Today's lunch

Finding hormone- and additive-free meat: a delicious reason to celebrate

Paper-wrapped smoked turkey
Paper-wrapped smoked turkey

Since starting the Whole30 diet 18 days ago, I have been concerned with eating well. This doesn’t mean I have been worried about how many tablespoons of fat I consume, or how many calories, or how many grams of protein, etcetera. It means that my goal is to eat “real” food, and to wean my body off of its dependence on refined carbohydrates. Those things don’t do much for you except fill you up and give you temporary energy. Oh yes, and taste good.

But you don’t have to sacrifice flavour for quality. Yesterday, I discovered just how amazing fresh smoked turkey can taste!

Johnathan and I were in London, spending the day looking for a place to live there (’cause he got a job, YEAH!), and we happened to drive by the Western Fair Farmer’s Market, which is open each Saturday between 8 and 3. I practically squealed with excitement. I had learned about this market while doing research for my article about Don Gingerich’s organic eggs.

I knew that treasures would abound, so we took about 15 minutes (not NEARLY enough time) to rush through the first floor vendors.

When I came upon a corner booth selling fresh bacon, I nearly drooled all over the display case. I hesitated long enough to ask the young guy on the other side whether there were any additives or anything, and he smiled and assured me that nothing had been added to the lovely bacon, and the pigs had grown up without hormones in their diet. Huzzah!!

Fresh bacon!
Fresh bacon!

Past the fresh fruit and produce and smoked fish and fresh-roasted chocolate and Burdan’s Passion Bread (all the way from Goderich), I found another large booth selling meat. A group of Mennonites were wrapping and weighing and slicing pork and steak and… sliced smoked turkey!

Sliced smoked turkey
Sliced smoked turkey

Before I had a chance to drool too much, I requested a half pound.

There’s something about meat wrapped in butcher paper, you know? It’s as if the thick pink paper were shouting: “I’M HOLDING SOMETHING FRESH!”

Paper-wrapped bacon
Paper-wrapped bacon

I waited only until we got back in the car to rip open that package of smoked turkey and take a bite of one slice: heaven in my mouth.

I’m rationing it now. I allowed myself to have three pieces for lunch today, but I doubt it will last more than a few days.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you don’t realize what’s in your food, your everyday “healthy” food until you go intently looking, with the goal of preventing anything detrimental to your body from entering it. The MSG, the carageenans, the sulfites, the lecithins. All sneaky additives that basically only serve to lengthen the shelf life of the product and do little for the consumer.

So, I’m back to where I started: healthy eating. That old adage “You are what you eat” has come to mind several times over the past couple of weeks, and I can’t help but think it’s true. If we put additives and hormones into our bodies, stuff that our bodies can’t naturally process, what happens to them? It is my understanding that they generally disrupt the natural flow of things in our digestive systems, and then build up, resulting in obesity and diabetes and cholesterol problems and cancer and all manner of disease and unpleasantness.

Today's lunch
Today's lunch, featuring my new smoked turkey!

Okay. Rant over. I’m very happy with the Whole30, I feel amazing, I’m working myself up to be a runner (look for a future post about that), and I am discovering just how incredible fresh, whole, “real” food can be! Yes, I miss wine and chocolate and bread and cheese and all that, but I haven’t said a permanent good-bye to them. I am merely allowing my body to re-adjust, to heal.

Then, when its good and healthy, I will taste my favourites again, in moderation. And I will continue to be vigilant about the quality of the things I eat. Quality equals flavour and goodness!

*Note: Since posting this yesterday, the Whole9 people (Dallas and Melissa – sorry that I keep calling you “the Whole9 people”) have updated their stance on bacon: The Bacon Manifesto

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