Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Internal Affairs

I'm generally a pretty healthy woman, and generally pretty happy about being healthy. I practice yoga (and enjoy it), I'm extremely careful about what I eat, I make healthy choices. It's true, I have a few indulgences, but they're occasional, and I'm very responsible, and so they don't feel like bad choices.
But lately I've been pretty resentful of my own philosophy on my health. Lately I just wanna be bad.
It's complicated. This August I will have been a vegetarian for almost two years. I stopped eating meat during the summertime in 2007. In 2008 I found out I had uterine fibroids. Ayurvedic medicine suggests cutting out all meat. Vegetarianism became a healthy choice, not just an aesthetic one. When I found out this January that I was also sugar, dairy and gluten intolerant, I thought how frustrated I was that I’d been eating the wrong foods for so long. I’d probably been growing these fibroids for years and they’d been complicated by the incorrect diet, and I’d had no idea. Suddenly a diet that had seemed somewhat strict had just gotten a helluva lot stricter.
So it’s been about seven months now, since I’ve eaten as clean as possible: no animal (except honey), no sugar, no wheat as far as I can tell. I know it’s been incredibly good for my body, and it allows me to know I’m eating right and focus treatment of my fibroids on different areas: yoga, acupuncture, etc. but recently I’ve just been so… sad about not being able to eat meat. I don’t miss it all. I don’t miss beef at all, I always thought it was too heavy. But the other day sweetheart had gorgeous fish tacos for lunch and I moaned at the sight of his plate. One of our first really romantic dates was sushi for my birthday; we shared scallop and mackerel and salmon and yellowfin, and all of that is lost to me now. And barbecue, God do I miss barbecue. Tarantino charming-pig convo aside, I wasn’t always a fan of pork, but a brilliantly braised cut of pork carefully sauced will cause me to weep, and I can’t eat it. It’s the summertime! Sweet smoke is in the air, and everybody’s eating barbecue. My vegetarian heart is breaking because I can’t break bread—well, bone—with the rest of the country.
As Americans we’re not so great at making healthy choices for ourselves. We’re the richest and the most overweight country in the world; we’ve got gluttony down to a science. Sometimes considering all the resources at our disposal I’m frankly pretty stunned that we have a hunger problem. But there are all kinds of reasons why it’s hard to stay healthy. I’m doing my best at it, but right now it just pisses me off, not eating meat.
And then there's the liquor. I stopped drinking for a while. My body can't digest alcohol well, so I'm a cheap date, but the next day I'm a raging bitch due to the hangover. But I like drinking. I like vodka because it tastes like liquid power and you can mix it with almost anything. I like a good glass of red, that's a bit fruity but also dry. I love drinking bourbon, neat, on the rocks, in a well-made Manhattan.
Not so for the fibroids. They aren't so keen on the alcohol. And that bugs me. I recently went to a very shi-shi sexy cocktail lounge with absolutely delicious drinks, and had several and days later I am still trying to shake the fuzz from my eyes. I like drinking, I like eating, and right now food and drink--the things that ultimately keep our motors running--they just feel like teases, like colorful beautiful foods that I just can't have. Makes me want to throw something.
There's a lot going on in my body. I've learned enough about myself so far to know that what's happening in my diet is tied to what's happening to my brain and heart, and body-mind-spirit connection, all that crap. I buy it, I really do. I just weary of having to be so responsible. I wish I could have consciously healthy and culinary hedonist at the same time. I blame my uterus.

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