself every day for a year. He ate well and exercised (I think he also started visiting a tanning salon, but never mind! :) ) Then he spliced them together so you can see the transformation before your eyes. It's awesome!

Check this out!!

I wish I had taken a few more pics along the way, but I always hated having my picture made. Plus we didn't have a digital camera back then...anyway, have a look at the clip, it's really inspirational.

Monday, 21 September 2009

What's wrong with wanting to be thin?

I've just deactivated my Facebook account because I've had enough of people chiming in to tell me I should stop 'worrying' so much about my weight and that 'being thin does not equal being happy.' Why do people do this?

When you're losing weight, no one says anything until about 20lbs in. Then they notice. 'Oh, you are looking great!' They say. 'What are you doing?'

If you continue to lose, they say, 'Don't go overboard now. You'll waste away to nothing.'

Once you enter your actual healthy weight range, a lot of the comments stop. You start to hear people making excuses for why they themselves don't have time to exercise, or why life is too short to deprive yourself of pleasures. People eyeball your lunch. If you're a vegan, like me, they make comments about rabbit food, offer you a rare steak, or say, 'I could never give up cheese!' As if you'd just asked them to! If you're still an omnivore, they talk about your tremendous discipline, in a disapproving tone. As if you would ever consider looking at their ham and mayo on white bread and saying to them, 'Man, that's got a lot of fat. Careful you don't get too FAT eating that!'

If you start to put on a bit of weight and mention that you want to lose it (which is where I am now--I have regained 7 lbs over the course of about 10 months), people pipe up to tell you that you look great, very healthy, not to worry, stop being so obsessed. Because 'thin does not equal happy.'

Whose business is it if I want to weigh 133 lbs for the rest of my life? Today I weighed 140. I haven't been out of the 130s since 2006. I don't like it. I like being in the 130s. I like my size 8 skirts to be loose around the waist. I like not having a muffin top. I like not having fat rolls. I like looking at myself in the mirror and seeing no bulges. And guess what. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I have put on weight for 3 reasons: 1) I've been under stress with my driving lessons and test and I've been eating a lot of chocolate and junk, 2) convenience foods have slipped back into my diet, because there's some magical connection between the junk food calories going up directly leading to the fresh fruit and veg intake going down--chips look so much more appealing if you had a chocolate bar at break than if you had an apple. Don't ask me why, I don't know why, but it's true! and 3) my timetable has changed and I have 2 more late finishes per week, and when I get home late I am tired and sometimes opt not to work out or switch to a shorter, easier workout than I would normally have done. --Come to think of it, there's 4)Facebook. I've spent time on there in the afternoons sometimes instead of working out--and often while snacking on crap!

133 lbs is NOT too thin for my frame. Eating to keep me there is NOT unhealthy. Exercising 5 times a week is NOT obsessive. And I'm tired of defending my lifestyle. I'm sick of rising above stupid comments.

I am NOT going to slip back into horrible habits and get fat again, just so those who won't put forth the effort can feel better about being sedentary and eating terrible food. I can't help it if my choices seem to them like some sort of indictment.

But I'm just sick of defending myself, so I deactivated my Facebook. So stupid that I felt I had to do that. I've NEVER attacked anyone on Facebook for eating meat or being fat or never exercising. How dare they presume that it's okay to do the reverse. So sad.

(Of course I have supportive friends who don't do this to me. But there are so many people out there who never think before they engage their mouth. And words hurt.)

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Bon Appetit!

I saw 'Julie & Julia' Friday night and really loved it. To be honest, it was Meryl Streep's performance as Julia Child that charmed and delighted me. The other story of Julie Powell and her blog left me somewhat lukewarm--I found myself just waiting for those segments to be over so I could get back to Julia.

In the film, Julie and Julia both make Julia Child's famous Boeuf Bourguignon and a chocolate cake. I used to make Julia's Boeuf Bourguignon years ago, back in America, when I was still a meat eater, and I recall how to make it and how it is supposed to taste. Today I decided to have a go at vegan versions of Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon and Gateaux Victoire au Chocolat Mousseline.

