Sunday, April 29, 2012

Gluttony of Delicacy

I'm ever so slightly worried that my new health-kick is bound to deteriorate into what Thomas called the "gluttony of delicacy". You see it all the time with the lefties, and nowadays, in some fashionable Christian back-to-the-land types. "Whole foods," locally grown, organic, pesticide-free, free range, grass-fed, wild-caught, seasonal, slow food, etc. I've written about this food-worship that is common among liberals/lefties/southpaws/hippies, and how it's a substitution for having something Real to think about.

Been talking a good deal about it with a couple of people who hang out here. We have talked about the evil Food Corp that is patenting the genetic modifications of seeds used by farmers in an attempt to get a monopoly on all food. We talk about seasonal vs. the fake, forced, year-round tomatoes thing. Italy doesn't do a lot of that. You can get tomatoes out of season here, but no one buys them. And when the season is over, which will be very soon, you can't get a carciofo for love or money.

This sort of picky-sticky, I-only-eat-the-whites-of-the-egg, kind of food obsessiveness, the sort that produces all that "vegan" nonsense, is certainly a decidedly 1st Worldian phenomenon. The other day, I felt a twinge of weirdness when I got all enthusiastic about having found a source of un-pasteurised milk in the City and bought two litres with the intention of making my own yogurt. What's next? Am I going to start seeing French films? If I start talking about my "wellness," please shoot me.

Food-obsession is also, I'm told, a common hold-over for people who have had troubles in the past with eating disorders and depression. It's only too easy to slide back into it, hardly noticing, using the excuse "It's about my health". I remember only too well the little tendrils of temptation, the little semi-conscious suggestions my Evil Brain starts making when I latch on to some food-related thought process.

Anyway, I'm making the yogurt tonight and if it works, I'll give a recipe.

I've also been having a great time lately with an electric vegetable juicer. It's like a kind of super-blender, that shreds the veg into a fine pulp and centrifuges out the juice. I've been experimenting with carrots, oranges and strawberries, all of which are abundant right now at the farmers' markets. A pair of friends of mine got one for their wedding and the other day I went over for a visit, and was given a glass of this utterly heavenly elixir, carrot/orange/strawb. and I knew I HAD to have one.

Fortunately, there is quite a good little kitchen appliance store in S. Mar. that is very well priced. So, for two weeks or so, I've been nearly living on the COS juice and yogurt, since I don't have much time to cook, and I'm practically glowing. I certainly think I'm getting way more vitamins and things this way than I would otherwise, and completely unadulterated. I juiced 25 carrots and about ten of the really huge oranges that are out there, and then stuck the results into the blender with about 600g of fresh strawberries.

It made about a gallon of juice, which I froze in yogurt tubs and have been drinking all week. Actually I think a better word would be "guzzling," if it didn't sound unladylike. The juicer leaves a LOT of pulp, and I felt bad about throwing out all that food, so I started straining it through cheesecloth and got at least a few more cups of juice out of it. The freezing tends to make the pulp separate, so when you take it out of the tub, just run it for a few seconds in the blender in "high" and it's all frothy and lovely again. I'm thinking of trying to use the carrot pulp for carrot soup; I still hate to throw it out.

The juice is actually quite filling too, and if I'm not careful a few glasses of it in the morning will leave me with no room for the yogurt. The lift it gives me lasts well into the day and I'm not getting hungry until one or two pm, from starting the days at 6:30.

I went to a little do on Friday night here in town, was a bit late because of work, but when I got there, everyone said they have never seen me looking so well. One said I looked like I was sort of sparking. I don't know whether to put it down to the vitamins, the nixing of sugar and grains from my diet, the juice, or prayer, or maybe a combination of the lot, but I was told I was kind of glowing in the dark. I thanked my two friends for introducing me to the magic juice machine.

I don't really understand entirely what's going on, in fact. I was told many times that it would be at least six months after The Surgery that I would start feeling better. I shouldn't expect to be back to full functioning, feeling entirely myself, for as much as a year. Well, it's been four months now, and though I get suddenly very tired about 8 pm most nights, too tired to function or think, the rest of the time I feel wonderful.

Anyway, get a juicer. It's amazing.

And stop eating sugar.



Teresa B. said...

I can't get my head around mixing veggies (carrots) with fruit (especially oranges and the rind!) and then drinking it. I watch those infomercials and they gross me out.

Mark S. Abeln said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark S. Abeln said...

