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Archive for March, 2010

Well, the title says it all. I am striving to stay present to what’s happening in my life without inventing (and thereby torturing myself) ten thousand stories about what might happen, what’s already passed, or even creating stories about what’s happening right now, instead of just witnessing it. This has been a rough few days for me, feeling raw and fettered. Maybe it’s because, aside from a few key events that could be considered stressful, I’ve also been only eating well, actually, not eating, drinking juices on this three day juice fast. Let me just say it right here and now: I love food. I am not a good “faster”. Every Yom Kippur, come 3 o’clock, you could find me already slicing, dicing, grating, measuring, sifting, chopping, stirring, simmering…whatever. I would gladly eat my own liver by 5. And the fact that I am doing this fast makes me abnormally irritated, with everyone and everything! So, I am trying to focus on that. Without biting anyone’s head off. Or their fingers. Or whatever. I am hungry, there’s no telling what I might do!

The madness ends tomorrow night, with (sigh) salad. For pete’s sake. I could use a burger. I swear. I was vegetarian for 7 years, vegan for 6 months, and one morning I woke up to the smell of frying bacon and just had to have a slice. My roommate (love you, T) was more than accommodating in my request. By that evening, we were dining on Ben Moore’s dinner specials: a thick, delicious burger with all the fixin’s plus a cocktail. In fact, you had to buy a cocktail to partake in the amazing burger–typical happy hour protocol. The point of this remembrance is not to advertise the amazing bargain to be had at Ben Moore’s on Wednesday evenings but to share this, dear reader: I did not so much have a hiccup in my body that there was something unnatural about eating this meat feast after 7 years of abstinence.

Possessing an iron stomach, I have never been one who has any real sensitivity to food. I can eat anything, anywhere, and enjoy it with little repercussion. A year in China proved that, although there were times when I desperately needed, ironically, a greasy burger from McDonalds to get me back on track, I was content to mostly eat from dirty street stalls, smoke filled restaurants, and greasy little dives where they served up such delicious meals like tomato and egg soup (really, like a fried egg in a noodle soup with whole chunks of tomato floating on the greasy broth), baozi for breakfast with mystery meat inside, jiaozi with anything inside, and plenty of hot pot, as any good Western gal living in Sichuan would be required to do. Hua jiao, la jiao, oils and all manners of meats and vegetables went into a steaming hot broth, spiced with the famous SIchuan numbing peppercorns, and made slightly less spicy by slathering it in a sesame paste when you pulled it out of the oil. So I have no doubt I could go seamlessly from three days of only juice to a juicy steak, or a bowl of spicy chili, or a giant plate of long life noodles drenched in oil. But I will practice patience, and eat my crisp, farm fresh salad. And dream of Tian fu Xiang la Ji (which I think means the Temple of Heavenly Chicken). Cluck cluck.

Now, whoah, where did I go? It was not in the present, but it definitely feels positive to be thinking of all that amazing food. Until I come back to the hollow clanging of my stomach, a veritable gong of hunger. So much for being present and positive tonight.

But really, when I consider it, my relationship with food isn’t all that desperate. In fact, I’ve been surprised at how I’ve not been ravenously hungry, and mostly it’s only when I dwell on thoughts of food (or have to prepare some for little d.)that I get a bit nutso. Until I sat here, that is. And listed all my favorite foods from China. Well, I could think of more…but I will eat my keyboard if I try!

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