Soy Chunks Bourguignon

Julia's original recipe contains bacon, olive oil, stewing beef, carrot onion, parsley, garlic, tomato paste, red wine, thyme, bay leaf, mushrooms, parsley. You coat the beef in flour, brown it in bacon dripping and olive oil, brown the mushrooms, onion and garlic, add tomato paste for 'Maillard effect', deglaze with wine, add herbs and then bake in a covered casserole for 2.5 hours. So here's what I did.

a handful of savoury soy chunks
Kitchen Bouquet or other 'browning liquid'
Marmite
onion
garlic
mushrooms
red wine
olive oil
tomato paste
a bit of Liquid Smoke (or you could use a tad of smoky paprika)
carrots

In a bowl, sprinkle savoury soy chunks liberally with 'browning liquid'. Pour boiling water on. Stir in some olive oil and Marmite. Taste the liquid. Adjust seasoning--you are creating umami, you are not going for subtle! Add just a teeny tiny bit of liquid smoke or smoky paprika --the smokiness should be a barely-there taste alongside the rich umami of the marmite mixture.) Cover and set aside to allow chunks to soak up all the liquid.

Preheat the oven to about 350F.

Prep your veg, heat some olive oil in a pan and brown the mushrooms--don't overcrowd the pan, you want them to brown, not simmer and steam. Add to casserole. Brown the carrots and add to casserole. You should be getting a lovely golden brown sediment on the bottom of the pan. Add oil as needed as you go. Brown the onions and garlic, add a squirt of tomato paste and stir it around until it starts to go brown and make a lovely smell (the Maillard effect) and while the pan is hot, pour in a good amount of red wine and deglaze the pan. Add the soy chunks with their liquid to the pan. Simmer the soy chunks, covered, in the red wine mixture until they are tender enough to cut in half with a fork. This could take a while! Then add the mixture to the casserole dish with the veg. Add your herbs, cover the casserole, and bake until the vegetables are tender and there's a lovely rim of brown around the edges of the casserole. (Julia didn't do this, but to add more sweetness and delight, I threw a small handful of raisins in the mix before baking. Prunes would also be good). The red wine sauce in the pan should have thickened to a lovely glaze coating the soy chunks and veg.

Julia would have served this with boiled white potatoes and peas, but I served over brown basmati rice.


Le Gateau Victoire Au Chocolat Mousseline

Julia's original cake recipe contains loads of eggs and dairy and creamy gooiness, but its defining tastes are chocolate and coffee, so that was my focus. I didn't want to bother trying to recreate a mousse, so I decided to use a cake recipe from the Great Depression which, because of a lack of eggs and dairy and money to buy them with, just happens to be vegan. Although no one back then would have known the word 'vegan', as it wasn't even coined until 1944. I altered the original recipe slightly to incorporate wholemeal flour, and a reduced amount of unrefined sugar and added coffee, going for Julia's chocolate and coffee flavours.

Chocolate Cake

Grease a small baking dish or cake pan, preheat oven to 180C and combine:

200 grams wholemeal flour
175 grams unrefined caster sugar
4 heaping Tbs cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
6 Tbs rice bran oil (or any tasteless vegetable oil)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp vinegar
150 ml water plus 100 ml leftover cold coffee

Pour into greased dish and bake until done, about 40 minutes. Cool.

For a frosting or glaze, I combined in a saucepan:

2 Tbs coconut oil
2 heaping Tbs cocoa
6 Tbs sugar
some coffee (I didn't measure it! Sorry! It was enough to make a thin layer of frosting on the top of the cake. I was making it up, just eyeballing! Maybe...I don't know...half a cup?)

Bring to boil and cook, stirring, until the mixture clings to the back of a spoon and when you drag your finger across the back of the spoon, the track remains clean. (Just short of the soft ball stage, in other words). Allow to cool slightly, then pour slowly over the cake, giving it time to set up and coat the cake before you add more. You don't want it all running down the sides and leaving the top bare.)

Julia loved her meat and dairy, so would probably not at all approve of my tampering, but I don't care. It was nice.

(I cut the cake up into portions and put them in little individual plastic containers, ready to go into lunches--hopefully mostly Derek's lunches! I'm getting so fat!)

