An hour and a half if I'm lucky. That's how long it takes cancergrrl at the grocery store. More if I have time and I don't feel the uneasy glares of the stock boys as i traverse the frozen foods section for the umpteenth time reading bags of frozen peas. I frequent a little hoity-toity market in the Brookside area where well-intended (but perhaps overexerted?) "liberal elitism" rears its holistically coiffed head everywhere, including the cereal aisle. Perhaps it is because of my fragile state at the moment but I found my self yelling at the heavens "WHY! WHY do we need 487 kinds of gluten-free organic folate-and-calcium-enhanced 100% fiber all-natural animal friendly panda-snuggling free-trading PVC free breakfast cereals!!" I was pummeled by healthy choices and pummeling is no good for a woman in my condition. Please don't misunderstand. I love pandas and everything, likely more than the next guy, but the level of nutritional options is mind numbing when there are so many studies involving the link between nutrition and cancer. (This is why republicans hate my team; the mother scratching litany of do-gooder breakfast cereals, tofurkey just as a concept.... and the free-range cinnamon rolls.)
The grocery store has become a library, a medicine chest, a mine field. The farmers market is so much easier. Not so many labels. When you have a messed up wicked ugly disease you tend to do a ridiculous amount of reading about it. First you read all the horrible statistics then you get into the rah-rah stuff so you'll stop fucking weeping and take out the trash. Then you eat six pints of ice cream because you have cancer (why did you eat six pints of ice cream?). After that you try to earnestly figure out why you have the wicked ass ugly nasty disease. And then after several weeks of alternating between fashioning a wonder woman outfit made entirely of pink ribbons and flat out refusing to put on anything but pajamas, you settle into where I am now: how do I synthesize all this information regarding science, nutrition, wellness and the stuff I put in my mouth and get on with my damned life.
I love bacon and diet coke! Lets make that clear. And bourbon, and mayonnaise, and cheese. I love crappy tacos at three am and breakfast sandwiches when I'm hungover and late for work. Let's not forget how MUCH I LOVE CIGARETTES and fried chicken. I have been forced, as an occupational hazard, to create entire meals from the enticing selections at Kum-n-Go's, Snappy Stores, Truck-o-mats, and any other of the Stop-n-Robs that line our American highway system. I have eaten bologna and canned tuna as protein staples (and shared them with my cat) due to poverty. I am not a vegetarian. I am not a proponent of vegan-ism, macrobiotic-ism, raw food-ism. But I tell you what...the more I read about the shit we have been fed as a nation, from the dollar menu to the DDT, the less crazy the macrobiotic free range vegans of the world seem to be.
Yes, fucking cigarettes are bad for me. I get it. But the cumulative effects of all the marginally safe additives in the human body have not yet been studied and they can't be good. It's just amazing to me that more research has not been done into how our environment and our genetics play significant roles in contributing to getting the disease as well as not getting it. What did my grandmother say, something about an ounce of prevention.....but broccoli isn't sexy! It already exists. A pharmaceutical company can't create it and profit from it. Elegant science does nothing for actual people. Find me a cure darlings! Find me a cure. And in the interim, figure out what my husband, best friends, and boss have to do to not get it...and don't just tell me to give up cigarettes and bacon. I will raise you money darlings. I will walk your walks and someday run your runs. Getting my fat ass off the couch isn't about being thin anymore, its about being alive. But let us not set our sights on the fame and the glory, the magic bullets and the wonder drugs. Those would be nice. I got no time for nice. What do we have to work with now?
Back to the grocery store......This wickedness can't all be genetic. What we put in and on our bodies has to be a factor. So I will spend 20 minutes reading bread labels because you know what there's no fucking reason for high fructose corn syrup to be in bread (and every other thing). Stabilization my ass! Buy local and help the wretched economy. There's no reason for anyone to eat a pineapple in December. Pick up a parsnip and figure it out. I'm just trying to figure it out. Some things take time. But the less far food has to travel the less weirdness goes into preserving it so less of that bullshit ends up in me. The shorter the ingredient list the less crap goes in my body. Its an expensive shift for a girl who is going to owe the GDP of New Zealand in medical bills. Tell me this, why is the nasty ass wonder bread from Jersey cheaper than the stuff made two blocks from my house? Why are Twinkies three boxes for a dollar and you have to sell blood to afford antibiotic-free beef? If I only had two bucks I'd say fuck it, let's get a taco. All of this makes me want to throw things!
Rotten, organic things.