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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Day 20, Saturday: In Which I Don't Give a Rat's Ass What Gandhi Thinks

Breakfast: Half a TB and chard
Lunch 1: Two slices ham and some pickles
Lunch 2: Five slices of bacon
Dinner: Cured meats. Olives. A couple of bite-sized morsels of brie. Beef tenderloin from the grill, grilled eggplant, asparagus, zucchini, and salad. It was so, so good!

I woke up from the previous night's excesses with some EXTREMELY unfortunate digestive sequelae, such as I have not had in many a year. Ever been knifed in the gut? Felt like that, and you know what that is--GAS. I seriously think it was the corn chips, but everyone I've talked to says it was the tequila. So I spent a lot of the day managing feeling horrible and trying to eat stuff that wouldn't intensify the damage. Let's go over how well I did. As you can see, I kept my meals pretty small because I was so WRECKED from the previous evening.

The TB and chard: excellent choice, as usual. It went down well, it got some things moving. But it couldn't undo the damage. My morning routine was totally off. ("Morning routine" is a euphemism. Can you guess for what?) I felt so sorry for my yoga students because I arrived late and looked green.

My lunch choices created, for me, an important realization. It was helped by a comment from my friend Melanie about how there are different ways to do a low carb diet, and that "it's probably not a good idea to just eat bacon." (Note: technically, Paleo is different from low-carb.) Now, Gary Taubes says that research shows that lots of people CAN lose weight on just bacon and not really suffer any ill effects. So I argued with Melanie a little about it. However, I can definitely say after this day that TOO MUCH CURED MEAT is a problem for me. You were right Melanie!

My holy grail in my food investigation is this: how do I feel? I don't care if Gandhi says that a certain diet is good, if it doesn't make me feel good I don't care. Gandhi did many wonderful things, but as a vegetarian he would probably disapprove of my diet, and I don't give a rat's ass. (Another note: India tends toward being slim, but they have terrible problems with diabetes and heart disease from all the rice.) There's a great, probably apocryphal story about Gandhi and sugar. A mother comes to see him and says, "my son eats too much sugar. It's ruining his health. Please tell him to stop". Gandhi says, "Come back in three days." Mom comes back in three days with the son and Gandhi says, "Hey. Stop eating sugar." Mom says, "Why did we have to wait three days to hear that?" and Gandhi says, "Because I hadn't yet given it up myself." Which, I guess, gives me carte blanche to tell you: HEY. STOP EATING SUGAR! And also give me carte blanche to say: HEY. I AVOIDED SUGAR SEVEN TIMES LONGER THAN GANDHI! T-shirt, perhaps?

So lunch was ham and pickles at like 1:00, then some bacon at like 3:00. It was salty and fatty, and I thought it might get things moving, but what ended up happening was that it dried me out. And I think that's the main problem for me with cured meats, and even with pickled things--I get very dehydrated from them. The cured meat situation continued through the dinner we had on this day.

We were very kindly invited over for dinner with our friends Ellen and Jonathan and their family. Ellen puts out a crazy spread of hors d'oeuvres when we come over for two reasons: 1. she is a good Italian girl from Staten Island and 2. we have been friends for years and she knows we like to (over) eat. The term "dessert sausage" was coined at their house a few years ago when Chris concluded a five course meal by polishing off the rest of a log of sopressata. As usual, the chow was fantastic. The olives were the best I ever had. They were kelly green and not too heavily brined, which is unusual for olives. Two types of cheese--brie and a hard cheese. I only had one. Three types of cured meat--prosciutto, salami, and sopressata. Two types of crackers which I avoided.

While enjoying this epic feast, I noticed that all the cured meat I'd had on this day was making me feel slightly ill. Fortunately, we rapidly moved on to the entree, which was grilled rather than cured. We had a beef tenderloin and a host of grilled veggies, including the tastiest eggplant I have EVER had. Ellen is a good cook and when I asked her, "OMG how did you prepare this eggplant?" She just said, "I just put it in the metal tray and cooked it on the grill!" It was sublime, and tasted very STARCHY without BEING starchy. I am always looking for foods like that. Squash, for example. If you're a carb addict trying to go Paleo or do Sugar Detox, it really helps to have a few luxurious substitutions in play.

Last day tomorrow!!

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