Sunday, April 19, 2009

Feeding the Body

Golly, it's hard to know if one is being clear when writing about immaterial things, like nonexistence. Was I clear in my last post ("Being and Nothingness") that the awareness of impermanence I took away from undergoing general anesthesia was encouraging?
It was. (I mean, after the nausea passed.)
It's like I now possess a Cosmic Hallway Pass, good forever, to wander freely, hanging out in the stairwells of reality, smoking in the bathroom of existence.

But all this metaphysical stuff is not the only change I've been pondering.
Somewhat unusually for me, I've also been pondering the physical.
Like, maybe even with my Cosmic Pass, I should stop skipping gym class...

See, I've been feeling a little sad that I burdened my internal organs with so much Ben & Jerry's "Stephen Colbert's AmeriCone Dream" ice-cream this spring. Turns out cholesterol is one of the things the gallbladder deals with.

Thanks to my island-dwelling ancestors who ate rocks (Sicilians and Scots, both), I am generally healthy as a mule, and I've rarely considered the connection between my actions and my organs. As a child of the Sixties, when America discovered yogurt, and as a former cook at a whole-foodsy restaurant, I know a lot about the theory of healthy eating. I just haven't bothered much with its application.

Now, however, though it's too late for my gallbladder, I've decided I'd like to change my relationship with food.
I firmly believe there is nothing more boring than reading about people's food plans, unless its listening to people talk about their furniture, so I won't go on and on about this. Anyway, you all know this stuff too. But I came across a list on the Mayo Clinic site of the Top 10 Healthy Foods and they're mostly stuff I love, so I thought I'd post it. It did not include dark chocolate, like in the photo above (not Mayo's); but I don't like chocolate much anyway. It did include:

broccoli (I far prefer kale)
red (including kidney) beans
sweet potatoes (skip the marshmallows)
vegetable juice (doesn't count if you add vodka)
wheat germ (whatever...)

And I'm putting together my own secondary list:

coffee (I'm gonna die anyway. It stays.)
a glass of red wine (sweartogod, counts as Health Food: Mayo says so!)
olive oil (the food of my father's people!)
garlic ("as good as ten mothers")
crusty bread, sprinkled with sesame seeds
stinky cheese
steel-cut oats (the food of my mother's people!)
maple syrup
oranges (smell like Christmas), lemons, limes
warm spices (my favorites!), such as ginger, turmeric, ground black pepper, red pepper, cumin, coriander, cardamom
white rice (I know, I know! But aesthetics require something white to highlight the beauty of all the colorful foods)

And a special slot for a rotating indulgence. (Stephen Colbert's AmeriCone Dream ice-cream is barred for life.) This month's entry:
lemon chiffon pie with a gingersnap crust

I haven't actually made this yet, but I fully intend to. Though maybe not with this hi-falutin' recipe I linked to. Sea salt? Get real. Salt from the ground was good enuf fer my Missouri relatives, who subsisted entirely on pie and lived until they were 86 without benefit of health care (those that made it past five, that is--all those rows of babies' graves'll break your heart, no lie) and it's good enuf fer me.

OK. So, invite me for dinner and feed me, eh?


Bianca Castafiore said...

As I am fighting high blood sugars with BORING food, you don't wanna come here to repast -- although I've a notion Fred (a fine chef) would love to whip up some of the food of your father's people. We could keep you warm and comforted, though, for sure, and entertained.

Okay... so I need an up-to-the-minute report on how you are.

So do 10 words on that.

Smooches Galore
from the Gang at Marlinspike Hall

fresca said...

I just want some of that cheesecake Fred hid!
Oh, wait, that's not on my list.
I would settle for jello and a cat on my lap at Marlinspike.

You are kind to ask for an update--I have posted a ten-word reply in its own post. Honestly, I feel well but tender and easily tired, and angry dreams every night since surgery show me my body is hurt inside.
Loving words help.

momo said...

Well, I am soaking some black beans and tomorrow I will be making soup. If it turns out good, I'll bring you some.

Annika said...

Oh oh oh! I love to hear other people's food plans, actually, especially when they're this sensible and pleasant!

I have no idea what to do with wheat germ except put it in the dough of homemade bread, but broccoli is insanely tasty when tenderly woked (it shouldn't be browned, just soften slightly but still be al dente) with ginger and garlic, then sprinkled with light soy sauce of the Japanese kind, the one you get with sushi. And kidney beans form the basis of my vegetarian chili that has on numerous occasions proven an effective tool for proselytizing among meat-hugging bean-sceptics. Mmm, and you can bake sweet potato in the oven, like scalloped potatoes, with vegan cream (based on soy or oats, cholesterol free!) and ginger and eat green-lentil-and-peanut patties with it. I hereby invite you to dinner, and I wish I could feed you as well! (I'll send you the recipes as a poor subsitute, if you want them.)

Red wine is lotion for your arteries. I've heard from a cardiologist that when homeless alcoholics come into hospital, they may have cancer and cirrosis and hardly any teeth, but their blood vessels are absolutely pristine.

fresca said...

Black bean soup is a favorite, Momo...

Annika: In fact, I too like to hear people's food plans, if they're like your comment. I really meant that [American] women talk soooooo much about their weight-loss diets, I want to scream! At them.
Yes, I would LOVE to have the recipes you mention, and others that occur to you.

That is sad and funny at the same time about the pristine alcoholic arteries.

Darwi said...

If you plan to change your diet, be firm first 3 weeks. Then it will come easy. I changed the diet for the health reasons too years ago, and now I'm loving it, simply because organic grown food and whole-grain things are more tasty than ones full of chemicals. Now I even found a celebrity chef (Jamie Oliver) who follows these same principles, keeping the food healthy, and so yummy in the simple ways.
So even now I'm spending extra to buy organic veggies and meat, and the fact that I'm using the high quality ingredients in my meals mean that I'm soo used to the good food that I do not even fell any wish to try some fast food, or junk food. It's not tasty anymore, when I bite into it I can taste excess salt, fat and sugar. And I do not like that.
So just go ahead. And as the bonus, you'll shed some weight too.