Monday, January 24, 2011

Tea and Coffee and Tobacco they Despise. Drink No Liquor and They Eat But a Very Little Meat They Are Striving to be Great and Good and Wise

I attended our Relief Society meeting on Wednesday. The theme was "New Year, New You" and promised to be about eating healthy, exercise and my favorite topic: The Word of Wisdom.

I have learned my lesson. Really. From now on, when there is a ward function involving the Word of Wisdom, I promise not to attend. It just makes me upset and no one wins.

Let me set the scene for you:
This is a church activity so we are meeting in the church. Around twenty to thirty women, ages eighteen to really, really old, are sitting around the gym at various dinner tables, eating a delicious pot luck of salads, fruit and rolls. There are a few children, but not many. A few women have an infant in their arms. There are no males in the whole room. Let me emphasize that: This is a girls only activity. No boys were invited, no boys came. This activity is geared toward women. By women, for women, about women.

The night started out with a lecture from a nurse. She stands up in front with a microphone, explains that women need to value their health and then starts off on her topic. Her topic is Testicular Cancer.

Actual quote: "I've seen boys come in the balls as hard as rocks and I'm like: really? You didn't notice there was something wrong? Just like girls are supposed to do monthly self breast exams, boys should do monthly self...well, you know. They should check!"

Oh. My. Goodness.

She finished her topic (after briefly discussing Prostate Cancer. Why?!) and another girl got up to discuss healthy eating habits. She informed us that protein is very important and we all need more protein.

Actual quote: "Chicken is the best source of protein. I've learned to put chicken on everything! Put it on sandwiches, in pasta, in salads, in soups...anything you make with no meat needs to have some chicken! It's healthy!"

And that's about where I vowed never to underestimate the stupidity of humans. That is also about where I zoned out and gave all my attention to Ash.

No one even mentioned the Word of Wisdom. Not surprising since that second speaker has apparently never read it. That's okay. Neither has most of the church.


  1. What's the deal with not having hot drinks? No hot cocoa? Herbal tea? Hot apple cider?

  2. Oh, no. Mormons are famous for their hot chocolate!! Joseph Smith said later that "Tea and Coffee are what the Lord meant when he said Hot Drinks".

    Herbal tea is just fine. The basic rule is this: If it's harmful to you, don't drink it. Habit-forming drugs are the main thing to avoid. Anything that takes away the ability to think (like getting drunk) or our choices (like getting addicted to caffeine) are things to avoid.

  3. Ahh. Thanks for explaining. :-)

  4. So here's the deal - why didn't you raise your hand and say something? You've been hating Word of Wisdom meetings for what, 8 years? Get off your non-confrontational pacifistic butt and incite a freaking riot already! Next time (and there will be a next time MARK MY WORDS) take some black beans, or broccoli florets, or stalks of kale and start chucking them at people. Or make up a packet of 5-10 vegetarian recipes (my delicious kale soup at the top of course) and pass them out with a little blurb on the page that says something about eating meat sparingly blah blah blah.

    So there. I love dew you weird vegetarian. I'm a halfway vegetarian, does that count? I eat meat more sparingly than most I can guarantee that. I can't believe some of these people that have meat 4+ times a week - yikes!

  5. You are right. That's what Drek said, too. I thought of raising my hand, but what would I have said? "Um, no, you are an idiot and here is all the reasons you are wrong..." I don't think that would have gone over very well. I could have told her that I had heard beans are a more efficient way of getting protein, and what did she think of that? but what if she did not know that? I don't have the study memorized. And I hate arguing "eat little meat" because everyone assumes I am biased (which I am) because I'm vegetarian. Sigh. But you're right. If I'm going to complain, I should be able to act.

    I don't know what I would have said to that nurse, though. Yikes.

  6. Maybe you could have raised your hand with suggestions of non-meat protein sources? At the very least it would have been funny to raise you hand and ask the nurse to describe and demonstrate how to do a testicular self-exam and then ask if it's ok that you don't have a prostate and if that'll affect your future health. :)

  7. Maybe you could ask to have a few minutes to speak at the next Relief Society gathering? Or the next Word of Wisdom informational get-together? That way you could prepare stuff to say in advance without having to challenge some other speaker they've brought in.
    You don't have to focus on the "eat little meat" part, even. You could just educate people on what "protein" is and what foods contain it. Most people will be shocked to learn you can get protein from more than just meat.
    I'd probably also go off about how grain really isn't all that good for you, but I dunno how well that would go over. :-P

  8. Keep in mind that the nurse was quoting stuff she learned in traditional nutritionist university. I've been getting Relief Society lessons on the benefits of beans for years! I used to have a recipe for--believe it or not--Pinto Bean Fudge.

    Too bad the WW doesn't say anything about the harmful effects of sugar! But then back in the 1830's, they had very little access to sugar.

    Our ward did a dessert bar for the Christmas party! I would've gone just to visit, but I didn't feel too good so I stayed home.

    Okay, so we've been busy lately and have found out something interesting--meat is the easiest thing to cook. But I've got to watch that because it is easy to start eating too much. Ounce for ounce, canned beans are cheaper even if I buy the low-sodium ones, so I think I'll run over to the store and stock up.

    Meanwhile, please don't get bitter about other people's ignorance because that hurts your health too.

  9. Oh, I didn't doubt the Nurse's knowledge at all. I 100% believed her when she said Men should get screened for prostate cancer. I was just puzzled as to why she was telling this to ME, as I have no prostate.
    I was infuriated at the ignorance of the second speaker, not the nurse. I just thought the nurse was funny.

    Our ward in Burgville did and awesome Bean night, where they talked about the benefits (including that it's more efficient to get protein from a bean than from animal meat) and they had bean recipes, including polka-dot bean brownies, which are now my favorite type of brownies. Delicious!

    Beans are lots cheaper if you buy them dried rather than canned. It takes a tiny bit more planning ahead for meals, but only an hour or so. Also, it's even cheaper if you buy beans from an LDS cannery. Imagine that! It's like God knew we need protein, knew the best way to get it is through beans, AND made them available and cheap! Wow!

  10. haha. It must have been such a interesting meeting. Knowledges we huma being have gained this past hundreds years are great, and I cannot see how much potential we have been given by God. Only thing I thought about as I read your post is that it is really latter days. People talk about God and Prophets, but their heart is not neccessary there. Sounds like Joseph Smith's first vision as God spoke to Joseph. Only thing I would be careful is not to judge those who talked about such stuff, but let God judge them!

    If we follow W of W as written in D&C, especially with understandings of seasonal foods, we are all good, I think:)

  11. I want this polka dot brownie recipe. Like before Tuesday. Share with meeee!!


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