Sunday, November 24, 2013

Foodie in Recovery

I have been called a "Foodie"... and I can't stand the word. I have a past of eating out, being excited by food combinations created by talented chefs which are presented to me in mini master pieces of contemporary art. I can read a menu and know what everything is, regardless of the flowery writing. I am excited by things like "beef heart tar-tar with boar blood gilato" or "bone marrow and foire with Parmesan mousse". If I were to put it simply, the more disgusting the combination, the better. I have spent hours at work looking at pictures of food before the term "food porn" was even a thing. I talk about food while I eat, I got on vacations just because of restaurants I want to try. 

Food has exploded in my life and taken over. I am not proud... because really, it's just food. 

At the start of the year, I am sure if you follow my unscheduled writings, you will see that my digestive track took a turn on me. I had been through this a few years ago and came out relatively unscathed however, when it returned again I wasn't so lucky. I was a little wiser this time and I knew that I had to stop eating as I was. It was training on my quality of life and on my pocket book ($100 meals 2 or 3 times a week isn't a good start to my 30's). So I adopted a new eating plan. I adjusted to the diagnoses I have received a few times in my life that I have IBS and it was time that I start eating for it. First things first, get rid of wheat, garlic, onions, fructose and dairy. I had no idea what to eat! My diet was 95% wheat mixed with garlic/onions/fructose/diary and 5% fat mixed with garlic/onions/fructose/dairy. 

So I changed and I got creative with my food. I adapted actually and my symptoms actually started to become predictable. I could control them as apposed to crossing my fingers as I lick the last bit of butter off my fingers and hoping for the best. I stopped eating out, my world in the land of expensive restaurants and arrogant chefs started to lose its interest and I started to enjoy my own creativity. 

I sit back and watch though, as this culture of people with twitter and Instagram and all other types of things share their experience. I enjoy looking at good pictures of food and reading about the ingenious ways things are combined but as I watch the guests next to me when I go out, they are lost in their phones as those post this picture and that. Plus, lets face it... food is a hard thing to take pictures of. I don't usually post pictures of it because I know that I have no clue what I'm doing and it does NOT look good. Look at Martha Stewart who right now has a Buzzfeed dedicated to her Twitter feed of pictures-- most of them looking like a dog breakfast that has been vomited up (gross, I know). 

I love food, but in no way am I a foodie. I don't want to be one. I don't know all the different types of Himalayan salts (I just know why it's pink). I can appreciate human talent and there is something so beautiful and easy about creating food as an art form so that others can experience something amazing. It is easy to be passionate about something that is so easy to experience and share. But it doesn't have to be fancy, rare or disgusting to be good. My favorite grilled cheese sandwich isn't make on organic sprouted wheat and spelt sourdough bread made from a starter dating back the the days of Jesus himself. The cheese wasn't cultivated by monks in Spain from one small flock of sheep that only eat tuna heads during mating season. There is no truffle. There is no fig. It's plain, fluffy white bread with processed cheese and it is grilled to a beautiful buttery brown. It is heaven as I eat it. And I get this from some food court near my work. 

I'm not really sure what I'm saying here, really. I guess in a way, though I have never really like the term "foodie" I may actually have been one, and might still be one in my own way.  I love food but I don't want to be part of a group. I want to cook for people I love. I want to nourish their bodies and their souls. I want to share these experience with them and I don't care if there isn't a single picture taken. Right now I am planning a party that might actually include tuna fish sandwiches. I will probably use the canned stuff from Safeway and maybe, if people are lucky... I will have white and brown bread (plus Gluten Free for those who can't tolerate wheat). But I will probably make my own mayo and the sandwiches will be cut into shapes (Note: the party theme is based on last meals of famous people). 

If there is a Foodie in me, it's in recovery. Food has become less about taste and more of a function of energy. Things taste good now because I know I have to eat them. It's sad in a way to go through life like that but I also imagine that it's responsible. My quality of life is better because I feel good, I have a better understanding of waste-- I almost never throw food away because it never has a chance to get bad. I remake my leftovers and I call my cooking style macafouchette (or "weird"... if you text me and ask me what I'm making for dinner you might get something back like "weird potato pancake). All of these things are good things; though different. Change is nice and I am happy and just don't call me a "foodie". 

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