International No Diet Day. I’ve been trying to cut out sugar, other carbs, and meat. I became a vegetarian when I was sixteen but slipped in my early twenties and flip flopped for years. (I know a lot of vegetarians who, like me, adore bacon.) My diet has changed drastically in the past 30 years—most things I used to eat and loved no longer sit well with me. Used to be nothing was as heavenly as a hot cup of coffee. But caffeine made my stomach ache and the lack of it made my head ache (I’m not even safe with decaf). I stopped drinking coffee 27 years ago because I didn’t want to be knocked around by an abusive substance. Some of my no-no foods one would think were healthy, such as brown rice, lentils, beans, and certain vegetables. I understand carrots are loaded with sugar; my A1C lingers in the pre-diabetic range, and I used eat bags of carrots a week. Just kick me in the teeth, why don’t you? I love other root vegetables too, but alas, the glycemic index, it’s a killer! I love bread and cheese but can no longer stomach wheat or dairy. What is the point of life if ice cream makes you ill?
A plant-based diet is pretty much healthy for most people, not to mention the planet. I’m about 90% vegetarian and feel better for it, except I sometimes slip. The funny thing is, slipping for me is having carrots or roast beets on my salad, or a thick slice of exceptional whole grain bread bursting with nuts and seeds, or olives, tomatoes, and artisanal cheese. It’s not like I gorge on donuts (gut bombs) or drink soda (yuck) or get a bucket of fried chicken for take-out (well, not frequently anyway). I’ve been listening to an audio book series featuring French Canadians, and whenever there’s a meal scene, I drool and lament: a hunk of baguette smothered in brie and a glass of red wine to wash it down; pain au chocolate with a steaming cup of coffee, frothy with fresh cream; yogurt drizzled in honey and topped with fresh berries. Where is the mercy?
Speaking of mercy, it’s also National Day of Prayer (deliberately juxtaposed to Cinco de Maya celebrations?), and so my prayer today is this:
Now I sit me down to eat, I pray thee Lord my food to keep. If I should die from what I munch, I pray thee Lord, just let my last meal be a bowl of chocolate-cherry ice cream.