Figuring out how to feed myself

Figuring out what we both want to eat is keeping me and my hubby on our toes at the moment. I can genuinely say that we both have a curious interest in my evolving dietary preferences. I guess that’s academic training for you — we make an experiment or intellectual study out of anything!

I really enjoyed a recent Yoga Journal piece about practicing ahimsa in diet, which fitted with my suggestion that conscious choices are more important that strict rules. Ahimsa and all that aside, intellectually I do believe our constitutions are designed to be omnivore. But the fact is that I am tending away from much meat at the moment. I have given up trying to figure out why this is, and just accept that it is so. I’m not consciously trying to change my diet, but if it’s what my body wants to do, I should go with it. And Hubby is cheerfully accepting this also. Within certain bounds.

So for the moment we’re figuring out how much meat I want to eat. I’m still good with chicken and fish, but red meat turns me off completely. I don’t fancy it, and — coincidence or not — the last time I ate any I was really sick for more than a day (and it was my last day in Greece – boo!). Hubby, on the other hand, takes quite some filling up, and he tells me that fish is a starter, not a main meal! So we’re going quite mix-and-match in our meals, usually cooking more than one thing, or cooking two versions of something (e.g. casserole with/without meat), or incorporating left-overs (don’t say ‘tamasic’ to me — I’m just not there yet) from the day before (e.g. cold chicken for Hubby to supplement his veggie risotto). For as long as our work schedules make it possible I think we’re both finding it an interesting challenge. But when we’re tighter on time, it could get ‘interesting’ in all the wrong ways. We’ll see!

roasted veggiesAs I type this I’m roasting some veggies to have with rice for my lunch. I had to leave out the green pepper though because Hubby says the smell of them cooking makes him nauseous. What’s left in the dish was described by him as “unpleasant but not sickening” and he seems to cope with that! Naturally I refrained from telling him that his shop-bought chicken pie didn’t appeal to me either…

I feel as though I’m learning to eat all over again, but this time as an adult it’s a conscious process. I’m finding out for a second time what I like and don’t like, how much I need to eat and at what times of the day to have enough energy for what I want to do, becoming more conscious of how foods make me feel. Plus finding new recipes and wondering what more I need to understand about nutrition so this change in diet doesn’t leave me less nourished overall. Throw into that a consideration for ethics and environment, and it’s set to be a big change in my life, and that of my tolerant (and slightly hungry) husband.

Can anyone recommend any books for me? I’m after veggie recipes that are basically European-style cuisine (to suit Hubby’s preferences), and something simple about veggie nutrition.

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