Tuesday, November 24, 2009

"A grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people."

So said the 18th Century English in disparaging comments about porridge (And the Scots).

Porridge. Oatmeal. Stirabout. Brose. Gruel. It is all essentially the same thing - boiled oats.

It has been known as peasant food, and it was a daily staple for prisoners in the U.K., but it is a tremendously healthy food in lowering cholesterol!

I eat it virtually ever day with raisins. I get it at the company cafe and it is inconsistent - sometimes rather mediocre in taste, but good enough to eat - so I am eager to find a great new recipe!

My addiction to oatmeal in the morning, and the vegan wrap in the afternoon is short on variety, but very satisfying.

Yesterday afternoon I was dragging - really tired, and had no energy. Have no idea why. Feel lighter, but tired. Will concentrate more on what I am eating and exercising, and sleep patterns to determine the reasons behind my recent listlessness.

Last night I had a work event in the Forbes wine cellar. It is a spectacular place with wines dating back to 1860's, and ornate, silver, Stag-decorated mugs with the biggest names in industry and politics etched into them. Tasting wine is no big deal, right? There would be an imperceptible change in my diet, and no alcoholic buzz simply by sipping a flight of delicious red wines, in this case from Spain. But, you know, I made a determination that I would introduce alcohol back into my diet on my own terms. This wine tasting, as tantalizing as it was, was not on my terms. I rewarded my my sense of smell, but that is where it ended. Again, these little situations where I choose not to imbibe only strengthen my resolve. If I make a grand gesture in saying "no" to slugging down 15 beers watching college football, why not sip less than a fluid ounce of nice wine? Why? Because it is so easy to say yes. Tempering my urges, even when it would not jeopardize my diet, weight loss, or stated policy to not booze it up, is that little extra exercise to make me stronger in the end.

Currently, I feel like I am just following the rules. I am losing weight, and I am feeling better and that is great. But, I am just following the rules, and there is no guarantee that if tomorrow I woke up at my goal weight of 225 lbs I would not immediately dive into a dinosaur-size steak and bottle of Lagavulin. Through each sacrifice, large and small, my goal is to get to a place where I am not merely following the rules (eating vegan, eating healthfully, exercising, and staying away from empty calories in alcohol), but changing my lifestyle where my desire is to lead a healthier life because I enjoy it, rather than because I 'have to.'

Went Old School hippie-dippy vegan last night for dinner. A friend and I went to Angelica Kitchen, a vegan restaurant that opened in 1976! I must say, that although my meal was fine, and filling, had I been introduced to veganism first in Angelica Kitchen I would be currently nursing a hangover, still tipping in at three bills, and heading over to my favorite Chinese for pork and crab meat soup dumplings, and General Tso's chicken.

Angelica Kitchen was packed, and obviously they do a great job, but I ordered their traditional "Dragon Bowl" which consisted of rice, beans, tofu, sea vegetables, and steamed vegetables. It was bland. It was a stereotypical vegan feast that left nothing to the imagination the way Candle 79, and Blossom prepared their meals.

I have gathered up some recipes for Thanksgiving. But as I stand here in the crows nest with my pea coat and binoculars, I am still nervous. I love the American tradition of Thanksgiving and the whole theatre of the meal. However, I must say I did break that tradition for the first time last year when I spent Thanksgiving in the Red Lion on Duke of York St. with well-dressed but rowdy Brits eating finger sandwiches that we stole from the office party we crashed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Since my Mother is fresh "aff the boot" from Scotland. Oatmeal is a staple in my life. Since you cannot do it swiss style with yogurt....Try it with walnuts. You can cook steel cut oats overnight in a small crock pot. Check your iron intake...could be the reason for your feeling tired. Make a big pot of vegan chili with nice red kidney beans, and keep it in the fridge for a quick snack. You are truly doing awesome, I am so proud of you! For the record, I would have totally drank the wine, I have been known as a bad influence.

regards, Mo