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

World Peace Diet Ch. 8-10

Chapter 8 'The Metaphysics of Food' All matter is energy vibrating within a certain range that is perceptible to our senses. 'Matter' is not the only vibrational energy present in the universe, though. We can be standing in a dark, empty and quiet room, but when we turn on the television or radio, we are suddenly aware of music and conversation that have been in the room with us, unperceived because we lack the equipment to perceive them. In the same way, there is vibrational energy relating to food (and other things, such as crystals and flowers to name two!) that we might not be able to perceive with our five senses, but that affect our own vibrational patterns and that we have some sort of response to. This chapter is about that phenomenon, and about the metaphysical vibrations of eating animal products. It might be a challenge for some people with an aversion to New Agey type thinking.

Chapter 9 'Reductionist Science and Religion' This chapter sets forth the notion that science and religion, as we know them in the western world, have caused us to reduce our point of view so that we flatly deny any reality beyond that which can be physically quantified, or if we do, we reduce the infinite divine mystery to a judgemental, anthropomorphized authority figure, human beings to self-centred, discreet temporal entities who may be chosen to be saved or condemned based on one fleeting lifetime, and animals and nature reduced to mere disposable props in this drama. It is suggested the science and religion of eastern traditions have never created such dualism, the mind-body-spirit connection is stronger, medicine is more preventative and holistic, and the diet higher in plant-based foods.

Chapter 10 'The Dilemma of Work' This somewhat muddled chapter attempts to fuse an expose of the plight of the worker in a packing house (slaughter house) with Tuttle's own Buddhist notions about 'right livelihood'. Tuttle is a Zen Buddhist priest, and one of the precepts of Buddhism is to choose a way of making a living that causes no harm and does not break (or cause anyone else to break) the Noble 8-fold Path. The conditions of the meat packing plant are deplorable, and it is one of the lowest paid and most dangerous jobs in the Western world (done mostly by illegal immigrants). Of course it's also important to choose a career that is in line with one's beliefs. But I think this chapter could use some rethinking in its presentation.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Today we visited Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire














I uploaded more snaps than this, but when I tried moving them around, some of them disappeared. Anyway, I might put more on later. It was a fun visit!

Saturday, 12 September 2009

World Peace Diet Ch. 6-7

Chapter 6: Hunting and Herding Sea Life This chapter exposes the truth about fish for those who think it's a healthy thing to eat. There are a lot of misguided people who call themselves vegetarians but eat fish! And a lot of meat-eaters who think it's a good idea to eat fish several times a week 'for health'. The main ideas:1) wild fish = toxic due to pollution and being very high on the food chain (build up of toxins in body fat), 2) factory farmed fish = toxic due to doping (necessary to even keep the fish alive when crammed into such close quarters and living in a thick soup of each other's feces), 3) commercial fishing = environmental disaster. Also, fish are vertebrates and do intensely feel pain. They're alive, same as you! And same as you, they want to stay that way, pain free. And, same as you, they deserve to.

Chapter 7: The Domination of the Feminine Here we focus on the dairy and egg industry. Tuttle details the bondage, rape (insemination), and infanticide that dairy cows and egg-laying chickens are subjected to. A dairy cow, who if left to her natural state would live to be 25 years old, and would produce, with each baby cow, over a 7-month period, a bell curve of 10 pounds of milk per day to 25 pounds, then back down again to 0 pounds (yes, in the wild cows only produce milk when they have a baby--ever thought of that!)--a dairy cow in a modern dairy lives only 4 years on average, is kept artificially pregnant the entire time, and is forced to produce 90 to 110 pounds of milk per day. Her confinement, her physical torture, her misery defies belief. At the end of this wretched 4 years, she is killed and her scrawny, depleted body is used in the cheapest beef products (such as fast and highly processed foods) or for pet food. The milk she has been tortured into producing is not only filled with toxins from the pesticides from her feed and the antibiotics and hormones used to keep her alive and producing, it is not even fit for human consumption because it is not designed by nature for human consumption, and does us only ill.

The only creature in the world of the factory farm in a worse plight than the dairy cow is the wretched egg-laying battery hen. Each battery hen shares a 16-inch high by 18-inch wide wire cage with 7 other hens. They are crammed in so tight that they can barely turn around let alone stretch out a wing. Like the dairy cows, these chickens are kept artificially inseminated to produce as many eggs as possible in as short a time as possible. In nature a hen is particular about a nesting site and lays her eggs in partnership with a rooster. In the battery farm, the chicken will lay over 250 eggs per year (more than 2.5 times what she would produce in nature), which will drop from her uterus and roll away on the slanted wire cage bottoms she is forced to stand on for every hour of her miserable life, and whisked away on a conveyor belt.

