I have a very, very dangerous job. At my job, there is always cake. The world of advertising, in which I work, simply put, is :
- Client has money, and wants to spend some of it on ad space.
- People who own ad space (media owners) want the client to spend the money on their ad space.
- Client hires a media agency (me) to pick whose ad space they should spend money on.
- Sales people from the media owners give me cake.
Oh, sure, there’s a lot of thought that goes into creating and running ad campaigns; “strategy”, “audience analysis”, “synergy!” etc. – most of my time is spent in excel. Often, when I’m feeling frisky, I’ll make a pie chart – but ultimately, there is non-stop cake.
My office landline rings all day long, and if I answer it, the person on the other end wants to have a meeting with me and a cake. If I don’t receive a new email saying “Cake?” every ten minutes, it legitimately means that our internal server is down. If it’s not cake, it’s free booze.
Being constantly assailed by sales people is how I imagine the hot chick at the bar sees the world. It’s surreal, but fleeting.
Outside of work, the following is the entire list of people who call me on a weekly basis in order:
- My mother
In my first three months in advertising I noticed a change in myself. I’d expanded like a self inflating raft: Suddenly. And nosily. My chair started squeaking when I sat in it. All my shorts had mysteriously turned into compression pants in the closet. Things that were once easy, like not saying “Eaaaargh!” and “Hnnnnnnnn!” when getting out of cinema seat were suddenly difficult. I broke things.
Luckily, along with cake, sales people would conversely also drop off free Men’s Health magazines (a magazine has ad space. Yes for sale.) And so I started absorbing their “Look, LOOK at my abs!” content and adjusting my lifestyle accordingly.
Knowing what to eat though, is a moving target. When I started reading eggs, full fat milk, and fat generally, were pure evil. If you so much as looked at a stick of actual butter you’d come down with stigmata and super-super mega death in that order. Instead, I was supposed to eat a head of iceberg lettuce carefully balanced on a single rice cracker.I. Was. LIED. To.
The steady diet of assorted crushed cereal grains with the texture and flavor of wood chips didn’t feel right. And so it turned out to be: egg white-only omelets are devoid of Vitamin D. When fat is skimmed out of milk, the fat soluble Vitamins D, E, A and K are all skimmed out along with the taste. A breakfast of skim milk with bran is just a big bowl of sadness; cuisine to punish orphans and criminals.
Judge: “The jury has found you guilty, and I sentence you to 1%”
Criminal: “Noplease! Hang me!”It wasn’t Men’s Health’s fault, they were simply quoting the science of the time. It’s just that the science was bad, as witheringly shown by Nina Teicholz in her book: “A Big Fat Surprise” Reading further into the matter, I discovered that the team doctors of both the LA Lakers and the Australian Cricket squad switched their athletes over to low-carb, high-fat regimes. With steak! And so I did to.
I believe it’s what being “saved” feels like.
I became a very intense “Protein Bro”, and after a notable slippage, I’m trying very hard to not eat as much cake.
I didn’t go Paleo because CHEESE!, but I now don’t think it’s worthy of the scorn it often attracts, particularly in nations where more than half the population is overweight or obese. “White” countries, basically, whom like to tell tropical Asians like one half of me to stop growing palm oil whilst supporting the main alternative in soybean oil which is currently eating The Amazon in the same way Palm Oil is eating Malaysia. “Cut the shit, Bo Kim! Grow us some arugula instead. That’s what we like.” There is so much to read up on.
Paleo was just ‘Clean eating’ before Instagram made it smug. Too many artisan cupcakes, that’s the problem with western diets.
Processed vegetable oils, with their formerly “heart healthy” polyunsaturated fat stickers I threw out after I read the hydrogenation they need creates trans fats. Their low, low smoke points meanwhile fill your inflated belly with toxic aldehydes.
In their place I added saturated fats in the form of unsalted butter and joined the coconut oil cult – “Oh, Coconut. Hallowed be thy Oil…” – and bring an oily sheen to everything I do.
Whilst reading and watching Michale Pollan’s book and Netlix series, “Cooked” I’m becoming an intensive label reader, looking for added sugars, salts and anything ‘chemically-sounding’. He posits that the people who’ve been reacting badly to bread whom actually aren’t “gluten intolerant”, aren’t reacting to the gluten but to all the additives. Technically, bread should only be four things: wheat, water, salt and disco! Today it’s known only as Sourdough.
Commercial bread makers, in the quest for profitability and shelf life removed the slow, natural fermentation and replaced it with what’s legally known as “A bunch of bullshit, son”.
It’s why white bread has both the texture and taste of a brittle Kleenex. Nutritional profile too.
I’ve also taken an interest in knowing where my meats come from. Where I can, I’m trying to source snuffle pigs and grass cows; i.e. animals free to roam around happily away from the high-intensity abomination of feeding lots.
Similarly, I’m now trying to source wild salmon after discovering that farmed are frequently now fed things that fish don’t eat. Chicken feed for instance. Oh, sure! They’re similar animals! They can and must eat the same food! They both can’t fly.
After reading Simon Fairlie’s intensive study on sustainable farming I feel I need to. For earth.Fairlie is a practicing organic farmer and former commune-dwelling vegan who figured out that a vegetarian planet is actually a very bad idea for global nutrition, so it’s in our collective interests to keep the more shrieky side of veganism a little more
OK? Together, we can find a way.
In the meantime, like any good Internet Commentator, I’m off to go look for more articles that agree with me.
Go in peace, and may Coconut bless. xx