Feed Time

My pups eat the same thing every day...every single day. Think about that. They might get a carrot, or some sunflower seeds, or something someone sneaks or drops for them, but breakfast and dinner, it's chicken Kiev or some such organically produced specialty store shit that isn't made from stuff no one wants to know about. Every day they eat it and they don't look at their bowl with "this again" looks of resignation...they dive on in. It is this constant, this selection-less regularity that insists we try to provide them with GOOD food.

We, on the other hand, have choice in food- a plethora of options that make many of us unable to control the quantity or type of food we put into our bodies. So many choices.

I am four days into cleansing the internal portions of my body in hopes to "flush out" all of the poor choices I've recently made. It takes time, it takes effort, and it takes commitment; but I actually like doing cleanses. I've worked through some kind of cleanse, at some point in the year, each year for like ten years, and I always feel better afterward. Stronger. Healthier. Ready to accomplish anything. My goal this time is to essentially re-program or re-establish my taste buds so that I may have a more desirable palate for enjoying good-for-me foods. After a cleanse, good-for-me foods simply taste better and while I look forward to that frame of mind, right now I'm kind of limited in my food consumption and therefore food, in so many different forms and varieties, has not left my mind. I've already planned out healthy meals and snacks for next week and beyond. I kind of can't help it, because what else am I going to do?

Plus, the healthy me is battling with the little fucker inside me who wants only the worst for me...the one who wants me to skip the gym, the one who wants me to sit on the couch with an entire season of some show on Netflix, the very same jerk who wants me to just settle in with 50 chocolate chip cookies from Safeway's bakery that they refuse to sell at it's "regular" price of $7.99 and instead sells for five bucks per container. I'm sorry but one dollar for ten soft, chewy, chocolaty cookies is a deal I have a very hard time saying no to...even when I don't want them, and even if they are not on the list. A few weeks back on Reddit there was a great post, The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances. In this cartoon/article they nicknamed their manipulative conniving little fucker as "the Blerch". I like that. It's an appropriate name for the portion of our minds that really just want to play games with our mental well being.

And so, even while I'm trying to love my body by taking care of it-- my "blerch" is reminding me just how much I love food...so many kinds of food. It's reminding me how I love looking up new recipes and testing out new ideas and then modifying them to fit my own criteria. Reminding me how I love cooking for other adventurous eaters when it comes down to what is "healthy" and not just loaded down with a bunch of shit to make it taste "good". How I also like eating the crap that isn't meant to be good-for-you.

Mostly, my "blerch" reminds me how I love eating...the entire experience (except the cleaning portion). I love meals with friends that last for hours and are served course by course. I have a special comforty place in my heart for eating foods all mashed together; I find foods like casseroles and pot pies with their colors and flavors and textures joined together as one, especially delightful, and then when the ingredients are somewhat disconnected I try as hard as I possibly can to get all the pieces on the same forkful or at least in the same mouthful. I love it all.

And so, when I'm in the midst of a cleanse, and food is basically all I think about...I answer lifelong philosophical questions like, "If you could eat one thing for the rest of your life..." and "What food would you want with you if stranded on an island?" My choices are easy and are not based on nutritional gains or health or overall survival: fried chicken, ice cream, and peanut butter top my list. Easy list for me to create, hard to digest. It's not like I eat these favorites daily, weekly, or even monthly but I can't imagine not having them as an option either.

For example, I really love fried chicken. If I am seriously hurting from a hangover, it is my #1 choice...served with a little Jasmine rice or jojo's on the side, I can't find a better option. (Macaroni and cheese is my second hangover selection, but rarely in combination with the fried chicken. Even in a mangled state of alcohol infused discomfort, I know that's just taking poor choices too far.) Safeway fried chicken suits that specific need for me, BUT could you imagine eating that every day, for every meal? I mean, don't get me wrong, it sounds good for like one whole day, and it especially sounds good right at this moment; but for days at time an eight piece dark just sounds oily and fatty and pathetic.

My other choices aren't much better when I think about it. I kind of have to cancel out peanut butter right from the get go. Maybe a spoonful once or twice a day...but for regular meals? Not possible. I mean if I was on a deserted island how would I wash that peanut butter down. It's just not realistic. Ice cream isn't any better. For all meals? Months at a time? I couldn't do it. I once "worked" at a family friend's ice cream store for a few weeks in exchange for a place to stay super close to the southern beaches of North Carolina. The owners insisted we eat whatever we wanted.

Well, I would have hated to offend them so...that first day, I made the hugest sundae I have ever had with close to every topping the shop had available. The next day I did the same, but made it a little smaller. The day after, I had a few samples here and there. But the rest of the weeks, I could hardly stand the sweet, sweet, way too sweet, stench of ice cream shop without wanting to throw up. Who knew? Probably anyone else who ever worked at a Dairy Queen, Friendly's, or some other sweet shop.

Anyway, amid this mess of internal dialogue is my point which when condensed is, I think about food all the time. I think about meals all the time. I think about the finished product so completely, I salivate. And this isn't just when I'm doing a cleanse. Seriously, how normal is this? Sometimes I wish I could afford a private chef with whom I can design meals with ingredients predetermined so that I can avoid certain temptations. In this scenario, my only job is to eat, and I'm pretty sure I've detailed out my capabilities in this area.

Sincerely,
I love food

PS...the people who are "sharing" food recipes in order to "save" them for later on facebook are killing me right now. Unless you're going to make that shit tonight, stop the torture.

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