Apparently beef kidneys taste like pee. It makes sense if you think about it.
This is the same book that talks about collagen and cellulite, the one that inspired my bone broth self-experiment. Unfortunately I haven’t had any bone broth since Friday as I visited dear and lovely friends in New York City over the weekend and didn’t want to schlep a liquid-filled container on the bus with me. And even though you can get anything in NYC, I didn’t come across any bone broth. I did find plums at the Union Square farmer’s market though. And there were all sorts of salty, corn syrupy snacks at Rite Aid.
I ate a few tart plums but I didn’t buy the snacks. I just gazed at the cellophaned madness like a displaced tribal girl. How do they sell this stuff? I wondered, reading the back of a package of BBQ chips. And how do people eat it? Don’t they know how horrible it is? I’d see a hipster nonchalantly downing a Coke and want to grab it out of his hand, as if it would detonate.
I feel like I’ve been brainwashed sometimes. I feel like an outsider, a traveler from another planet. An outcast. Or I think that the junk food eaters have been brainwashed. You know, by the government, by the popular but uninvestigated beliefs about health. Topsy turvy. Like I’m starring in a nutritional thriller. There’s smuggery too—as if my teen years never happened, those asymmetrical days when nothing made me happier than Doritos and Mickey-D’s. It’s like a nightmare I once had. A nightmare I’m still waking from.
This Deep Nutrition book is so depressing. But in a good way. In a way I recommend everyone read so we can all hold our heads together in despair and hopelessness, moaning, NO! NO! Oh God, Nooooo!
It’s THAT good.
A caveat: I haven’t read the whole thing yet. Authors sometimes like to save their good news chapters for the end. Just when we’re about to crawl out on the ledge, they pull us back in to safety. (Obviously I am banking on a good news chapter at the end of this book.)
Okay so here’s the deal: Matt Dillon is cuter than Kevin Dillon. Sorry Kevin. No offense man. I mean does everyone agree with this? Do we have a consensus?
Wait. Maybe I need to back up a second and state for the record that within the pages of Deep Nutrition it is revealed that beauty has been determined not to be subjective after all, that rather there is a mathematical equation for beauty, in nature, art, architecture, bodies and faces. It all traces back to the Golden Ratio. And a plastic surgeon named Marquardt who used the Golden Ratio to create something called the Marquardt Mask, that will fit Angelina Jolie as perfectly as it will fit Marilyn Monroe.
So Matt Dillon. He got all the hotness because he was the first-born. This is not to diss all the hot second siblings the world over. You are out there and you are SMOKING. But the (controversial, right?) theory is that firstborns get the most nutrients from their mothers, and if the second sibling is born before mom can replenish her stores, baby number two gets the nutritional shaft. And good nutrition makes beautiful bone structure. Who knew? I ask you.
Another day, another revelation…
What I’m talking about is nutritionally-derived hotness. Nature wants us to be hot, and hotness = health, and health + hotness = perpetuation of the species. Beauty, then, is not some elusive stroke of luck. It’s a concrete matter of either nutritional fulfillment or deprivation. And guess what? Most of us are deprived, because the knowledge is buried.
And this grieves me.
Deep Nutrition’s author, Dr. Cate Shanahan has researched the connection between gorgeosity and nutrition—wide angular faces, high cheekbones, arched eyebrows, large eyes, full lips. These are the same features that Dr. Weston A. Price witnessed when he traveled the world in search of perfectly healthy humans back in the 1930s.
My face is pretty enough, and my birth was spaced eight years after my brother’s, giving my mom’s body ample time to replenish its stores. Maybe a few of my features would fit the mask—my eyebrows or jawline, say. But take someone like Halle Berry or Ingrid Bergman, and they fit the mask perfectly at all angles. Better yet, take a Masai tribe member. Or a Samburu. You know, people who don’t touch processed foods. Ever.
To add insult to injury, I ask, any moms out there experiencing post-birth lip thinness? My lips have definitely thinned since birthing Spike and his sister.
The reason for this phenomenon according to Dr. Cate is because the kids’ placentas robbed our nutritionally depleted bodies to get those kids born without defects. The next time you think you need a low-fat diet, ask yourself how important your plump lips are. If, you know, you’re thinking of getting pregnant.
