Monday, October 4, 2010

Scratch that: What a GREAT day!

Well, well. Did I ever turn my frown upside down, so to speak. :)

My partner, C., has also been eating better overall (he loves having salads with meals, for instance), but is not following the same way of eating as I. Sometimes, the things that I want to eat (and can eat) are also things that he would like to eat, but not always. He's not so into vegetarian fare, for instance, and doesn't like to eat seafood as often as I do. So sometimes, I'll just go ahead and get some takeout for him if that's what he wants.

Today, he did get pizza and some hot wings. And I was totally OK with it.

Seriously! It was fine. I truly feel that despite some of the feelings I might have here and there are very real and palpable, I still feel that taking care of my health is way more important. I can't believe that I am saying it, but my health concerns are finally trumping my taste buds and cravings for the first time ever — and I didn't even have a "scare", except for worrying that I might develop diabetes. I finally seem to understand fully that it is up to me to make the choice to take care of my body, or not, and that if I don't, in ten years (maybe sooner!), I'll be in real trouble.

I don't want to be in real trouble if I can help it. Would you?

So while I enjoyed the smell of the food my partner ate, and even looking at that gorgeous pizza, I went on to make a delicious stew for myself from the recipe in Moosewood's Cooking for Health: Mushroom, Peanut, Tofu Stew with Greens. It was one of those recipes that had a bunch of stuff in it that I like, but it also sounded a little funky (read: hippie) for my tastes. The peanut butter and cilantro clinched it for me, though, so I gave it a try. Turns out that it is really, really good! Of course I felt the need to add a diced Island Hellfire chile, as well a healthy dose of Marie Sharp's hot habanero sauce. Yep, I like my food spicy. :) I also made myself a lovely little salad made of mixed greens, cucumber, home grown tomato, sweet pepper sticks, scallions, green olives, and the secret ingredients: sticks of just underripe pear (perfect crunch and slight sweetness in a salad!) and feta cheese. Topped with the usual extra virgin olive oil and balsamic, of course. So tasty.

For dessert, I had a delicious Empire apple, cut in quarters and each piece spread with either peanut butter or (even better, I now know) crunchy almond butter! Holy cow, the latter is delectable indeed. I'd never had it before and bought some on sale at the local gourmet foods shop where we often buy the microbrews we love so much. It's organic, too, which is great; I'm still eating Peter Pan peanut butter, I am sorry to say. In the future, I'll likely get organic, natural PB for myself, too. What a discovery!

One thing I'm realizing is that whenever I cook for myself now, it's a really pleasurable thing. It's a kind of meditation for me — I wonder if I can make it a more formal meditation at that, now that I am really thinking about it? So many times when I've cooked in the past, I've felt anxious or tired, or resentful about having to cook, etc. A lot of negativity surrounded the activity. How wonderful it is to look at it from a different perspective — one of taking care of myself and nourishing my body. What a gift to be able to do that, isn't it? It makes me realize how much I have to be thankful for.

I'm also enjoying making a conscious effort not to waste food. How many times have I (have you?) purchased fresh fruits and vegetables with the best intentions, only to find them rotting in the crisper drawer a week or two (or more) later? Since I've been eating in this new way, I'm also paying better attention to what I have immediately available to me and finding ways to use what's there before heading out to the store again. A very old zine and online pal of mine, Jeannette Ordas, wrote adeptly about this very topic for ReadyMade Online recently.

Finally, I would like to declare how frickin' awesome it is to not weigh myself every day, or even every week. Even though I know that everyone's different, and what works for one person won't necessarily work for another, I'd truly like to recommend to folks starting out on a new regimen to avoid the scale at all costs.

I know, I know! This is exactly the opposite of what I have in the past — that when you're trying to lose weight, weighing every day and logging the number as part of a set of data where you can track the "trend" is totally awesome (see Physics Diet). But dude, I've never tried this before. I have never not weighed before while changing my eating habits. In the past, it's always been about the number on the scale. But now? I know that I am probably losing weight still, but the focus instead is on the very important thing right now: Developing a new way of eating that is more healthy overall, not to mention sustainable. I think that is why my doctor told me not to weigh, not to look at myself critically, not to think about my weight if I could manage it. Because that is just not the point. I don't think so, anyway. I guess I really won't know until I see doc again in November.

Go figure. I have to remember that if I am having a hard morning, it doesn't mean that the whole day is doomed. It just means that I need to refocus and keep the big goals in mind.

And in my heart.


  1. Hi Amy! I'm still with you!

    I really want to buy that moosewood cookbook, it looks so good!

    Also, I don't weigh myself either (though mostly because every time I buy a scale I end up returning it because I'm CONVINCED it's not accurate enough, hahaha). Though one scale I do love is my food scale....I weigh almost everything! I found it helped with portion sizes immensely...especially that delectable almond butter :)

  2. I know how you feel. My husband likes so few things... no meat on a bone, no chicken, no seafood (except tuna from a can or salmon). It would be so much easier if he did like some of the things I liked.