Thursday, March 31, 2011

Vegetables are what Food eats

I'm working with a nutritionist to revamp my diet. Today was day one. The rules are pretty simple. No sugar, no carbs, no dairy. As many vegetables, eggs, beans, chicken, fish, and Ezekiel bread I can manage. As a Texan I was raised with the belief that vegetables were fabulous . . . for feeding up the animals we would later barbecue. My mom always made the requisite side green, and often a meal had a side salad, or as an appetizer. But never the whole meal. Until now.

So today is Day 1. I headed to Whole Foods and loaded up on organic fixings. I piled up an enormous salad for lunch. Arugala, butter lettuce, carrots, green beans, clover sprouts, tomatoes, broccoli slaw, half a chicken breast. After the preschoolers swarmed I still ate enough to feed all of Watership Down. And afterwards it was as if I had eaten nothing at all. Arg!

Excuse me, waiter, there seems to be a rabbit in my salad
Pic from the Flickr stream of Carly Lesser & Art Drauglis

"You'll be hungry because you aren't filling up on empty calories," he said. "You can eat more salad, or a piece of fruit to mix things up."

So now I am envisioning a future where I'm splitting my time between washing and checking vegetables (for bugs) and grazing. Moo.

No more quick quesadillas or rice and beans for lunch. No oatmeal or cottage cheese for breakfast. No lattes, homemade or Starbucks. No snacking on cheese or grabbing a few pretzels. Can I do it? I'm not sure.

It reminds me of the first Pesach I tried to keep. My friend and I were aflame with the fervor only a newly minted Baal Teshuva (new returner to Judaism) can manage. We knew that we couldn't eat bread and grain products for the week. In the university dining service that left us with only the salad bar for nutrition. For three meals a day. After three days I called my rabbi and between bawling, sniffling, and tummy rumbling I announced that we were dying. It was unnatural to only eat salad 3 meals a day. I felt weak, hungry, and my fire was dimming with each leafy bite. I didn't know if I could continue. The rabbi and his wife came to the rescue within the hour with platters of chicken, potato kugel, and other real food. Our Pesach was saved, our flame simmered on.

But no one will be riding to my rescue now. I won't have religious conviction to keep me from cheating or quitting. I'm not sure if the monetary loss invested in the nutritionist & the specialty foods will be enough. Please G-d there will be some results. If I'm gonna be eating rabbit food, I'd better see a little more bounce in my step!

I'm working with a nutritionist to revamp my diet. Today was day one. The rules are pretty simple. No sugar, no carbs, no dairy. As many vegetables, eggs, beans, chicken, fish, and Ezekiel bread I can manage. As a Texan I was raised with the belief that vegetables were fabulous . . . for feeding up the animals we would later barbecue. My mom always made the requisite side green, and often a meal had a side salad, or as an appetizer. But never the whole meal. Until now.


So today is Day 1. I headed to Whole Foods and loaded up on organic fixings. I piled up an enormous salad for lunch. Arugala, butter lettuce, carrots, green beans, clover sprouts, tomatoes, broccoli slaw, half a chicken breast. After the preschoolers swarmed I still ate enough to feed all of Watership Down. And afterwards it was as if I had eaten nothing at all. Arg!

Excuse me, waiter, there seems to be a rabbit in my salad
Pic from the Flickr stream of Carly Lesser & Art Drauglis

"You'll be hungry because you aren't filling up on empty calories," he said. "You can eat more salad, or a piece of fruit to mix things up."

So now I am envisioning a future where I'm splitting my time between washing and checking vegetables (for bugs) and grazing. Moo.

No more quick quesadillas or rice and beans for lunch. No oatmeal or cottage cheese for breakfast. No lattes, homemade or Starbucks. No snacking on cheese or grabbing a few pretzels. Can I do it? I'm not sure.

It reminds me of the first Pesach I tried to keep. My friend and I were aflame with the fervor only a newly minted Baal Teshuva (new returner to Judaism) can manage. We knew that we couldn't eat bread and grain products for the week. In the university dining service that left us with only the salad bar for nutrition. For three meals a day. After three days I called my rabbi and between bawling, sniffling, and tummy rumbling I announced that we were dying. It was unnatural to only eat salad 3 meals a day. I felt weak, hungry, and my fire was dimming with each leafy bite. I didn't know if I could continue. The rabbi and his wife came to the rescue within the hour with platters of chicken, potato kugel, and other real food. Our Pesach was saved, our flame simmered on.

But no one will be riding to my rescue now. I won't have religious conviction to keep me from cheating or quitting. I'm not sure if the monetary loss invested in the nutritionist & the specialty foods will be enough. Please G-d there will be some results. If I'm gonna be eating rabbit food, I'd better see a little more bounce in my step!

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