Monday, December 21, 2009

Vegetable Wisdom


...“sweet,” in the somewhat archaic definition of the Oxford English Dictionary, is that which “affords enjoyment or gratifies desire.” Like a shimmering equal sign, the word sweetness denoted a reality commensurate with human desire: it stood for fulfillment.
Michael Pollan

...my doctor told me my blood pressure and weight have increased the last three times I’ve seen him...not bad, but going up, nonetheless...which seems outrageous considering all the yoga, biking, and meditation I’ve been doing....then, perhaps, a bit less so considering all the cheap deep-fried Chinese take-out, Tastykakes, Mexican Cokes...with real sugar!...and margaritas....it really is all about balance...I’m positive about that...but, apparently, that particular balance hasn’t been balancing nearly as well as I’d hoped...

...generally speaking, that thing yoga teachers say about listening to your body is sound advice....trouble is, my body still thinks I’m a hunter-gatherer...struggling for bare subsistence against the ever-present threat of starvation...which is reasonable enough, considering that the vast majority of human beings who’ve ever lived have been exactly that...and thus far more attracted to the deep fried saber-tooth-tiger-on-a-stick at some stone-aged equivalent of my corner Chinese take-out than the organic broccoli bush frequented by those mellow cro-magnons down the way etching You Can’t Hug Your Children With Sharp Sticks onto their cave walls...

...as such, sometimes I gotta tell my body to shut up so I can exercise some vegetable wisdom...which is what I’m trying to do now...just in time for the holidays...

What is patriotism but the love of the food one ate as a child?
Lin Yutang

...went to see some bands play at this art space...technically a loading dock....it was BYOL...which at least one guy did to the point that he probably shouldn’t have been so close to the loading dock...but there were lots of snacks...including these colorful cupcakes...my friend who works at a coffee shop that sells really good, really high quality pastries asked how they were...I said they were good...but in that real old-school PTA-mom-who-buys-a-cupcake-mix-and-that-really-sugary-kinda-colorful-frosting-at-the-supermarket kinda way...which, really, is a more primal kinda good than you’re likely to experience with anything more refined...

When you’re a kid you can eat amazing amounts of food. All I ate when I was a kid was candy. Just candy, candy, candy. And the only really clear thought I had as a kid was get candy.
Jerry Seinfeld

...which, when you think about it...or, at least, when I think about it...could be a contributing factor...along with these holidays coming up just when things have started getting cold...and living in a culture of frenzied consumption...for my habitual resemblance, by the time the new year rolls around, to the StayPuft Marshmallow Man...because not only are there lots of high calorie treats around...but some of them are supplied by my mom...or at least in the presence of my mom, along with other family members and all kinds of rituals meant to evoke nostalgia for those sweet, squishy idealized childhood experiences...and, if I’m not feelin’ it...as, often, I’m not...there’s always more sugary stuff around...

...happy holidays, folks...enjoy some high calorie crap for me...

7 comments:

RB said...

As the Jewish people like to say..food is love.

But this reminds me of a friend of mine who called me freaking out after breaking up with her girlfriend...telling me she ate a whole sleeve of oreos. I said it was ok because she was listening to her body and needs..and she said, "seriously? that's what the yoga teacher says, 'eat oreos?'"

And I said maybe today you eat oreos, tomorrow you listen to your favorite song on repeat, the day after you meditate, and then you buy a new shirt.

balance indeed. it's the different between complacency and contentment..if you're complacent it's oreos every day, if you're content it's a process upward.

yum.

Brooks Hall said...

Enjoy your holiday, Dr. Jay!

The word verification is: husly

Maybe that describes a holiday without sweets, as in "my holiday was husly and wholesome."

Laura Hegfield said...

May be your body is telling you you are starving because you are eating the wrong foods and it is hungry for nutritious stuff? It's not so different from yoga practice. We can do tons of asanas and receive very little benefit, because we're not really present or we can do one and be completely with the muscles, bones, breath, awareness of being part of everything and everything being part of us and step off the mat feeling renewed. So maybe if you ate each tasty snackk with conscious awareness you wouldn't eat so many (because you wouldn't have the time to scarf as much down) and you would be able to discern if it was really as "good" as you thought on the first bite. Just something to play with. An opportunity to bring more presence to your holiday outings. I know pretty serious take on take out and KandyKakes

bright blessings,
Laura

Lydia said...

I prefer the definition of sweet in the first quote to the way it's used as an exclamation, usually by folks under 20, who, say it like it has two syllables: Soo-weet.

After my mother died I made her assortment of Christmas cookies for several years. They definitely were soul food for me. I made, as she did, huge quantities - enough to make a goodly offering to neighbors up and down the street. When I realized that MY stash was larger and I was holding back from the neighbors' cookie gifts I thought I'd better watch it. I haven't made them for four years now...

Happiest of holidays to you, Jay. Give your mom a hug for me :)

Kikolani said...

I like to think vegetables keep everything in check. Like you can keeping eating some junkie foods so long as you make sure to get in a proper balance of veggies as well.

~ Kristi

earthtoholly said...

Hi drjay...what's not to like about a food post. I kinda got the same message during my last checkup...not too bad but I was "going in the wrong direction." I have an awful sweet tooth and can't be trusted alone with ice cream. My dad was the same way.

Coke w/real sugar...I've heard it's better than the corn syrup kind, but have never had one to compare.

That's great that your mom still makes you goodies....

And those cupcakes sound great!

Robinsgothealth.com said...

Balance...a happy medium between acidy and alkaline! cookies would qualify for acidy, but add some vegetables (alkaline) and you have a somewhat medium...lol!
Thanks for the smiles!
Yours in Health,
Robin