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Friday, April 30, 2010

Food fights back

Or something like that. Perhaps it’s the body that fights back, or so it has seemed lately.

Food used to be one of my best friends, but not anymore. It’s not by chance that I have been writing this blog which is about food and family and friends. The premise of so much of food writing from Elizabeth David to MFK Fisher to Julia Child is that food is inextricably linked to us, to our families and relationships and lives. so it’s hard to remove myself. I like food as much as I ever did, but it seems to not like me so much. Various foods cause reactions that I don’t recall having had in the past. This could be a product of my brain aneurism, and resulting chemical changes, or as simple as a natural consequence of getting older. Whatever, something is different.

For most of my life, I could eat a really varied diet of stuff, sweets, fried stuff etc. I’ve not been a junk food addict since I passed puberty but I know that a lot of the stuff I could indulge in wasn't necessarily the healthiest.
Steve remembers one time when we were dating and I suggested going to a patio café I loved. At that point he did not know me well enough to see me as the healthy-eater I would later become, so had no preconceived ideas of what I might order. Still he admits to being taken aback when I ordered what we now refer to as "all that fried stuff". this spread was comprised of zucchini, mozzarella, chicken bits, and mushrooms all battered and deep-fried and served with complementary sauces/dips like ranch dressing for the zucchini, for example. So not exactly healthy eating. it was a one-time thing; not making a daily habit of it, is what made it so special and appealing. Anyway, I don’t recall that I had any reactions to all the fried stuff than.

Nowadays though,just to complicate things further, after leaving the hospital from my aneurism last year, I started having strange pains in my right side and back. Making a long story short, it turned out to be gallstones and gall bladder issues which resulted in a recent laparoscopic cholecystectomy which is a surgery to remove the gall bladder. The gallbladder is, as you might know, directly related to digestion. So messing with that is bound to directly influence food and food choices. That was a few weeks ago and I am now going through the adjustment period. Or maybe it’s just the way things are now. This could be my new reality.
So here is the question. What can I eat and what can’t I eat and still feel okay and not be offensive around others? The only real information I received about diet is to avoid or limit fats, oils and sweets. Recommended are whole grain bread, cereal, rice and whole grain pasta as well as dark green vegetables and lean meat, poultry and fish. In other words, what is generally considered a healthy diet. But, right now it is all a grand experiment. I have noted that ½ and ½ in my (decaf) coffee causes me some distress so it was one of the first things to go. I discovered my coffee shop has non-fat milk too! Who knows, I may try soy milk next. I guess no one changes unless they have to. What I kinda resent is that for the most part this is how I normally have eaten for the last few years. I figured that if I ate so healthy most of the time I was owed a few treats from time to time. These would consist of the occasional glass of wine (or two), one or two decadent desserts in a week. Tiramisu probably doesn’t qualify as healthy by the stretch of anyone’s imagination but once a month or so, how bad can it be? I guess that is what I will find out in this continuing adventure that is life. So, dear ones, no new recipes for delectable stuff this time. at least not yet. stay tuned.
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