June 28, 2009

Food Inc. Blot

I cashed in my free pass to Equinox and took my first-ever spin class this morning. 12 hours later, I feel fine, but I'm just going to come out and say it: I think I bruised my bones where the sun don't shine.

There were definitely things I liked about my spin experience. The pumping music was awesome (an all-Michael Jackson playlist, a'thankyou), and the instructor was fun. He got up and danced through the aisles every few minutes. Some of the ladies were whooping it up too, so it's hard not to feed off other people's enthusiasm. HowEVER, I do not welcome an extremely hard bike seat against my hoo-hah.

It's entirely possible that something was wrong, whether it was my form or the bike being improperly adjusted, despite getting help from the instructor. I just couldn't seem to get past how awkward I felt leaning forward from the bike seat; I was infinitely more comfortable when we would stand up in the pedals. The ballerina in me kept wanting to maintain a flat back and shoulder blades tucked together, even when the seated cycling position made that impossible.

I'm sure that with experience, I'd get used to the whole thing, but the fact remains that I'm not joining a gym any time soon, and I feel like I get just as good (or better) a workout from methods that do not abuse my cha-cha-cha. I kind of want to sit on those little inner tubes they let new mommies put under their butts. Sheesh.

Now that I've officially shredded any remaining shreds of dignity I might have had before, let's move on to breakfast.

With some freezer excavation, I turned up the last of my Kashi waffles, toasted up and topped them with some crunchy peanut butter and mediocre pumpkin butter from TJ's.

Along with a side shake, por supuesto. I used my last Amazing Meal packet (chocolate) from Amazing Grass to whip up a shake using unsweetened almond milk and ice.

That straw is going NOWHERE, thanks to the Disney cup. Ha.

This afternoon, the roomie and I ventured across the river to the West Village and saw Food Inc.

The documentary made me think many thoughts, though I was actually surprised by how little I was surprised by the information it presented. That's sad in a way, but on the other hand, you go to see this movie prepared not to be happy about what you learn from it. And I learned a lot. But was I shocked by images of animals being treated cruelly? Of course not. These are the things that we all know on some level, but it takes a film like this to "pull back the curtain" that is drawn between consumers and the origin of their food. I think that was the phrase Michael Pollan used when he was being interviewed in the film...feel free to correct me if I got it wrong.

The point is that there's a huge disconnect between what we (think we) eat and how it arrived on our plate in the first place. I could take this opportunity to rant about the corruption in government as relates to food production, and vice versa, but as I said, I was not surprised to learn about that by watching Food Inc. What struck me most was the power of education. The roomie and I were talking about it on the way home, and we agreed that what's so powerful about a documentary like this is that it's accessible to anyone. Many people can and will go see a movie, but far fewer people will get a degree in nutrition or visit a farm used by Perdue for chicken production or even just shop at a farmer's market.

This film asks us to be educated consumers and use every grocery purchase as a vote. For every item we buy organic and locally produced, the corporate conglomerates that control so much of what's on the shelves become a little less powerful. The tobacco industry declined in this manner, and the same can happen to the huge companies that are pumping corn and soy into virtually everything that comes in a package, including conventionally raised meat.

(...she writes as she listens to Michael Jackson's Heal the World... Hey, I'll take inspiration where I can get it.)

The good news is that with every passing year, all the stuff I just wrote about becomes more and more common knowledge, and I'm hopeful that this kind of information trickles down to people who can't afford to eat well, or think they can't afford it and don't know how to begin. How great would it be if farmer's markets accepted food stamps?! I thought the film was right on with that. Definitely successful in delivering a powerful message to the general public.

Now, if you want failure, you need look no further than my second (second!) failed attempt at a modified version of Tina's Peanut Buttery Bars.

It didn't work last week, and it didn't work this week.

Last week, I tried one thing and the bars came out tasty but crumbly...yet rubbery too. This week, I manage to get a great texture, but the flavor was nowhere. Lesson learned: don't try to bake with Better'n'PB when the recipe calls for real peanut butter!

I would be more disgruntled if I wasn't so glad that I used up the last of the Better'n'PB. It is not better (for you) than real peanut butter, and I'd really just rather have real almond butter anyway! I was hoping to pawn these treats off on the coworkers, but I don't have the heart to subject them to this.

Alright, I'm actually ready for Monday to be here, because that means there's just one week left until I get to go on vacation! Time to git 'er done.


Anonymous said...

Aww, I'm sorry the bar was bad...it looks quite good! But I agree abt that fake PB...gimme real AB anytime!

I haven't watched Food Inc yet. I'm not sure I want to...With that knowledge, I doubt I'll be able to stomach anything!

Katherine said...

I am totally with you on your opinions about spinning class. Major pain in the $&@!? Even though it's a good workout. I can see how poeple ( who probably bring their own seat) can get hooked on it though.

Sorry the bars didn't turn out!

Have a great Monday :)

Sarah (LovIN My Tummy) said...

I wish I had seen this movie tonight instead of my smutfest. I was reading your review to Chris on my iphone on the way home. I loved your observations!

Oh, and our farmers market DOES take food stamps...even for the kettle corn (go figure!).

Miz said...

I want to love the spinning.
but I dont.
and my hoohah doesnt.
yes, I said it.

Miz. who is off to see FOOD INC tonight!

Anonymous said...

I havent seen Food Inc yet...I look forward to it though, as possibly nervous as I am! Some things perhaps I dont want to know ;)

Isnt pumpkin butter the best? :) sorry about the bars!

Gena (Choosing Raw) said...

That's hilarious about spin class. I've never taken one myself, but that would probably annoy me too (former ballerinas, holla!!)

I'm really eager to see Food Inc., though I, too, don't expect to be surprised!

Dori said...

Your bike must have not been positioned correctly -- you definitely should NOT have been in pain there. How did you get a free pass to Equinox??

That movie sounds great, I need to see it.

emily said...

Ack, I'm about to go to Spin and this post made me nervous! :)


brandi said...

man, I think everyone but me made those pb bars this weekend! :)

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry about your hoo-ha... I had the same problem the ONE time I did spin.

Your bars look so yummy! I've had that recipe saved on my desktop for a long time... I think it's time.

K from ksgoodeats said...

I'd probably need a butt pillow to make this pancake ass sit through a spin class! Sorry your booty hurts!

Jenny said...

sounds like spin had some awesome potential -- but i'm sorry to hear your precious cha cha cha was abused in the process.. no me gusta!

Lele said...

I find that lackluster peanut butter baked goods are almost always made better with jelly on top.
Basically, when in doubt, make a PBJ. That is just a good life lesson.

fattymcbutterpants said...

My hoohah hated spinning until I bought the PADDED SHORTS!!! Not kidding they are a miracle. Imagine the giant overnight maxipad sewn into a pair of spandex! That is what you have to keep everything feeling a-okay afterwards.

Honestly, they make spinning that much more enjoyable!