Monday, May 31, 2010

no meat for mama.....

The cancer saga continues with me becoming a vegetarian. I have been doing a little research, by that I mean, a light scanning of various books. I don't really have the capacity for real research so after perusing numerous books given to me, becoming a vegetarian seems like the most supportive choice for my body during the upcoming challenges.

Now quitting meat is not the easiest thing I have done. I have been comparing it to quitting cigarettes. Meat is like heroin, only with the stamp of social approval. That's right almost everybody eats meat. There are lots of thought in popular culture about the need for us to eat meat the bumper sticker that first comes to mind is "7 days without meat makes one weak". That's right folks the stuff that makes us strong, is meat, and won't I need my strength while embarking on the biggest fight of my life? Well here in lies the problem, popular culture and nutritional needs for our bodies are not necessarily on the same plane. I have pretty much been a meat eater my entire life. I have had brief stints without meat the longest being 16 days and that was this year. In the span of my lifetime that really isn't a stint, more like choosing to not have cigarette until my second cocktail. I had never given it much thought but meat has been a part of my life on a daily basis. Like brushing your teeth, and making your bed, meat is completely habitual. Now mind you I am not a raging carnivore. I have had many meat free meals, and probably many meat free days through out my life. Mostly though I have had some form of meat daily for the majority of my life.

Needless to say I miss my old friend Meat. I stopped eating Meat on Corbin's birthday, I like to remember anniversaries and I can always use the date as a source of added strength. Mother's can do anything for their children and if I feel like falling off the butcher block I can always remember how much I am willing to endure for my children. Sounds like a good plan right. The downside to all this is food is in my blood. I have worked in restaurants all my life and I have become somewhat of a foodie. The good news is I love vegetables, the bad news is I love Meat just as much. Food to me is like a palette for the palate, meat is a primary color along with dairy, fruit and vegetables. Rice of course would be my canvas of choice, but I am also a fan of pasta and bread. It has been 4 days since I have had meat and I feel like I am having the DT's. I longingly look at a steak knife and want a fillet mignon. Clouds take the shapes of hamburgers and hot dogs. Fried chicken lurks at every corner and a KFC commercial sends me into the darkness. Sausage gravy is magical and on Chicken Fried Steak it is transformed into a direct link to the heavens, a giant flaky white flour biscuit being it's spring board into the stars. Then there is seafood, does it get more pure then a shrimp cocktail, what about broiled halibut, whole fried tilapia is a favorite in my family, but on healthy days we will eat it steamed. Not to mention crispy beef and crab puffs, I have so many old friends to say goodbye to. I could always eat my share of vegetables, but they have always been partnered with my old friend Meat and it was always such a beautiful dance. I still cook sausage links for the boys, it takes all the will power in the world to not just polish off 1/2 a pound, oh salty, nitrates how I miss you so.

Like most quitters I substitute, I took up running the time I seriously quit smoking, it made perfect sense. Breathing in exchange for smoking, a fair trade and the endorphins, along with the need to breathe kept me off the cigs for many years, throw in pregnancy for a few years and I was a true quitter. Fast forward to my break-up with Meat, to fill the void left behind, I have re-connected with my love for Cheetos and potato chips. I have used unhealthy snack foods to try to "fill up this hollow, won't stop all the aching". I think that is a lyric from a Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers song. That's right my break-up with meat has driven me to cheesy romance songs, if I ever quote Phil Collins someone please come over immediately.

The way I see it horrible snack foods will help me get past the first stages of meat withdrawal, the birthday party left me with a small supply of junk food, (timing is everything in life). Upon completion of my junk food stash, I will fill my cupboards with nuts, grains, fruits, and vegetables all things healthy and good for you. Pray for my children, they are on the front lines, it is their food I may snatch up if my will falters. Rest assured I will try to convert my children into eating better, but I know that their are only so many miracles handed out to households so I am trying to pick mine :)

Now in all seriousness I have been trying to get my family to eat better for some time. I have been trying to minimize processed foods, eliminate high fructose corn syrup, and eat more simply, more whole foods and organic when I can. Like most things, if it was easy more people would be able to do it. We are a convenience culture and nothing makes a single mom's life easier then a dino-nugget, I even eat them. My goal is to change my family's diet for the majority of the time in favor of the healthy. My diet through chemo will be lots of fresh fruits and veggies with grains thrown in. There will always be room in our life for a funnel cake at the fair or fry bread on the square, at least they can be meat-free.

I can't change the name of the blog at this point but it might say eat lots of rabbit food and of course, drink water and breathe................

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