Do you know what I ate when I was pregnant with Spike? Pop-Tarts. Soy burgers. Take-out Thai and Mexican. Pasta. Pastry. Low-fat sugary yogurt. No meat, of course. I was a vegetarian. I had ZERO understanding of just how vital it is to nourish oneself—what real nutrition even was. Oh I took my folic acid. I took my multi-V. I even grudgingly swallowed a nasty liquid iron supplement when a blood test revealed anemia. I wonder why I got anemia…
The steak came later, when with Spike at my breast an urge overtook me that was so, well, primal, that it canceled out any grandiose ideas I had about abstaining from meat. The urge had a voice, and the voice said, “STEAK! NOW!!!!” It rattled the walls.
I ate the steak.
And it was good. Maybe that’s why Peaches is as cute as her brother. Maybe I evened the field between the two by eating healthier intuitively once I was pregnant with her. Of course this is just speculation. But it makes sense to me.
I’d like to take this opportunity to apologize to my body, particularly my once very painful spine. (By the way, Primal is an anti-arthritis diet, thus the significant decrease in back pain. This is a post in itself.) Since I wasn’t obtaining enough calcium, the placenta took it from my bones. Placentas don’t discriminate. They don’t care what I think of them. They just take what they need, but not so much that it’d kill me. Because a mother is important to keep around once her baby’s been born. (Thank God.) Perpetuation of the species rocks. Biology is on our side even if we abuse ourselves, even if it robs us blind trying to make a baby with two eyes, ten fingers and ten toes. Still, I can thank my nutritionally depleted diet for the post-kids diagnosis of scoliosis, lordosis, osteoarthritis…degenerative spine disease at forty-one.
Jesus. This shit drives me crazy.
And I’m not even talking about the mental shit.
On the dark side of things, I am left with this hollow sense for our day and age, our culture, our aching adriftness. No wonder so many people feel empty, out of touch with something sacred. Uneasy, depressed, pointless.
Because there is something profound yet intuitive that indigenous cultures knew that got lost if not trampled under so much greed—for land, domination, convenience…
And now here we are with our hair-dos and iPhones and saggy jeans, swilling Red Bull, scarfing Fro-yos, throwing a hissy if the doofus in front of us at Whole Foods takes too long checking out.
The fact that in this day and age a mother-to-be (i.e, yours truly) doesn’t think twice about eating Pop-Tarts while smugly patting her swollen belly just depresses me.
I am sorry kids! I didn’t know!
It’s like part of me has this desperate wish to go back in time and give my great grandmother the foresight to have drilled nutritional wisdom into my grandmother who fed me Spaghettios and Wonder Bread when I slept at her house. With this wisdom she’d have fed me homemade chicken soup instead. Maybe some chopped chicken liver. And borscht with full-fat sour cream. Then my grandmother would chase my mother around the kitchen table with a heaping tablespoon of cod liver oil and my mother would do the same with me, and she’d hover over me until I finished my glass of whole (possibly raw?) milk. And I’d eat eggs and brisket and herring and other Primal Jewish delicacies. (We’d go easy on the matzoh.) And I’d be Primal from pregnancy, and Spike wouldn’t be so anxious. And my face would fit the damn mask.
I’ll be the first to admit that I think my kids are healthy and good-looking. Poo poo as my mother would say. And despite the ubiquitous Doritos I do remember eating shepherd’s pie, scrambled eggs and tuna fish (not in one sitting) on numerous occasions. In addition, Swamp Chicken’s mother breast-fed him as she is no slave to fashion, 70s or otherwise. And she cooked real food for her kids. This is all to say, I hope my little clan dodged a bullet and I’m optimistic that we can make up for it now, whether or not I’ve gotten to Dr. Cate’s good news chapter.
My newly configured Primal brain can’t stay desperate and depressed for any damaging length of time anymore, it seems. It simply reverts to a slightly euphoric, calm state, a new set-point I will not compromise ever again.
And from that point I remember my gratitude to have found this way of eating when I did. My kids are young. I am relatively young. We have so much to gain.
And to share.
Thanks for reading,