Mmmmm those juices sound good. I’d appreciate it if you’d email me some.

Anxiety about eating healthy food is called Orthorexia nervosa. It is just the same old thing in a new disguise:

Anonymous said...

I am not bothered by the whole organic, seasonal thing. I know it has been fetishised by the Left but my parents both came from a farming background, and that's how people used to live before the big supermarkets took over food production.
What I hate is 'foodie' culture, epitomised by people like Ferran Adria and ridiculous ideas such as 'molecular gastronomy' and obsessions with celebrity chefs and the like. People will pay good money to go and watch him make...foam.

Yep. Give me a plate of bangers and mash any day.


bridget said...

I've been a vegetarian for many, many years, and often wonder where the line is between "healthy" and "food-or-health-obsessed". One thing that does grate on me is the idea that I should give up even more food groups, like milk, eggs, and wheat. It seems a bit odd to claim that not eating so very much can actually be a balanced diet. "It's fine to be vegetarian, just eat everything else" seems to be rational advice.

Vegetarianism is a first-world phenomenon, as well as a non-rural phenomenon. I often have to point out the obvious to people: that I am vegetarian because I can be very healthy without needing to eat meat to do so. It is also irksome when my fellow vegetarians or vegans blithely assume that everyone can follow their diet, as if a widow struggling to raise young children has the time in her day and the money in her budget to give her kids organic gluten-free vegan fare.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that when you use the juicer, you are removing a lot of the fibre. We need it to help digestion and keeps us "regular".


Anonymous said...

Vegetarianism is not a first-world, or non-rural, phenomenon - Buddhists have been practising it for centuries. Many Asian vegetarians find the smell of meat-eating Westerners quite off-putting.


Hilary Jane Margaret White said...


you peel the oranges... sheesh! And carrots are loaded with fructose, as well as magnificent amounts of beta carotene, an important anti-oxidant.

Anonymous said...

Carrots and pineapple - a combination I like as a juice.


Teresa B. said...

Have you not seen an infomercial? They throw the entire orange in!!YUCK!
Sorry, that's what I thought you meant.
I am not one who mixes my fruit together. When I eat fruit salad, I eat each fruit one at a time.
I have gag reflexes even if I smell a V8.
But maybe I will try to mix something together.

Steve T. said...

Hilary, doesn't stripping out all the fiber amplify the sugar?

healthily sanguine said...

Your RSS feed is gone! I feel betrayed. lol. But yes, sugar is bad stuff.

Zach said...

Oh, certainly "gluttony of delicacy" is a danger.

On the other hand, when you can reliably watch your cute little bundle of testosterone-energy reliably transform into "Hulk SMASH!" mode upon ingestion of certain additives ... well, it's no longer a matter of "delicacy" but of self-preservation.


P.S.: "Almost, thou persuadest me to become sugar-free."

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

"doesn't stripping out all the fiber amplify the sugar?"

Amplify? What does that mean? There's as much fructose after as before. And I get plenty of fibre in other ways.

It's just fruit and veg juice. And it's 100 percent juice, which is about 80 per cent more than you ever get from a box. And the strawberries go in whole. In fact, the oranges come out with a lot more pulp than they do from a squeezer kind of juicer.

Anyway, it's good. You should try it. MMmm...

Bettina said...

Concerning blood sugar levels: Do not coffeine and alcohol play havoc with blood sugar levels too? If you say that you have entirely stopped drinking either as well, I am overawed.

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

Not for me. I have never drunk coffee, can't stand even the smell of the vile muck, and tea is good for you, antioxidants ... what not. Alcohol may or may not affect blood sugar, but nothing like as much as pure refined white sugar, and for me wheat and grain products.

Just cutting out refined sugar, white table sugar, sweets, jam, and products made with it, like ketchup, as well as high-fructose corn syrup which is found in nearly all liquid processed foods (boxed 'fruit juice') as well as grains, which give me the same glucose spike, is going to be plenty. I'm certainly not going to start advocating some kind of health-nut diet. Just cut out the crap that hurts you. You don't have to go nuts.

bridget said...

I had heard that chemo patients aren't supposed to eat a lot of fruits and veggies, because it interferes with the chemo. (Chemo works by being so nasty to your system that it kills cancer more than it kills healthy cells.) It makes sense, then, that eating all of those antioxidants would undo the residual effects of the chemo, and therefore help you to heal faster.