Let's put it in perspective here. Are you a woman?

Imagine yourself in a small room, about the size of an elevator with a ceiling about 6 feet high, which is made of wire. You cannot stand up straight, raise your arms over your head, or stretch them out to your sides because there are 7 other women confined in this space with you. You have no shoes to protect your feet, and the wire cuts you and your toes keep slipping between the wires, causing your constant injury and pain. (If you live long enough, your toes will curl around the wires and atrophy in that position...) There is no room to sit down, nothing to make a bed with. If you try to sit or lie down, others tread on you or lie on top of you. It's a constant battle for space. You are always exhausted and you are filthy. You are covered in sores, bruises and wounds. You are likely to have cancerous growths, deformities, running sores. You may have lost an eye, finger or toes in the daily battle for space and food. You and the other women are fed wretched food in meager amounts, food that in nature you would never consider eating, you are kept pumped with hormones, you are regularly brutalized for artificial insemination, and your resulting babies are taken away from you as soon as they are born, you never even get to see them. Your milk is then taken forcibly from you by machine. In fact, you are producing so much milk, your breasts are swollen 2, 3, 4 times their normal size and are completely infected leaving you feverish and in agony. And yet you must continue to stand, fight the others for food and space, fight for air, fight for life. This is not a temporary situation. This is not something to endure for a short time. This is your entire life. This is all you have ever known. This is all you will ever know. This isn't prison, this is your home. This is your universe. This is existence as you know it. And if you fall, your keepers (these mysterious 'others' who bring you only terror and pain) will drag you out of the cage and discard you. You're too cheap to bother with. This is the domination of the feminine in factory farms.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Earthlings

Please see my sidebar to the right for a link to a film called 'Earthlings'. It was made in 2005 and is narrated by Joaquin Phoenix.

I urge you to watch it.

Watch it all the way through, especially if at some point you don't want to.

There are 3 stages to receiving truth:

1) Ridicule

2) Violent opposition

3) Acceptance

Whichever one you feel, at whichever stage of watching this film, know that you are reacting to the truth.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

The World Peace Diet: Eating for Spiritual Health and Social Harmony (Ch 1-5)

This book contains 15 chapters. I want to share with you a brief summary of each, and expand on a few of my favourite gems. I'll cover 5 chapters per post.

Chapter One 'Food's Power' This chapter sets up the book by examining how important the act of eating is to us as human beings. It is a potent symbol, ritual and rite, because it is our most intimate connection to the world around us, the physical taking in of something which then is transformed into you!

Chapter Two 'Our Culture's Roots' Here Tuttle posits the idea that we are actually a herding culture with its roots in the eastern Mediterranean basin and Middle East, whose central defining belief is that animals are commodities to be owned, used and eaten. By extension, nature, land, resources, other people are also seen as commodities to be owned, used and exploited.

Chapter Three 'The Nature of Intelligence' The ideas contained in this chapter are beautiful in the extreme, and express my conception of the divine very well. If I ever were to talk of 'God' (which I rarely do, as people seldom acknowledge the word as I mean it, and to be honest, I prefer the phrase 'Universal Consciousness'), I could do worse than to quote from this chapter. When we look at the universe, whichever direction we go in, down to the tiniest sub-atomic particle up to the biggest whole that we can conceive, each thing is part of a system, interacting in complex ways with other systems to make up larger and more complex systems. And each system has its own unique intelligence. Cells make up organs, organs make up circulatory systems, which make up larger systems like oaks, ducks, sheep and humans, which make up larger systems like groves, flocks, herds and villages, which make up larger systems like forests, marine ecosystems, prairies, societies. These make up larger systems, like planets, which are parts of even larger systems, each contributing to the larger whole and made up of smaller wholes. This is called systems theory. 'Intelligence lies in the ability of every whole part to receive feedback from and make connections with all the other systems that are related to it, and to thereby unfold its inherent potential to serve the larger wholes.' Nothing is ever separate.

