Sunday, August 7, 2011

New shoes feel good!

New shoes, hideous shoes, other new shoes.
I bought new shoes today. Actually I bought two pair, but that's beside the point.

How does this relate to food? Oh, we'll get there. 

Meanwhile, back to the shoes. You see, I'm not much of a fashionista. Someone else can toss a scarf around their neck and it will look cute and fun and arty. If I do the same thing, it looks like failed attempt at strangling myself.

When I buy shoes, I try to get something that looks good, but I've come to realize that if they aren't comfortable, I'm not going to wear them. Finding shoes that are simultaneously not hideous and comfortable can be challenging. So when I find a pair that I like, I tend to wear them until they're ... well ... hideous.

Once I get them broken in and I'm comfortable wearing them, I no longer think about the fashion aspect and it's all about the utility. Walking around barefoot might work in my house, but shoes are expected in public places. So I wear them and wear them and wear them until they're pathetically shabby and somewhat embarrassing.

Generally I don't see how shabby they are until I look at them next to the brand new pair of shoes that I'm trying on. Because incrementally, from day to day, they don't seem to be getting that much worse. A little wear here, a little stain there. Pretty soon, comfortably worn morphs into pathetically ragged.

And then it's time for new shoes, and the new ones are clean and pretty and maybe even more comfortable (or at least better for my feet) because the soles aren't worn and crooked. Walking is so much more pleasant. And I wonder how I didn't notice the discomfort before.

Now, we get to the food. Or more accurately, drink.

Recently, I met the media rep for Good Belly, which happens to be a local company, She was interested in touching base with local bloggers, so we met at a tea shop and had a chat. I was curious why she wanted to meet me. I mean, I have a cooking blog. You don't cook with Good Belly - you just drink it.

So we chatted about trivial stuff and then she started telling me about the product and the company and probiotics and why this stuff was good for your gut. Uh huh. "And my gut is just fine," I was thinking as this went on. I mean, I get the whole thing about good bacteria and how antibiotics or a bout with certain illnesses can throw off the good critters in your stomach. But I don't have digestive issues. I eat pretty much whatever I want with no discomfort.

But, probiotics? Isn't that why yogurt is so soothing? Well, no. The bacteria in most yogurt (unless it's specifically called out as probiotic) doesn't survive the acids in your stomach. There are some yogurts with probiotic cultures. So does Good Belly, and it also has vitamins and all kinds of healthiness built right in. Allegedly.

Skeptical me took the coupons the Good Belly lady gave me and I got a couple free quarts of the stuff.

Note: you can buy little 4-packs of Good Belly, but that tasted medicinal to me. It's because there are vitamin supplements besides the probiotics and they're more concentrated in the small servings. The quart bottles are a larger serving size for the same amount of probiotics and vitamins, so the medicinal flavor is diluted enough that I didn't notice it any more.

And every morning, I drank some.

After I was halfway through the second quart, skeptical me decided that although my gut wasn't in hideously bad shape, the Good Belly was doing something, for sure. Like those ratty old shoes that I didn't notice were so ratty, my gut was probably also not quite what it was when it was younger, and things seemed to be working better, somehow.

A friend of mine told me that whenever someone in her family is taking antibiotics, she buys Good Belly. That makes a lot of sense. Antibiotics are supposed to kill off the bad bugs, but the good ones get killed as well, so it makes sense to help them re-populate.

I'm not so skeptical any more. I'm not saying this stuff is a miracle cure, but it's not the quackery I thought it might be. Whether my gut needs it all the time or not, we'll see. All I know is that between the coupons I keep seeing for it and the fact that it's on sale at Whole Foods ($2.99 vs. $4.99 at the chain grocer) quite often, it's not a terribly expensive experiment.

Oh, and the shoes? I bought a pair of Sketchers Shape-Ups. Because yanno, my legs are just as old as my gut. I figured that these shoes might do them some good, right?

Disclaimer: I was given coupons to buy Good Belly, but there was no obligation on my part to write about it at all. Then again, if you give anything to a blogger (or a blogger stumbles upon something shiny on the sidewalk) and there's a good chance the blogger will write about it eventually.