Type casting

Perhaps it’s reflective of my humble nature (snicker); more likely it’s
early-onset Alzheimer’s. Two days ago was the two-year birthday of
Hedonia! Of course, as it’s been in a virtual coma for the past couple months, I didn’t exactly break out the champagne and cupcakes.

You see, apparently, I have forgotten how to blog. Weeks, months go by and I cannot pull the words together to fill a post. Of course, lack of time factors in heavily as well. My work is crazier than ever (and I mean that in more than one sense); the holidays washed over me like a tinsel-clad tsunami; and I remain ever stunned at, as a dog owner, just how much time you have to — have to — spend rubbing bellies and throwing squeaky toys. There aren’t enough hours in the day.

As a result, I am rusty. As I sit to write this post (Ed. — again; this post was started weeks ago) I find myself hesitating at the keyboard, intimidated by the virtual white page. Of late, I feel the same way in the kitchen. Whereas I used to handily churn out delicious and interesting meals, I now move a little more slowly, check and recheck measurements, constantly fear that I am skipping an ingredient.

It’s small wonder. With our time as constrained as it’s been, not only have I not been cooking, I’ve also not really been eating. I mean, sure, I’ve consumed my couple-thousand calories each day, but more often than not I may as well have eaten cardboard, cheerlessly choking down whatever sustenance is at arm’s reach.

Not that it has all been uninteresting. Attentive readers (and close personal friends) will know that DPaul suffers from a particular back problem similar to rheumatoid arthritis. Recently, in his efforts to combat this condition, he has begun working with a naturopath. Evidently, it’s quite likely that DPaul’s pain may be triggered by allergic reactions to certain foods.

The good doctor had DPaul purchase a copy of Eat Right for Your Type. The author, Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo, has devised a set of diets based on each individual’s blood type. By many accounts, he’s on to something with this. In point of fact, in just one week of adherence to the diet, DPaul was virtually pain-free.

Of course, here’s the thing: DPaul is blood-type O; I am type A. Type O is purportedly the primal blood type — hunter-gatherers, cavemen and whatnot. The diet comprises meat, meat, meat and meat, no dairy or grains — diet not unlike one a certain meat-eating vegan I know was forced to reconcile with. "A" types came with the next step in human evolution: Agriculture. Hence, the type A diet is, well, vegetarian. There is stunningly little overlap between the diets.

Herein lies the irony: When DPaul and I first got together, over fifteen years ago, I was fairly pescetarian, leaning into more hardcore vegetarianism for economic reasons. DPaul was a meat eater. Over the years we gravitated closer together, but left to our own devices, were we doing what our bodies told us to?

Read More

This week in gob


Perhaps against my better judgment, I decided to partake in Sam at Becks & Posh’s challenge to photodocument everything we eat in a week. (Update: See the roundup on Becks & Posh.) It’s an interesting experiment, to say the least, and made all the more so by the fact that it was Thanksgiving week. In our case, our Turkey Day proper was a small affair, just the two of us at home. However, we attend a friend’s orphan’s Thanksgiving the Friday after every year, and this year was no exception.

I’m taking this one step farther by not only documenting what I ate blow-by-blow, but including estimates of caloric intake according to the fantastic resource (Thank you Kat for turning me on to this!) These are largely guesses at quantities, albeit educated guesses, and I think I was fair in my estimations. On the upside, few of the days seemed to exceed the standard Ameriocan 2,000 calorie diet. However, if I am to lose weight as I would like, I am meant to keep my intake under 1,500, which I did only on two days. Still, I somehow managed to lose one pound between last Monday and today.

Given that this was a holiday week, I would venture to say that much of what I ate was a bit pumped up from the norm. Yet, still, there is evidence of the monotony of everyday eating, most apparent in the almost total homogeneity of breakfast — that is, until the pecan pie got the better of me. It also exposed how much time we actually spend in our kitchen, though to be fair we are talking about mealtime here. Still, other than Saturday, when we made an expedition up to Carneros to pick up one of our wine club shipments, we spent pretty much the entire weekend in the kitchen doing something or other.

Although many dishes and meals were planned for this week —
Thanksgiving proper, the pies we made for Friday — much of it was
spontaneous and generally indicative of our dietary patterns. The best
example is Wednesday night’s dinner, involving a baked pasta dish we had
in the freezer, salad greens carried over from our lunch and a
persimmon and some walnuts we had in the house. One of the most
satisfying meals we had all week, plucked from thin air.

When my great aunt and uncle had their 50th anniversary, my cousin’s husband asked them to what did they attribute the success of their relationship. Without skipping a beat, my great aunt Laura said, a cocktail every day at four o’clock. While this is hard to pull off when you’re in the office, DPaul and I do like to have the occasional cocktail … again, as is well documented here. In retrospect, we would have stocked up the bar. The Cape Codders got a bit repetitive.

Speaking of booze: Sorry, Sam, I did not capture every single glass of wine individually, and it’s just as well. Repetive would not begin to convey the landscape of the mosaic had I done so.

I am not an artful photographer, particularly when under the gun to
capture something in its ready-to-eat state while I am ready to eat it.
But I have tried to offer some diversity in depiction of the foods,
especially when there was little actual diversity in them (like, for
example, breakfast).

Some of these meals I will be posting about retroactively this week.
I spent most of my time creating, consuming and documenting them,
leaving little time to actually write about them. Watch for a
retrospective of Thanksgiving week meals over the next few days.

It’s a worthwhile exercise to keep close tabs on your intake.
Photographing it is somewhat another matter. It’s been extremely
interesting, but also utterly tedious, and I am looking forward to
eating with my mouth and not my camera again.

The meticulously documented diet follows after the jump. Or, if you just like the pictures, you can just jump in and see the Flickr photoset here.

Read More

Food with food in it

I'm dieting (again), and I'm not especially happy about it. Lest I sound like a manic weight-loss fanatic, let me put your mind at ease. I am nothing of the sort. In fact, I am the opposite. It is precisely…

Read More