Where do we go from here?

Monday, December 06, 2010

Maybe Life Will Go On After All

Oh my, it's over a month since I have posted here, and then it was just a little recipe for Oatmeal Cake. It's been a difficult five weeks since posting that recipe, although it is somewhat embarrassing to admit that the difficulty has been adjusting to a diet that is so foreign to my nature.  Embarrassing, but true, that I have spent these weeks in utter misery over missing the foods that I have eaten and loved all my life.  Eaten, loved, gained large amounts of weight on (gained, lost, gained, lost - the same old story everyone knows all too well), packed my arteries with cholesterol, raised my blood pressure, reached pre-diabetic status, yes, and so on and so forth. Anyone who has read my post The REAL Change of Life, knows what I am talking about in terms of this new diet. It's interesting to me that some of my friends seem to have interpreted what we are doing as Vegetarian - when in fact it is so much more radical than that. Being Vegetarian, which we were for some years, seems like distant dream to us now.  Even just being Vegan would be a piece of cake (oh those food metaphors, they are everywhere, aren't they?) at this point. My main reading in the past weeks has been Vegan cookbooks and websites, looking for recipes that would make life and eating more enjoyable.  But so many of the recipes I find contain oil as a major ingredient, (and oils are off our list) that I haven't found too much to add to my meager repertoire.

But - I've been inventing my own recipes, adjusting other people's recipes to make them possible on our plan, eating far less ( and here I have to cite a post by our guru Dr. Fuhrman about hunger, what it is, how we experience it, how it changes on his diet plan: Redefining Hunger.), feeling much better physically, losing weight, and constantly bitching and whining about it all.  Last night after supper I suddenly realized that all three meals we had had yesterday, all cooked and eaten at home, had been delicious and enjoyable.  It was a huge revelation.  Yesterday's meals were: for breakfast, oatmeal with warm mixed berries, lunch: pinto beans and rice on corn tortillas, with green chile salsa, the obligatory big green salad (to be known hereafter as the BGS), tangerines as dessert,  and for dinner: the BGS and roasted vegetables (fingerling potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, red, green and yellow peppers, onions, garlic, butternut squash), apple slices and Barbara's raspberry newtons for dessert. My feelings about yesterday's meals were a huge revelation - maybe we CAN continue with this program, and maybe we can, especially Gail, be healthier than we have been in many years. And, btw, the discovery of Barbara's newtons, several kinds, has been a godsend.

One of the biggest problems with such a radical approach to eating is that food/eating is one of humanity's biggest social constructs. Almost every social occasion we can imagine revolves in some way around food, its preparation and consumption.  Even our neighborhood book club has turned into a showcase for our members' gourmet cooking.  Which I enjoyed and participated in while I was eating like an ordinary person, but now we are contemplating dropping out of book club altogether. And as I moaned on Facebook, starting such a program coming into the Major Food Holidays was a crazy move.  We couldn't imagine what to do about Thanksgiving, didn't travel to any of our family celebrations, nor accept any local invitations.  We did survive the holiday, thanks to great food resources here in this city.  With mushroom/walnut loaf and Southwestern cornbread dressing from La Montanita, creamed spinach and mushroom/sage gravy, half a berry explosion pie from Whole Foods, and our own BGS, all of it vegan (Gail didn't eat the pie crust, but I must admit that I did. I am not a saint, by anyone's definition.), although we couldn't know how much oil and/or salt was in any of it - we made a holiday compromise.  The food was all entirely delicious, the lack of animal products not a hardship at all. We'll be going to Denver to visit Gail's kids soon, and travel, like social occasions, is another difficult task.  We'll take what we can with us for road food, shop at Whole Foods when we get there, and relax a little while we're eating with the boys and their families.  Gail is having her cholesterol checked tomorrow, so she feels a little stepping out of the box will be okay.  A little.  A very little.


Remembering Grace said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this post, but now I find myself very hungry. You made all those disgustingly healthy foods sound so delicious! :)

marigolds2 said...

How nice to see you again!!! I don't think I've heard from you since we were all on AOL Journals!! I'm glad to hear from you, and find your blog as well.

Neil said...

Is this the same diet Bill Clinton has been on? He talked about it a couple of weeks ago, and I almost gave it a try. I don't have enough motivation. Not nearly enough.

Have a great trip to Denver!


marigolds2 said...

Yes, Neil, it is the same diet. Please don't wait until you have a heart attack to get the needed motivation. For us the motivation was Gail's angina, indicating coronary artery disease. Don't wait for that either. You're in the exact danger demographic for all of this.

Neil said...

Yes, I know. My cholesterol is good, but it is time to shed some weight, get more exercise, and take better care.