To Live + Diet

"We’re all going to die. And we all eat food. Therefore, food must be the culprit."

-Jim Windolf, Why Everything is Bad for You.

(Best read out loud in your mind.)

Is what's sustaining us really killing us? To answer, I must ask, “what's us?” Physically, we are sixty percent water. The stuff that makes up the other forty? Triglycerides, calcium, proteins...the synapses and firing behind them. It is the fire that drives us, ignites us. When we wake and when we say goodnight . And when we break down, it is our bodies way to say "What’s up? Just slow down, enjoy the view, won't you?" We eat crap. We catch colds. We drink too much wine. We get caught in the net of ‘not good enough. We whine, "If I only had her figure…" we figure we could be the ‘me’ in our ideal obituary. We bite off more than we can chew, then spew excuses.

Food isn't the culprit, it's our body's limitation; the libations, medications, and rations we ingest affect where and how strong these barriers are. If deconstruction is true (go with me here), then what is filling our bellies and minds is making us stronger. However, the longer and harder our body works to process what we put in, this process wears and tears; it catches up with us in the end.

Aspirin & asparagus both break down to dust, and furthermore into stuff our bodies and brains digest. If a pill or drink alters the way we think, why can't miso soup or tiramisu? Feed your brain food like nuts--I'm with Jack--the only people for me are the mad ones anyway. We are what we eat.

I knew a woman once whose spirit was so alive that she radiated energy to all she touched. Emily was the sun. But they found in this twenty-four year-old orb a tumor in her brain. It remained and grew. Even cancer could not resist her. How fervent she was about finding a cure. She raised the most funds for all of New York for brain tumor research. She even empathized with all those of us who suffered ailments not meant for life or death, but strife over where roommates put the knives, or our dating lives. The day after my breakup, I brought her hospital-bedside bagel brunch and 'faux-mosas' (alcohol did not pair well with her multi-vitamins and pain-med cocktail). She ate life for the taste of it and spit words of positivity. 'Sweet Emily', we called her. I did not find out her favorite dessert until the end. Cheesecake--every flavor and kind that one might ever dream to find, lay abundant across the banquet tables for the reception following her funeral. The hall was filled by all those who were blessed to have basked in Emily's glow. Yet, it felt vulgar to indulge in the sweet dish while we tearfully divulged memories of Emily. The bite sat heavy in my abdomen, a contrast to the emptiness I felt in my heart without her there. On the car ride home, our friend shared that he tried one time to convince her to eat all alkaline. It is no easy feat--no sugar, no dairy or wheat--it had been proven to reduce cancer growth rate as it raises your pH. Emily would not have it. If she was going to die, it would not be on a diet. If we are, indeed, what we eat, Sweet Emily was Mexican, the marrow of life, and powdered-sugared starlight.

What's left of the baloney and white bread once it's broken down? It's simple, sugar. We are all made of stars--just ask Moby, who may be all-knowing. I maintain that the mainstay of our diets does not make us us die. If stars are what we are, I'd advise to swallow cosmic fire; passion to nourish that inner child--wild, wide-eyed and never satisfied. And wash it down with juice that's green to keep your engine running clean.

Every morsel of our mortality we should savor. Save yourself--don’t stuff your face, eat veggies--read Polluck for more on this--and bring a healthy dish to the potluck. Share. Best of luck from there.