Wednesday, June 13, 2012

food / love

I have an aversion to lifestyle blogs with pretty pictures of magazine kitchens and perfect meals, so I feel a twinge of ugh posting this picture. However, potatoes and a dirty stove aren't so pretty, and after all there is a heart potato here, found in a bag of goldens this morning. And I do love hearts.

Plus it brings me around to the primary subject of my life in the last year: (surprisingly) food. Before now I've never cared about food. It didn't make sense to me to put time and money into something that would disappear in a short time. I'd rather build or paint something. I ate whatever was quickest. I hated cooking. Foodies and nutritionists seemed to me people who had too much time on their hands.

I had this attitude till age 38 when I became severely gluten intolerant. I'd like to apologize at the start to those who find this gluten free thing absurd. I felt the same way. No need to get into details, I just know because of wheat contamination I can't eat most processed foods without getting violent pain.

I dealt with this at first by eating a diet of 90% gluten free brown rice pasta. Obviously I was pretty unhealthy. Then I went to Kripalu for a week and was introduced to some of the finest whole food cooking probably anywhere. I couldn't believe what could be done with such simple ingredients to make them taste so good. I was for the first time in my life truly seduced by food. The year of deprivation had turned me food-obsessed.

Since then I've been learning how to feed myself with mostly whole and raw foods. It's been a formidable challenge, made more complex by nutritional needs for 8-10 hours a week of strength and cardio training. Learning basic cooking, how to schedule shopping for perishables, calorie counting, protein and portion awareness, it's been a full time education. I've spent the majority of my free time this winter in my kitchen, reading cooking tutorials, and scouring the pretty lifestyle blogs for recipes. And after months of laborious practice, utter confusion, and vaudevillian comedy, I can finally quickly pull together a meal like a normal person. It only took me 40 years. But oh how I love, truly love, this beautiful food, as if I've never seen it before in my life. And I never felt so good.

Here are some not too pretty pictures of imperfect meals. Plate arrangement and color seems to be a motivating factor for me to spend time cooking too.

I take a picture with my phone of everything I eat to monitor myself and remind me what to buy at the grocery store. It works pretty good.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

flying into the forties

There's been much going on to keep me away from Antinomia. A dozen things to catch up on, but let's start with the flying trapeze at the Trapeze School of New York.

I knew I wanted to be in the air on my 40th birthday, and I was lucky to score spots for myself and two friends on Memorial Day weekend. I've done it a couple times before, but it's still unnerving, thrilling, and amazing to climb to that platform over the Hudson and jump off. It's a feeling like no other.

The first step is getting up the very tall utility ladder strapped to the rig.

After you make it up, you get harnessed in. You look out across the water, you see 
the Statue of Liberty, you remember to breathe.

It was the first time for my rollergirl friends Jen and Jayne. That's Jayne's first time on the platform. It's shocking to have to lean out and hold the bar, which is much heavier then you'd expect.

And when they say "Hep!", you have to go! Here is Jen taking the leap.

You get reacquainted with the force of gravity very quickly.

Within the first hour they have you in a knee hang,

And somersaulting off the bar!

I got to work on a set split position, which you enter into like this.

Then drop into like this. It's intense, but oh how much it feels like flying! I never want 
to let go when they tell me to with this one.

And then everyone on their first day gets caught!

Which leaves grip marks in the chalk on your arms. Amazing!

Miraculously the rain held off until the very moment the class ended. Then it 
was a torrential downpour that canceled the rest of flying for the day, and drenched 
our run to the nearest restaurant with wine, where ElizaB joined us.

Now to figure out how I can keep flying. I could spend every day up there.