I was worried that there would be no new update today for you. Yesterday, I decided to have a cup of tea, put the kettle on the stove, turned the knob to high, and walked away. I was busy typing a final paper and it took me awhile to notice that the kettle had not gone off. When I finally noticed and investigated, I realized that the burner had not turned on. A trip to the basement confirmed my worst fears–this was not simply a breaker, the oven and stove were not working. Since there could really be no worse time for this to happen, I was worried. One friend suggested we go raw until it was fixed. I figured I would walk into Whole Foods’ deli with my “No” list and a sign hung around my neck begging for help.
Thankfully the landlord arrived today and while it took longer than expected, the stove and oven are now in working order. The Philosopher and I have finished all the leftovers from Day 1 and Day 2. Tonight we made a good dent in Day 4‘s leftovers, but we will probably have Moroccan lunches for a few more days. Tonight I decided to make roasted cauliflower in honor of a working oven. It was simple and complimented the lentils and rice well.
I cut one head of cauliflower into ~1″ pieces and tossed with enough olive oil to coat all the pieces. I sprinkled the tops with kosher salt (~1/4 teaspoon) and popped them in a 450 degree oven. While warming up the lentils, I checked the cauliflower every 5 minutes or so, stirring them to get even browning. After 15 to 20 minutes (or after the cauliflower is browned nicely) remove and serve.
The Philosopher’s words, “Who knew olive oil and salt could do so much?!” He pretty much gobbled down the entire head of cauliflower. This is not a vegetable that would typically excite him at our table, so this is pretty big news. This is another way I have tried to incorporate snack-like food into our elimination diet. Over the weekend I made roasted potatoes for the same reason. Sometimes, you just want something that is salty and crispy.
Thoughts: Unfortunately, I may be coming down with something. I have not been hungry for the last few days and have been forcing myself to eat. I have also had a headache–likely related to the stress of finals. The Philosopher reported that he’s been feeling pretty well, but his stomach is a little funny too. He; however, is always hungry.
Furthermore, when one of my classes had a baby shower for the professor, I volunteered veggies and hummus to ensure that there was at least one thing I could eat. My friend invited me out for coffee yesterday and I found that there was only one drink on the menu I could have, roobios tea. It’s also hard not to pop a piece of gum in my mouth during class or accept a mint offered by a classmate.
Overall, none of these things have been such a big deal. I am not having any major cravings or have felt compelled to cheat. It is just hard to feel like an outsider in social eating situations. It in fact reminds me of a realization I had a few years ago when I worked with a very specific population within the field of developmental disabilities (DD). For nearly two years, I supervised a home for individuals dually diagnosed with DD and mental illnesses. Two of my residents had a disorder called Prader-Willi Syndrome. This disorder was cruel: individuals had a low muscle tone and therefore could not consume as many calories as a typical person of the same height and weight. Furthermore, their stomach and hypothalamus did not communicate well, so they never felt full. Unfortunately, there are stories of individuals with Prader-Willi who die of overeating. One of my residents once consumed over 6000 calories in graham crackers and peanut butter before 7am. While supervising this house, I was struck by how difficult it was to plan an event without involving food. When inviting other group homes to visit, the natural suggestion was to eat a meal together. Our culture does not understand celebrating a birthday without going out to dinner and having a cake. Society is confused by an Easter, Valentine’s Day, or Christmas without a food focus. Halloween and Thanksgiving may have been the most difficult holidays as there is no ceremony without eating.
I suppose this is linked directly to conviviality, which I wrote about at Thanksgiving. Our culture values eating together, humans seek the opportunity to break bread together in community. As I now become a little more like the individuals I used to work with, I wonder how conviviality can look with differing diet needs. The latin word means to live together, dine together. How do we ensure health and safety of all the members of our table while we are eating together? How best can we live together and respect the living of all those who gather at our table?
The questions always outnumber the time I have to write. The answers always feel miles away. But the thinking. The thinking is good.