Saturday, February 5, 2011

Amazing, Wonderful, Magical Stomach

My stomach is amazing. For twenty-seven plus years, it’s been here for me every single day no matter what I threw it’s way. Hot sauce, monosodium glutamate, vodka, corn syrup, broccoli, artificial flavor and coloring, chocolate, coffee, sodium acetate, lactic acid, cola, steak, butter, calcium silicate – you name it, and I’ve sent it to my stomach. And somehow, some way, it all gets broken down into the building blocks of my blood, brain, lungs, muscles, heart, and even, yes, even my stomach.

And that folks is amazing. No matter what I eat, no matter how processed, how chemically derived, and preserved, my stomach finds a way to get the good stuff out of it.

That is what I call loyalty.

Try asking a panda’s stomach to do that for him. Or your dogs stomach. Has your dog ever gotten into the leftover dinner and then thrown-up behind the big armchair in the living room that night? I’ll bet he has (and if you have a Labrador retriever, I’m sure you’ve seen him get into Tupperware containers, sealed garbage bags, the fridge, your neighbors trunk full of groceries while they unload the car, too.)

Have you ever seen a tiger grazing on grass or a cow tearing into a freshly run down deer? Probably not, and trust me, even if your zoo trips haven’t given you enough experience to confidently know this for sure, they don’t do that, like ever.

I’m sure there is lots of scientific information out there which would explain why human stomachs can break down pretty much anything, and convert it into energy and cells. But I don’t think a trip to the library or a massive googling episode is necessary to prove this point. Everywhere I look, nature provides lots of examples of how other stomachs just can’t handle all the crap that I love to eat.

Which brings me to my real point here: just because I can eat it, doesn’t mean that I should. Because my stomach's only really flaw is it's willingness to get down with anything and everything. Unfortunately, when a particularly unhealthy item is consumed, digestion is at the expense of another process inside the body. Have you ever felt like you needed to take a nap after a particularly heavy meal? That’s because your body is working so hard on digesting that even the process of keeping you alert is taxing.

I’m not a scientist, and I’m certainly no doctor. All I can claim to be is an expert in ME. I have noticed that I have more energy when I eat a ton of vegetables before a workout. Eating fried food for lunch mean's I'll definitely have to make a Starbucks run at three o'clock. Bananas give me lots of energy before a workout, but so does a good old cup of coffee. All I need to know that about eating a cleaner, more raw and more vegan diet is that it makes me feel good.

That we don’t have to lie around all day waiting for that antelope to digest or regurgitate our food so we can chew it again, is only icing on the cake.

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