The largest whole that includes every atom, every cell, every creature, community, planet, star, galaxy, and universe is, to the part, say an individual human, inconceivable, and is intuited as divine, infinite, eternal, omniscient, and beyond all dualisms. There is literally nothing outside this largest whole, nothing that 'it' is not. Our language completely fails to describe 'it', since by its very nature language makes objects and things, and the ultimate wholeness within which all appearance reside as nested wholes is not a thing in any sense--it is separated from nothing. The intelligence of this universal wholeness embraces all apparent parts down to the tiniest, and lives within all the parts as their intelligence. Our dualistic thinking cannot grasp this directly, for it is beyond existence or experience as we know them. This universal intelligence can only be sensed non-dualistically, through intuitive receptivity in inner silence that is not clouded by concepts and conditioned thinking.
This is my concept of 'God'. Everything. All. It's so beautiful to me, this concept. It's so huge. So much more than the 'capricious mountain deity' I was raised to fear. (I can't remember where I heard Yaweh called that, but it stuck in my mind...)

The chapter goes on to discuss the different intelligences found in other species. Tuttle uses Buddhist language to describe this. 'The intelligence that manifests as a chicken,' he says, instead of saying 'a chicken's intelligence'. This reinforces the idea that a Universal Intelligence pervades all things. Thich Nhat Hanh and Eckhart Tolle, to name two, also use this sort of language. Like all systems, the intelligence that manifests as a chicken has a unique and specific intelligence suited to being a chicken. When we destroy the chicken's connection to family, community, habitat and its intelligent drives, we 'commit extreme violence against not only these creatures, but against the whole interconnected system of intelligence that supports them and that they serve. In committing such violence, we damage our own intelligence as well.'

The message of this chapter is that what we do as a herding culture is so out of whack with the Universal Intelligence, that we have become a cancer cell to the system of the whole, implying that the immunities of the whole must fight back. (And thus we see the ill health effects and other troubles our herding culture has created). We can heal this cancerous state by ceasing to ignore our own innate intelligence--by listening to the deep aversion we have to causing suffering and to ingesting blood and flesh and by acting as our innate intelligence leads us--we bring our systems in line with the whole. Human beings with our delicate, hairless bodies, clawless limbs and our tiny flat teeth and jaws hinged for side-to-side movement (as opposed to the up-and-down movement of carnivores), our long intestinal tracts (as opposed to the short tracts of carnivores), are clearly designed to be herbivorous, like all our nearest primate kin. Add to that our deep spiritual longing for peace and harmony and our instinctive aversion to violence and it is obvious how far from our natural intelligence this 'herding culture' has led us.

Chapter Four 'Inheriting Our Food Choices' This short chapter suggests that we are indoctrinated from birth as to what is acceptable as food. We accept unqestioningly our culture's most fundamental and defining practice, that of imprisoning animals for food. When we begin to question, we are admonished 'not to think about it.' Deep down, in our natural intelligence, we know better. This is why our only defense is to 'not think about it'. (Ask any omnivore how they can eat meat, they invariably say, 'I don't care. I just don't think about it.' Then after a pause, 'Don't tell me about it, I don't want to know.' This is how we thwart our natural intelligence).

Chapter Five 'The Intelligence of Human Physiology' I touched on this earlier, but Tuttle goes into how our physiology is designed for a plant-based diet. 'Classifying the human physiology has always been problematic in our culture and continues to be controversial today. While it's obvious we're not basically carnivores, it's also obvious we are not ruminant or ungulate herbivores, like cows or deer, horses or sheep. We may best be classified as frugivorous herbivores, designed primarily for fruits, seeds, vegetables, nuts and succulent roots and leaves. '

Like all animals, we are essentially spiritual beings, manifestations of a universal, loving intelligence that has given us bodies designed to thrive on the abundant foods that we can peacefully nourish and gather in orchards, fields and gardens. Our bodies reflect our consciousness, which yearns to unfold higher dimensions of creativity, compassion, joy and awareness, and longs to serve the larger wholes--our culture, the earth, and the benevolent source of all life--by blessing and helping others and by sharing, caring, and celebrating. We have, appropriately, a physiology of peace.

The chapter then goes into details of the health advantages of a plant-based diet, such as you will be familiar with if you'd read John Robbins and T. Colin Campbell.