Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A Passionate Detour

Let’s take a break from rehashing the publishing debate and talk about something more interesting.
Passions are what rule the human race. We have been known to reason, plead, protest, argue, fight, and even kill for things we are passionate about. Kings have killed women’s husbands for lust. Nations have gone to war over religion. Soldiers have given their lives for their nations, and farmers have given their lives in defense of their crops, and animals.
Though there are still many examples of passionate acts in our world today, and some are still forced to give their lives for them, our world is a much more civil place than it used to be. Look anywhere on the web and you can see people sharing their passions, and today I am going to do the same.
Food is something that has been a highlight for me for as far back as I can remember.
When I was young, I was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes. It was a shock for my family, but it brought a great deal of answers, along with treatment options, that made life semi-normal to live. Since I was so young, these habits and routines were easy to pick up with some gentle insistence from a great set of parents. And those habits have become what I would consider ‘normal living’.
Let me stop here for a second with a bit of a caveat.
I am not a poster child for healthy living with diabetes. I have been known to eat and drink things that diabetics should avoid, but I have always done so with my testing supplies (test your blood sugars often and get exercise!) and my insulin close by. You may see me discuss things that are high in fat and possibly even alcohol. I do not encourage anyone to risk their health or well-being, but food is one of my indulgences, so let’s continue.
The moment that put me on the path to culinary exploration happened in the hospital shortly after I had been diagnosed. I remember it vividly thirty one years later.
Due to the nature of the disease, I was scrawny and almost malnourished, but not from the lack of trying on my parents’ part, mind you. My mother loved to cook for me because I would eat, and eat, and eat, and eat, without gaining any weight. In fact, I would actually lose weight due to the fact that my body was unable to metabolize the sugar in my blood. It was then that they decided, with help of my kindergarten teacher, to take me to the doctor and ask about diabetes.
It was almost mandatory in that day to spend some time in the hospital while they explained the disease and helped you establish a routine that would work with diabetes. Well, mandatory for a child that had nearly wasted away because of poor diagnostics from the family doctor. I spent a month in the hospital with my father sleeping on a cot next to me.
But I had spent months hungry at all hours of the day while my body grew smaller and smaller. I was used to eating a lot by this time, and I would eat almost anything put in front of me, and anything left of the plates of those gathered around me, and then lick the plates clean. So, when the nurse brought me a piece of toast on a plate for my snack that day it disappeared in record time. I was so impatient waiting for the nurse to return that I ate the lettuce garnish happily. It was only hours since I was admitted and I had already learned one very interesting thing: the nurses would bring me diet soda or water happily whenever I asked! I wondered if I could get more food, too. But it did take them quite some time to get back to my room, and I was engrossed in cartoons since I didn't have to go to school.
When the nurse returned to check on me, reaching to take away the plate that had formerly held my solitary piece of toast, my stomach and brain reminded me to ask for a diet soda and another piece of toast.
Sadly the nurse had to inform me that we had to watch how many calories I ate now. I didn't even know what calories were, but from the way she talked I thought she was telling me they were in the bread and not the lettuce which was mostly made of water. All I knew was that lettuce felt good in my stomach and didn't taste too bad. So, expecting another long explanation why I couldn't, I timidly asked if I could have some more lettuce.
I was as thrilled as could be when she brought me a dozen lettuce leafs neatly pealed, washed, and stacked on yet another tiny plate and another diet soda!
That was the moment that I realized that if I watched what I chose to eat, I could still eat until I was full. Since then, I have explored culinary creations at every type of restaurant. My condition drove me to eat a lot of food all at once, and though I have learned to temper my appetite and am happy with single plate portions these days, I still thrive on exploring different tastes and combinations.
I no longer eat twenty one tacos for a meal (yes, I did that at five years old), but I still love them. I no longer cry if it’s two hours away from dinner time and I feel like I am starving, but I do eagerly ask what is on the menu. Food is still what’s on my mind most of the day as I contemplate what I want to make next, and I have become fairly adept in my skills of cooking over the years.

That’s what this blog is all about, and I think I am going to be bringing more of my food love to anyone interested. I never thought to do this before. My co-workers thoroughly enjoy my food, as well as our conversations about what is on my upcoming menus at home, so maybe a few of you will as well. But, if I am going to make this a habit, I will need pictures and maybe a recipe or two to go along with it. Just as prep time is needed in the kitchen, so it is needed in blogging. Today was all about passion. Food is my passion. What is yours?

Originally posted on our website here

2 comments:

  1. My personal motto is, "I love to eat! Like to cook. And hate to clean up. :-)

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