MenU; what was I saying..???

This weekly series of food rants began because of a small quibble I had about the availability of good and genuine vegetarian fare. It flowed along from one point to another and became about the general quality and treatment of our food and its production. It has been interesting - but now back to the point.

 Image result for smiley faceThe YAMster's needs.

There was a point, earlier in life, where it was easy just to let things slide and fall into the general habits around one. As one grew in conviction and commitments, though, it became easier to fight the tide and adhere to principles.  When returning to the UK, for the early months, not too much fuss was made other than a vague 'vege please' kind of instruction in order to help folk adjust to requirements being different. Since the start of this year though, I have endeavoured to keep at least to strict vego, if not at all times strictly Sattvika. The purchase of separate cookware and alternate preparations of food can cause a bit of a stir.  It's tricky, because there is the risk that folk get a bit 'out of joint' about it. It is actually made more difficult when returning to a place where folk are invested in who you were a quarter century ago and who are not prepared to consider that, just as they will have been, you will have been roasted, stewed, boiled, steamed and generally processed by life and, whilst the basic 'you' is still there, there will also be big differences.

...in fact, folk would remain invested in who they think and/or want you to be, even if you hadn't been absent all that time, just because that's what they want and it has no bearing on who you really are... but that is an entirely separate discussion...

Food is unavoidable. I learned early, with the onset of chronic ailments, that food could greatly affect the body. Even before I turned to studying nutrition formally, my understanding and awareness of these effects was strong. By sheer self-observation it became apparent quite soon that apples were a huge aggravant for the Rheumatoid. I ate a lot of apples as a youngster - we had trees. Gave away apples and straight away, there was a reduction in discomforts. Not long after that I experimented with dropping red meat from the diet as well as hardened cheeses and tomatoes.

All of these at the time (my early 20s) were the basis of my diet. There was little variety. Lo and behold there was significant improvement in the discomforts. Then came The Miracle and for several years, no discomforts. I would interject here that there have been a number of major health issues and not all are solved by diet, but there is no question that it is helpful and supportive.

Studying nutrition when I got to Australia (along with Homoeopathic Medicine and other health studies), a lot of what I learned confirmed experience but also corrected a few things. The inclination to vegetarianism was now getting a boost, mainly for wellbeing reasons, but also, now, for ethical reasons.

Then along came Vedanta (the path of knowledge/philosophy in Sanatana Dharma - what most call 'Hinduism'). Having brushed with the concepts of Ayurveda from the nutritional angle, now there was a much richer and fuller picture building as to the role of food in life. It made a lot of sense. What is more there were 'caveats' which covered things like the taking of dairy and, even, the eating of meat - according to time and place and such like. Won't go into it here - very complicated and requires much context.  However, one of the basic things which struck one is to eat according to heritage. Dairy is such an important part of my ethnic background that to have moved to soy was, actually, not at all a benefit to me.  Returning to full milk and its products, there was again a profound improvement in my general wellbeing. In part, of course, this may have had something to do with the fact that majority soy product is highly genetically modified and the production of milks and tofus and such for the commercial market requires very undesirable processes.....

It has been said aloud more than once, 'sensitive little flower aren't you?' Those who have never had a day's ill health beyond the common cold may well lack the understanding of a body which betrays a person. On many occasions, in order not to have such criticism and judgements weighed upon me, I have over-ridden my principles. Not for a few years now, though. Another prejudice which arises is that of 'if you are vego how come you're fat?'

Common misconception. Weight is another complex issue. Certainly there are things to be done to manage it but being vegetarian is not necessarily one of them. Surprisingly, being vege can mean the opposite, due to the increased amounts of carbohydrate in the diet, just for starters. The point is, there are many factors involved in why one holds body bulk. Not least genetic predisposition to bosoms the size (and weight!) of watermelons. Nothing to be done about those, but they dominate. When you stand a full four feet and ten inches in height, that means there is the perception (due to the angle most folk are standing in relation to one - which is above and looking down) of fatness. Diminutive stature also tends to appear squat if it is anything more than underweight. That said, since menopolyxnaemia hit, there has also been the hormonal shift which ensures that for every pound that once may have been gained, there are now two. Without adding anything to diet.  Further, for the YAMster, is the limited mobility and now, back in Scotland, a return to the diet of such things as biscuits, scones and cakes which were not there for so long.

I don't buy them. When going the rounds of the relos and mates though, out they come, like those weapons of mass destruction I was discussing last week!  Of course I could always say 'no'. Mea culpa.

This week the Father, Macs 2 & 3 and the Maestro will be holidaying up near Oban (an hour's drive North of here). There was mention of a meet-up at a town on the side of Loch Fyne where, Mac2 reported, there are 'several Indian restaurants'... yes m'dear, but not vego!  I was very clear that, from now, I shall be quite picky. I did a little search of Oban. Simple curiosity you understand.  Good grief. There is a Japanese vegan place there. Varied reviews, but hey! It's there!!!

