LA has really militant vegans. It’s weird, because I spent my adult life in Berkeley by choice, and here are these transplant Angelenos wheat pasting small businesses with “VEGANISM IS MAGIC.”
In the words of Maura “Mappa” Pfefferman (brilliantly performed by Jeffrey “Pop Pop” Tambor in Season 2 of Transparent),
“It’s always wise to steer clear of people who are overly attached to dogma.”
That’s precisely what I felt when I initially saw the vegan stencils on the ground when I first moved down to LA, when I decided I want to be ridiculous and try out an “acai bowl” – AKA: grey purple smoothie parfait. As I was killing time waiting for my grey purple smoothie parfait, I perused the piles of products lining their wooden shelves, and all but picked myself up and walked the fuck out when I saw – $20 oil for oil pulling.
I just about had a cow. I refuse to dignify this oil pulling oil’s purveyors uncanny business savvy in charging tromp dollars on what is meant to be a very simple and inexpensive practice for preventive health.
People keep telling me how you gotta act positive and nice with the start of a new year, so instead of ripping apart the preposterousness of charging $20 for oil and the gullibility of self-righteous consumers ready to dish out twenty dollars on a whim, I am instead going to extoll the virtues of oil pulling (because it is, really, truly awesome).
Listen, a lot of actually qualified people have sung the praises of oil pulling. I didn’t learn about it until two years ago. I brought it up to a group of friends with a “WTF” reaction, and they pointed me to Afrobella’s blog post, which is a great overview to start from with excellent further reading.
I’m not a “qualified people,” so I’m just quickly going to list the bullet points that make me pour out that oil every morning:
- Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic practice
- I swish sunflower oil for about fifteen minutes every morning
- (as much as you’d gargle mouthwash)
- Confining my oil pulling to while I’m in the shower helped train me to keep up the duration
- It does not cost twenty dollars to get a good oil pulling practice going
Y I OIL
- My teeth are whiter
- As long as I’ve been pulling, I haven’t gotten sick – no “office flus,” no colds from seasonal shifts
- If there is any trace of phlegm in my throat, the mere act of swishing up a vacuum will sweep it up! (It’s quite satisfying. I’d even call it a simple pleasure.)
- My husband finds it funny when I can’t talk in the morning
If it’s a placebo it’s cheap. If it helps me avoid other people’s contagions, I’m all for it. If it’s the reason the average two-week cold cut down to four days, I’m gonna keep on doing it.
So let that be the end of my preachy proselytizing on pulling. (I believe) it works! May you try it with sunflower oil, coconut oil, or whatever the latest (safe) trend is. And may you not be swindled by hipster packaging nor intimidated by aggressive graffiti.
*I did get one head cold last year because I was running around the Midwest in January and wasn’t pulling. This past December I caught a cold after traveling and hosting a recovering friend. I just got caught up and didn’t pull regularly over the holidays.