Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Attachment to Food

My mother and I are going home in just under a week, which I think is part of the reason why I’ve been feeling homesick. I’ve started to think about things I did in my hometown that I haven’t really thought of since moving to Virginia. Some of the memories involve food, so I can somewhat understand the relationship the human species has to food. 

When my dad moved to Virginia a few months before my mother and I, I remember how my mother and I would go to this frozen yogurt place, get some self-serve frozen yogurt, and then drive to a park that was nearby. Oftentimes, it would be sunset when we would go, and it was always so enjoyable. The park had a path that you could walk on, and my mother and I would often take a walk after we finished our frozen yogurt.

Across from the house I used to live in, there was a sweet Asian man that moved in. Whenever I would go outside he would always wave to me. He had a girlfriend who worked at local donut shop in town. I can’t even count how many times they would bring over boxes of leftover donuts. Blueberry, frosted, cake, fruit filled. You name it, my family and I ate it! There was one specific time when he brought over this HUGE bag filled to the brim with donut holes. He eventually moved before my family and I did, which was disappointing because he was such a good neighbor. 

My family and I would get crazy bread from Little Caesars many, many times to go with dinner. My dad would bring a bag home when he got off work, to go with spaghetti or another entrĂ©e. We ate a lot of their pizzas too. I would ride with one of my parents to pick up a pizza, and I remember the doorbell that used to chime when you went into the store. 

Every Saturday morning my dad used to get donuts. When there was a Schnuck’s in our town, he always used to get me a cinnamon twist donut; they were the best.

There was a Chinese buffet in Memphis that my family and I often visited. I remember the glasses for the drinks were huge. My mom and I would have lunch with my Dad who worked nearby, or we would, on occasion, have lunch with some relatives that came over from Arkansas. I used to always get banana and chocolate pudding for dessert. I knew the faces of the waiters that worked there, and there was one man in particular who freaked me out (when I was younger) who I called “Spikey Man.” 

I could share more memories like the donut place my mom, brother, and I used to go to after we went to the dentist. Or the cupcake place that we started going to instead. I could talk about how many times my family and I would go to CiCi’s Pizza Buffet and all the fun times we had, or the Mexican restaurant that my family always ate at, El Mezcal.

Clearly, for me at least, food is a big part of my life, as I’m sure it is for a lot of people. Our culture ties food in with a lot of things, and for me it’s tied in with some of my favorite memories. Today this same food isn't appealing because I know where it comes from, and how it affects my health, the planet, and the animals. But that doesn’t change the fact that at one time I did think the food was great and that I have very fond memories surrounding the food and the memories that go along with it. Trust me, I totally understand your attachment to food. However, if I can change, so can you. I don’t miss the foods I used to enjoy, but I do miss the events that I associate with them -- the places, the people, and the good times.

Yes, I am vegan, but at one time I was an omnivore just like you. Some of my greatest childhood memories involve food, which I think is normal for a lot of us. I just happen to think about food differently now.  For instance, when I was growing up I had no problem eating a Corky's BBQ sandwich. Now, about once a month, I stand on a corner with other activists in Smithfield, VA holding signs to raise awareness about what these pigs go through to become the BBQ sandwich I used to enjoy

At the end of the day I'm really no different than you. But I have learned that I can enjoy social gatherings and celebrations without taking the lives of innocent beings. 


Copyright 2016-2017 by Dee Dee Wike and Joy Wike. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

How Not to Die (book review)

Learning about the benefits of a whole-food plant-based diet, and experiencing them firsthand, has been enlightening and life-changing--so much so that I am eager to share what I am learning with others so they too can enjoy the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

Currently I am reading a book that has the potential to change lives.  I cannot recommend it highly enough!    How Not to Die by Michael Greger, M.D. is a thoroughly-researched and well-written book about the power of plants to prevent, and in some cases reverse, some of the chronic diseases plaguing our society.

Part I consists of individual chapters dealing with how not to die from the top fifteen killers:  heart disease, lung diseases, brain diseases, digestive cancers, infections, diabetes, high blood pressure, liver diseases, blood cancers, kidney disease, breast cancer, suicidal depression, prostate cancer, Parkinson's disease, and Iatrogenic causes.

Part II includes information on Dr. Greger's recommended Daily Dozen  (beans, berries, other fruits, cruciferous vegetables, greens, other vegetables, flaxseeds, nuts and seeds, herbs and spices, whole grains, beverages, and exercise).

If you want to take control of your health, lose weight, prevent or reverse disease or help others find the path to better health, then buy and read this book!  Knowledge is power, and I believe that once you read this well-presented and easy-to-understand information you will find the motivation to positively change your health and quality of life.

For better health and a better life,

Dee Dee

Copyright 2017 by Dee Dee Wike and Joy Wike. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

They Deserved Better

In a recent 24-hour period I was saddened and sickened by the news of the senseless killing and euthanasia of animals that deserved better.

These kinds of senseless killings are becoming more and more commonplace. Add to them the slaughter of millions of farmed animals daily and one thing becomes clear:  humanity has failed the animals that share the planet with us, and our own greed and appetites have resulted in unnecessary killing and violence of these creatures.

When will we wake up and realize that:
  • animals don't want to die?
  • animals are intelligent, sentient beings with personalities, who enjoy social and family relationships with their kind just as we do with ours?
  • eating animals is not healthy for our bodies?
  • factory farming is destroying our environment?
There are many people who would argue that God gave us dominion over animals and use that as a convenient excuse for animal abuse and slaughter.  Somehow I don't think that this is what God had in mind.

Animals deserve better.  They deserve love.  They deserve freedom and life and happiness.

What if the tables were turned and animals had dominion over mankind?  In an ironic twist, maybe they do.  Perhaps the antibiotic-resistant super bugs that plague humanity are their revenge for all that we have done to decimate and desecrate our non-human fellow earthlings.

We have so many other choices -- better choices -- for nourishing and clothing our bodies and furnishing our homes.  We don't need meat, leather, fur, or ivory to be happy, healthy, or successful. In fact, in harming animals we are only hurting ourselves and destroying our planet.  

Animals deserve better, and so do we.  We can all live happy, healthy lives and improve our environment if we will rethink our choices and live with compassion toward ALL life.

For the animals, better health, and a cleaner planet --

Dee Dee

Copyright 2016-2017 by Dee Dee Wike and Joy Wike. All rights reserved.