Sunday, June 21, 2015

You Don't Know Me . . (a little rant)

It happened again last night. Ever since I first changed my diet five years ago in an effort to lengthen the able-bodied portion of my life, some strangers feel comfortable passing judgement . . . to my face. It took me over a year to become comfortable asking for food in restaurants that would fit my regimen. At first I was apologetic, not wanting to be any trouble, not wanting to call attention to myself as different. I always try to be reasonable when perusing a menu. I'm not going to select an item that needs a complete unconstruction and do-over. Instead, I choose an entree that's already mostly in line with what I need. I find that swapping a second vegetable for noodles is normally no problem for a kitchen. It's easy to leave the cheese off a salad. I'm really not causing a problem. So why do some folks feel the need to comment?

By folks, I mean servers. These are the people I hire at no small fee (plus 20% tip) to provide a special treat -- an evening out.  Once, when I was vegan and dining at a high-end steak house with a large group of friends, I ordered several vegetable sides for dinner. The server insisted I consider heavier fare and I explained I was vegan. He actually replied, "I have no idea why a vegan would come to a steak house for dinner,"

Another night, a server said, "I'm so sorry about your diet,"

Now that I'm working on a Wahls' Paleo (tm) approach, last night I simply ordered my salad without cheese, a nice piece of wild salmon without the butter sauce and a bowl of fresh berries for dessert, no cream on top. The server said, "That's the most boring food I've ever heard of," It was all delicious just the way I ordered it. By the way, my friend's creme brulee was sub-par: It was runny and watery so she didn't finish it.

What's going on? Are these guys trying to be funny? Why is it socially acceptable to say these things out loud? The only theory that makes sense to me is that there may be an assumption that I'm choosing a more careful meal only for vain reasons. Maybe they think I'm trying to stay thin. I certainly don't look anorexic. Maybe if I did they'd realize there's a health issue here and commenting would be inappropriate. My chronic illness, diagnosed 20 years ago now, is insidious in its unpredictability and occasional severity, but it is mostly invisible to those who don't know me well. It's my business, but do I have an obligation on behalf of a larger disabled community to "school" these mindless folks who I'll likely never see again? Perhaps just a, "Maybe you shouldn't judge what you don't understand,"

Has this happened to anyone else? How have you chosen to handle it? I look forward to hearing any ideas!

Friday, June 19, 2015

A Hearty Lunch

Beyond the fact that all components of this delicious meal were organic, this is self-explanatory. Don't miss the red onions, radicchio and minced garlic hiding underneath. I sprinkled a little kosher salt on top, added a drizzle of EVOO and a squeeze of lemon. Colorful foods represented here! Also, one WHOLE AVOCADO! I loved chowing on all that healthy fat -- there were no added carbs beyond those naturally occurring in the raw veggies, so the fat went straight to where it was needed: my brain! YUM. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

All In -- Eager for Results

Still striving for my 9 cups of fruits and veggies per day, I'm daunted by the challenge of including enough of the three types: Green, sulphur and brightly colored. The brightly colored ones are the most outside my personal comfort zone. I could eat greens, onions and mushrooms over and over again, but brightly colored foods aren't usually calling my name. So I eat a lot of blueberries!
These are photos of recent breakfasts I've enjoyed, halfway through their prep. The top one was a smoothie to which I'd also added a frozen banana and some coconut water, and the turnip was chopped and eaten with a liver pate I made out of last night's leftovers.

The weather has been too hot for grocery shopping, so I'm getting very, very creative with what I already have. With a little planning, this way of eating isn't hard to implement. I understand there will be several months before I begin to notice marked health improvements. I can't wait to see how I feel! The heat has me down a bit right now. It's amazing how it makes walking across pavement feel like walking through thick mud. On tough days like these its important not to lose perspective and to realize that this, too, shall pass.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Learning More . . .

After watching a video interview with Dr. Wahls recently, I decided to pick up The Wahls Protocol for a more careful look. Early enthusiasm sometimes gets the best of me and I tend to jump in before taking the time to formulate a plan, figuring I'll learn as I go. Well, it's been over a year now since I found out about Dr. Wahls and decided to end my four-year foray into a vegan lifestyle, and I realize I've only been dipping my toe into the Wahls Protocol (tm). Staying off dairy was always a no-brainer. Giving up gluten was a minor shift which seems to be working. Adding organic meats and seafood has been a pleasure which is paying dividends. But I've not given much thought to ketosis -- that's new. I think I'm going to try it!

I've recently returned from a week at the Outer Banks of North Carolina (a block away from the location of the first flight by the Wright Brothers). My parents-in law graciously hosted us. There is always plenty to eat and drink in their convivial company, but I worried I'd have to stray from my all-organic Wahls-ish standards. As such, I spent a lot of time at the Fresh Market and in the kitchen while I was at the beach. Back at home now, this was my breakfast today -- my husband's leftover grass-fed steak from last night along with some raw turnips, radishes and mustard, but variations of this plateful figured prominently in my beach meals. There's a lot I look forward to learning about ketosis and how it can affect my prognosis.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

My Kind of Burger!

Full disclosure: as I've endeavored to follow the Wahls' Protocol, I've found that fish is the easiest animal protein for my formerly-vegan system, so that's mostly the meat I'm eating. Even a very good steak is exhausting to digest (makes me tired and vaguely uncomfortable) but ground buffalo seems to work. Here's my idea of a burger:  chopped onion all through the patty, grilled expertly by my husband, along with some marinated veggies, a kale salad rubbed with lemon and oil and some lovely slices of homegrown tomato! Delish!