The food of love

I love food. I would go so far as to say, I’ve become a bit of a foodie. And I am an all or nothing person. It’s no good telling me to eat half the delicious meal in front of me. I’m going to savour every last morsel.

The cancer/corona journey has given me lots of food for thought. The end of the chemo tunnel is also becoming visible. Whether the dual journey will end simultaneously  is another question altogether. But the point I’m pussy footing around is this. Food options are becoming increasingly important for my future. I need to take a long, hard look at my western style diet. Has it served me well and is it going to serve me down the line? I  thought I ate healthily…enough anyway. But the more I research, the more I realise that my choices were often not that smart.

In the darkest hours it came to me. I need to be a vegetarian. I’ve been toying with this idea for a very long time. I’m quite hypocritical about my food anyway. In order to eat meat, I’ve divorced myself from the reality of it. And if it looks at all animal-like on my plate, I won’t eat it. Yet, my best dishes are meat based. I’m the lamb curry queen in my family – even if it’s sometimes too hot to swallow! Perhaps I could just cut down on meat and include more vegetarian meals. Twice a week would be helpful wouldn’t it? Milky tea for breakfast and after that green. I need to consider my little hunter’s needs too and yes he does still share my mug. Mostly dark chocolate squares after dinner and just the odd cheat, every now and then…

But here’s the thing. I find 90% harder to achieve than 100. As I said, I’m an all or nothing girl. So the decision is staring me in the face. As of this moment, (that is after my chicken sandwich which I’m sharing with Archie,) I am a vegetarian. I can see you shaking your head in disbelief. But it’s true. My body hasn’t let me down all the way through this long, dark tunnel. Now its time for me to give back. And deep down I know that what it needs most of all, is loads of vegetables and a little fruit. Do you really, really want to live, swam around in my head all night. And my answer is an unequivocal yes!

So I plan to include all the delicious fruit and veg I can think of. Smoothies, nuts and salads will take the place of crisps and biltong. Fresh fruit platters will reappear on my dessert menus. Pawpaw, pineapple and mango, granadillas, juicy oranges, not to mention quacamole, humus, black olive tapenade, fresh broccoli and cauli soup, artichoke hearts… what’s not to like?

There was a time when my passion was dancing and food was the fuel. I need to dig deep and unearth that person. She’s still in there somewhere. Sustenance can once again become the axis for the other prongs of my wheel.

…By the way, that 100th Birthday cake can still be a death by chocolate one. I’m not that inflexible.

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