Tuesday, May 18, 2010

How Infertility Has Brought Out My Inner Hippie

I've joined a CSA.

I've started biking to work.

I only buy clothes that, as far as I can tell, was made by fairly paid and treated workers.

I do yoga twice a week.

Not only do I shop with reusable shopping bags, but I also reuse produce bags and wash out and reuse all my ziploc bags.

I'm a recognized customer at both a natural food store (where I get all my supplements--and we don't need to go into how many of those I'm taking) and a Chinese herb store.

If you need to find me, just look behind your nearest large tree.

Seriously, when did I get to be such a hippie? Please don't tell my father-in-law. I don't want to jeopardize that relationship.

One of the biggest obstacles between me and full-on yippiness has been meat. I've known about the evils of the American conventional meat-packing industry ever since a couple of my college friends decided to start farming grass-fed/free-range animals and began to indoctrinate me with their philosophy on food. But I've held out. I just haven't been able to gather my courage enough to pay $9.99 for a cut of beef that would I could purchase for $3.99.

My coupon-clipping, sale-hunting mother raised me on the notion that frugality was a kind of virtue. Not one of the most important virtues, but a virtue, nonetheless. We lived on less so that we could give more. Sometimes we lived on less because less is all we had.

Since the dawning of infertility in my life, I have gotten closer and closer to making the move towards eating animals that were treated nicely. I've switched to more "natural" beauty products and mostly organic produce and just hoped that eating enough good veggies will somehow cancel out the harmful things that may be coming through my meat. If I didn't have hypothalamic amenorrhea, I would probably just cut way back on the meat. But, because of my HA, Katy the Needle Lady (my acupuncturist) gave me strict instructions to eat meat, and lots of it. Especially red meat. And fewer salads. Please don't hate me because you think I have the most enviable diet prescription ever given. I'm also supposed to avoid cold foods (ie ice cream), sugar, and chocolate.

But this weekend finally put me over the edge. On Saturday, Katy informed me that eating organic/grass-fed/free-range meat was far more important that organic produce. Apparently, she had a former patient whose cycles had gone wonky after she moved from India to America. They couldn't figure out what the issue was until they realized that meat in India is raised the way it's supposed to be. The conventionally farmed meat in America was throwing her whole hormonal system out of balance!

And then I watched Food, Inc (this is what I do when Pete's gone: watch movies he wouldn't want to sit through). I've been meaning to watch this for a while but have putting it off because I knew I wasn't ready. I knew it would send me on a guilt trip that I didn't want. But I finally felt ready this weekend.

And now I hope I never have to buy meat from our evil American conventional meat-packing industry again. That's all I can say. If you're interested, watch the movie. But don't do it if you're not ready to very afraid of the meat aisle in the grocery store.

I also know that's a bit of an over-the-top reaction, and I do plan to be practical and not legalistic. I still have a freezer full of conventionally farmed meat, and I don't plan to throw any of it away. But I'm also finally willing to put a little more money into buying good meat. It may mean that we have to give up the CSA, but I can get organic produce at the store without being locked into to the expensive weekly subscription.

Pete's also calling around to his hunting friends in Montana to see if any of them would be willing to shoot a deer for us. Because you can't get much more free-range than Montana game animals. If that works out, it will save me from being a complete hippie.

What about you, my dear readers? How many of you have significantly changed your eating and shopping habits since beginning the infertility journey? How important do you think food is to our fertility?

Now, back to my meal of organic sweet potato, organic chard, and grass-fed lamb (another treat I get to enjoy while my lamb-hating husband is away).


Stickles McQueen said...

I'm already a card-carrying hippie, and strangely IF is kind of challenging a lot of my trust in nature. BUT...reading your blog gave me a little burst of much-needed sunshine.

DH and I recently made the switch to grass-fed beef, and we both think it's worth it. I never stocked up on beef before, so oddly we're eating more beef than we did in the past because it's right there in the freezer.

I've toyed with the idea of going vegetarian/vegan again (I was for a few years in college), but it doesn't seem conducive to fertility for me, and I have the same recommendations from my acupuncturist to cut back on salads and eat meat. So...I'm milking that one for what it's worth...pun intended.

Niki said...

I just did a similar post about the costs of shopping at a natural store. With my PCOS my hormones are out a whack so I am supposed to eat hormone free, veg fed meat. I shop at whole foods and it costs me 21 dollars for 7 chicken breasts. Yes you read that right. Its insane. But I can buy a whole chicken for 6bucks at the same store so I think whole chicken will be my future.
Good Luck!

Leslie said...

I haven't made many changes in my eating habits. I still even drink coffee. I used to cut out coffee during the luteal phase, back when I actually thought I might be pregnant. But now I've pretty much given up. I don't think that my diet is the problem... but I could be wrong. E and I used to eat mainly organic, grass fed beef and free range, small farm raised chickens, but now that we are in SoCal, that stuff is impossible to come by without paying through the nose. So we are back to supermarket cuts, for the time being.

Here you are freaking me out, though, because I eat a TON of salad, and hardly any meat. Is this causing IF??? Ha ha, no, I don't think so. But I would be very interested to know the logic behind this prescription.

Finally, IF has brought out my inner hippie in making me decide to be voluntarily homeless for the next 3 months. I don't know what could be more hippie than that, unless I decided to grow dreadlocks.

And-- cute picture!!! :)

Ceejay said...

Leslie - Don't worry, I doubt the salads are causing your problem. According to chinese medicine, part of my problem is a "cold uterus," so I'm supposed to cut out cold, raw foods as much as possible. Chinese medicine also says that our bodies can process and absorb nutrients from cooked veggies better than raw, even though veggies lose some nutrients when they're heated. So salads aren't bad but should be eaten in moderation for most people.

Kakunaa said...

I've been a hippie forever. I didn't eat meat for more than half my life, but in the last year or 2 started eating sausage (the only one I really missed) but I try my damndest to buy as much organic as I can. It is hard on the budget, though, I know. But it's how I compromise. My protein needs seem to have gone up. Hug your trees and be proud of it :)

AnxiousMummyto3 said...

You are an awesome hippie! BTW you sound like you are having a lot of fun while your hubby is away ;)
What is chard??
So anyway, I definitely eat organic produce, but I don't worry about my meat. I probably should, but just can't spend the extra money right now!!
Take care :)

Jenny said...

Oh thank god I'm not the only one!

I recently have started changing my habits in how we live and also what we eat.

I find that I /can't/ eat meat that has antibiotics or hormones in it anymore because the thought of it disgusts me.

And also, I have this newfound obsession with wanting to hug trees. :(

Adele said...

It took me a long time to switch to organic and grass-fed meat. I am a cheap-o and, like you, I just couldn't see paying that amount of money. But then I read The Omnivore's Dilemma (by Michael Pollan...if you haven't read it, check it out) and it changed everything about the way I eat and the way I regard food.

One of the most important things I've learned is the importance of eating high quality the higher I eat on the food chain (meat, eggs, dairy). But it still kills me when I see the bill for some of it, and I won't lie: occasionally I'll still buy regular supermarket stuff when I can't get to the greenmarket.

I love the photo, by the way:)