Another hour's drive can take me over to the lovely Isle of Bute and into the main town of Rothesay, where The Musicker serves pure vego foodables. You'll read a bit more about that next week when I relate the second day of adventure out in the Little Ren with Mlle GC.

Image result for linda mccartney sausagesAll in all, then, I am left to my own devices and at home keep it very simple with dahls, roti, rice, veges, lots of soups, and the occasional Linda McCartney snag with mash 'n' peas. I am fond of omelettes and fritattas and stir fry .... and soup (did I say?). Soup is great on these wintry summer days.

I even freeze some of the stuff I cook. Living the single life economically does demand some compromises on the Sattvika principle of nothing older than three hours. Freezing an item within an hour of cooking essentially satisfies that point... it's a slightly warped logic, I grant you, but above all else here, I have to also mind the pennies and as waste is out of the question in this household, freezer-stuffs it is.

Water or tea (mainly herbal, but a couple of cups of good quality black are okay) are my fluids; the occasional carbonated drink when out and about.

There. Think I may have fizzled out (for now) on the food rant. It's time I got back to 'menomoirs' proper, so next Thursday it will be another episode of MacHistory.  Meanwhile here is the fourth-last reminder...

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17 comments:

  1. Mum often rants (oh yes she does!) about food in hospitals being so rubbish when peeps are supposed to be healing…how can a body or mind mend itself if the fuel you put in is poor?
    And peeps Vets, they should teach peeps more about nutrition as a way of helping peeps get betters as well!
    Gosh I'm starting to rant like Mum! She has taught me well!!!!
    Loves and licky kisses
    Princess Leah xxx

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    1. Hari OM
      Fine points your HighBoxness!!! Docs point to the food pyramid charts and say take less salt/sugar/alcohol/fat.... then leave folks hanging. Chef Jamie has got the right idea..... more power to him!!! Yxx

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  2. It seems like everyone has been on a food, weight or diet rant lately. Me included, I am just more quiet with my rants. I enjoyed your rant.

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  3. Funny, just yesterday a female colleague was complaining that her doctor had deemed her marginally overweight and she felt he had not taken into account the boob weight issue! Certainly she does not to me look the least bit chubby. But it's something I had thought about before, being of a less well endowed physique!
    Cheers, Gail.

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    1. PS Bertie would like to point out that the vet praised his 'perfect proportions' at our most recent visit!

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    2. Hari OM
      ahhh, the pain of 'endowment'... it adds to the pull on a crumbling spine and lends a certain imbalance.... BUT WELL DONE BERTIE LAD!!! Yxx

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  4. We just do not know how you manage it.... we know you are committed to a way of eating that fuels your body... Correctly for it...

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  5. I always enjoy your rants and I have many myself. I agree that it is best to determine what works best for your individual bodies. I imagine it's different for all of us for very different reasons

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    1. Hari OM
      In some respects - but the development of food regimes over the centuries also show that there are basic similarities for all; there are just some foods that EVERYone ought to avoid and also some that are good for every body... Yxx

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  6. The body is so magnificently created. Our bodies are all about chemical/biological reactions so it is no wonder that what we feed it has everything to do with our health! As you know, I am a non-meat eater although lacking in the principles and ethics found with many who do not eat meat or are one of the various stages of veggiedom (I just made that word up). And even I at this most liberal end of veggiedom encounter attitudes of people who are somehow injured by my choice. Huh? If I could read this post and add my comments as your statements are being made I think I might have scribbled in a "YES!" at least every couple sentences. You described it all so well!

    Your Pals,

    (Mom of) Murphy & Stanley

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  7. Excellent rat and Mom is giggling at the "boob weight" comment as she always shows as slightly high in weight with the charts but she's rather, uh top heavy, if you catch my drift.

    So her doc says her weight is fine for her "build".

    We eat a little meat in our household, a few nights a week but the main thing is, the food we do eat is food, not processed, not junk but food from the ground or the trees and grains we get at the local grist mill. Mom and Dad said they feel MUCH better eating this way. Thank you for your wise words

    Abby the Lab

    PS. I still hate carrots though

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  8. Excellent RANT - Mom says it's been a long day. -)

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    1. Hari OM
      hehehehe - I getchya! But Abby, carrots are so gooooooddd... don't worry. that was one thing Jade always tried to leave as well - then I took to grating them and - voila! Yxx

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  9. I agree food is unavoidable... I sometimes wish it would be different :o) I had no clue about the Linda Mc Cartney food, I would like to try the burgers. France is a little like a wasteland for vegetarians :o( maybe it's better in bigger towns, but here it is a challenge :o)
    easy rider

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    1. Hari OM
      ...indeed, Easy... and you'll recall that it was the 'wasteland' symptom which began all this ranting here!!! I rarely keep processed anything, as you will have gathered... but the McCartney range really is pretty good and very handy - especially for a lone dweller! Yxx

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