Pardon this post, it’s early and I’m running on the fuel of bad dreams and stomach pains. I couldn’t write this before today because I could not stand the thought of food for most of our “foodie” theme. I don’t know why I’m sick. I don’t know what food is causing my pain, but I know something in my diet is off. I am a lover of food. Pasta cloaked in silky sauce or even a slick of butter and olive oil can set my heart atwitter. Pizza is a slice of mozzarella-coated heaven. Pad see ew and coconut rice were once staples of my diet, back when going for Thai food didn’t require a walk of well over a mile. I love treating myself to writer dates where I buy myself a fancy drink and order delicious food while getting as much writing done as possible. I take these dates seriously. Just look at these pictures.
I recently tried a gluten free diet because I was told it would cure my stomach, and for two weeks, after the shock of beautiful, pillowy bread and my beloved pasta leaving my system, I actually began to feel so, so much better. The blistering heartburn? Gone without even a single dose of Pepcid or Zantac. I felt free. I became seduced by simpler food: brown rice topped with a heap of sauteed Swiss chard and avocado, lox and rice cakes with hummus, sweet potatoes and lentils.
Then, the stomach bug hit.
For days, I could eat nothing at all. When my body did begin craving food again, it was also for simple things, but the pendulum swung the other way. Now, all I could stand to eat were Cup of Noodles and toast. The mere sight of vegetables and rice made me shudder and gag. I drank coconut water and Gatorade to hydrate, ginger ale to soothe. My body is still not where it needs to be. I can often go hours without eating anything. I try to get back on track with this whole Gluten Free thing, but my sensitive stomach is still very discerning. I don’t know which way to go. I have been what my husband calls a “cyclical vegetarian” (mostly vegetarian with brief periods of carnivorous behavior) for years, so I’m usually okay forgoing most meat, though I still eat fish. Lately, however, I want to tuck into a turkey burger covered in feta cheese and a big fat bowl of matzoh ball soup with glorious shreds of chicken and delightfully dense, chewy matzoh balls. I am confused. In the worst part of my illness, I trusted my gut. Now that I’m still experiencing aftershocks, I am trying to follow my intuition to choose what to eat, but it’s difficult. I crave salad, but it actually makes me feel like crap afterwards. I don’t want my body getting used to meat. I felt so bad when I cooked a Thanksgiving turkey, I apologized to the fucking bird as I was cleaning it. And as I was seasoning it. And when I put it in the oven. This is what happens when you’ve been a big girl all your life and advertisements and family and friends and assholes who bully you all tell you different things about what to eat. So much shame in just eating what feels right or good. There must be a reason you eat fried calzones. Merely tasting good is not a good enough answer.
So, I sit here now, not wanting to get up and look in the fridge, not wanting to make myself a cuppa tea (mostly because I’m limited to a selection of black teas and I’m mad at myself for letting my stock go this low), not wanting to think about food. But I must. I know I need food if I’m to find strength again and get back to living a healthy life.
And now I’m kind of craving a calzone. Good going, self.