Hi. My name is Vanessa.
I am called Oystergirl because I love real, fresh, simple, local, nutrient-dense food that includes but is not limited to oysters.
My love for real, simple, nutrient-dense food extends into a love for real, simple, nutrient-dense living.
I was born and bred in Rhode Island, got (most of) the wanderlust out of my system in my 20s, moved back to Rhode Island, and have just moved to Western Mass in search of a more ideal home.
So I guess the wanderlust isn’t gone after all.
I’m a single parent, raising a son. He’s not crazy about oysters (it’s an texture thing; I understand), but he does love fermented ginger carrots.
I’ve come across a lot of things on my travels: new ways to think about food, home, politics, living life itself—and new ways to engage in the acts of eating, living, politicking. Over the years, a lot of these things began to overlap with each other.
And a whole lot of them ended up being about trying to be healthy and happy in ways that may go against the grain of our culture’s conventional wisdom, but that are actually more in harmony with ourselves, with others, with the rest of the earth.
The movement with which I identify the most, the lens through which I critique conventional wisdom, is the ancestral or paleo community.
Paleo—or some interpretation of paleo—has become a bit trendy lately, so I’d like to explain what I mean by I use that term, so we’re on the same page.
The idea, essentially, is to eat real food and live a life that treats your body well. How do we do that? Look at what humanoids thrived on for the millions of years our recorded history ignores, and continue to thrive on in non-industrialized areas. Be critical of modern food science and processed foods with adamant health claims. Learn how you can do right by your body and the earth, and not just one or the other as though they are mutually exclusive.
Read more about what paleo means to me.
“We were not born critical of existing society. There was a moment in our lives (or a month, or a year) when certain facts appeared before us, startled us, and then caused us to question beliefs that were strongly fixed in our consciousness—embedded there by years of family prejudices, orthodox schooling, imbibing of newspapers, radio, and television.”
“I want to clarify something: I do not question Conventional Wisdom because I fancy myself a contrarian for contrariness’ sake. I do it because there’s a lot of disinformation out there, horribly misguided or just blatantly false nutritional info that’s all the more dangerous simply because it has been deemed Conventional Wisdom by the omniscient ‘they’—who ‘they’ are, it’s often difficult to know; just know that ‘they’ know what they’re talking about (or so they say).”
“I don’t care if people call me a radical, a rebel, a red, a revolutionary, an outsider, an outlaw, a Bolshevik, an anarchist, a nihilist, or even a left conservative, but please don’t ever call me a liberal.”
I have a BA in Theater from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio and have done lots of different artsy things (which you can learn about here). By trade, I’m a web and graphic designer, organizer and promoter (which you can learn about here; I am occasionally for hire!).
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