B.R.A.T. this is the acronym my doctor used when advising me on what to eat. For those of you who do not speak doctor, B.R.A.T stands for Bananas, Rice, Apple Sauce and Toast. Mmm. NOT!
You see, I have been having some stomach issues. When I say issues, what I mean is, when I eat something, I either have the overwhelming urge to barf or I have abdominal pain that feels like a scene from Alien. I rarely have an appetite (which is unlike me) and I feel best when I do not eat anything at all. However, not eating poses another problem (if continued long term): death by starvation. Lately, I’ve been subsisting on vegan protein drinks mixed with almond milk — and sometimes nothing at all. Mystified by the cause of my pain & nausea my doctor recommends I eat B.R.A.T.
So after work on Friday, I made an excursion to the wallet raping store known as Whole Paycheck (I mean, Foods) to pick up some bananas, (among other sundries). Every cell in my vegan/macrobiotic body screamed out in protest of buying bananas. Macros don’t do bananas, m-kay? Bananas are tropical and I live outside of Boston, which last time I checked, isn’t a tropical place. (Although, living through the summer sans AC sure felt like the f*cking tropics, minus the beach and fancy drinks with umbrellas.) I also picked up some apple sauce, a loaf of Ezekiel bread, another bag of brown rice (figuring I’d better stock up if this is going to be my diet staple) along with some macro staples such as: daikon root, kobacha squash, ginger, sugar snap peas, cilantro and scallions…I also perused the vegan desserts by MooCluck (love this company) and wound up buying the vegan version of a Hostess cupcake, minus the ground up animal bits i.e. eggs & dairy – hence MooCluck – get it?? C’mon, keep up, will ya?
Saturday morning I dropped (or should I say made a effing mess of) a banana into my protein vegan shake. Wasn’t bad — thickened it up a bit and held me until dinner time. (I tend to go hours and I do mean hours between meals. I’m not an eat-every-three-hours kind of gal — used to be, but not anymore. That ship has sailed.)
Sunday, before heading outside to do extensive yard and gardening work [groan] — man do I wish it were winter already — I decided to toast some Ezekiel bread, smeared on some almond butter, sliced banana and drizzle of agave nectar. Do-able, and surprisingly, no pain or nausea — so far so good (thus far anyway). More to come on this…
This morning, for breakfast, I ate a honey crisp apple (yum!) and a banana. About 3 bites into the banana I realized something — I hate bananas (sorry monkeys). They make me feel heavy, bogged down, sluggish, irritable and…well… just plan blah.
I am not a doctor but I swear my stomach issue might have something to do with the fact that I have been neglecting my macrobiotic diet. Since April, I have been all consumed by gardening, yard projects and maintenance – let’s face it – it never ends. As a result, I haven’t had as much time to devote to macro cooking. I do all of my cooking on Sundays so I have meals for the entire week. I always make time for cooking – always! I will forfeit other things, in order to accommodate my cooking.And yet, for some reason, as soon as the weather turned, I began spending every flipping weekend outside, working, slaving in the yard and my garden, instead of balancing (key word here) outside responsibilities with my macro cooking. Don’t misunderstand, I was making wholesome meals but they were not macro – not by a long stretch. Vegan polenta & seitan casserole, anyone?
Back to Sunday:
Sunday morning (before the yard work), rather than sleep in, which I often like to do on Sundays, I got up at 5:05 a.m. (my usual M-F rise and shine time), blew the dust off my favorite, most cherished macro cookbook: Mayumi’s Kitchen: Macrobiotic Cooking for Body and Soul and skimmed through the book looking for one or two recipes that would put me back on the path to wholeness (is that a word?). Finding what I needed, I proceeded to make three meals (soup, Nabe and a lentil dish) incorporating all the ingredients I purchased at WF. Call me crazy, (go ahead, I can take it) but last night, after a hectic day of yard cleanup (R.I.P. my cucumber plants) I ate two bowls of Mayumi’s soup (this is a soup she made, while feeling run down, after touring with Madonna) and within an hour of eating the soup, I felt better – more centered. That’s the beauty of macrobiotics, it centers you. Now mind you, I am not an expert macro chef and have botched one too many a recipe but I keep trying and learning. Some recipes I have perfected, others I still struggle with — it is what it is. Learning to cook Macro is long road — and some say it’s an arduous one. There are schools, (The Kushi Institute) but I don’t have the time or cash flow to pursue something like that, right now. However it is on my bucket list. In the meantime, I buy books and experiment.
Anyhoo, while outside working, I reflected on how far off the macro path I had strayed and chided myself for being so careless. Why did I stop following the macro principles that are the foundation of good health (eating fresh fermented ingredients, chewing at least 30 times, only eating until 80% full, and having dinner at least 3 hours before sleeping)? How could I have allowed this to happen? Easy. I was trying to be all things to all people — well sort of. Actually, I was trying to be superwoman which is, as my friend Wheeza says, “Stupes.” I fully believe good health stems from the foods you put into your body. This is why I converted to veganism after having been a lacto-ovo vegetarian for years. This is also why I adopted a macrobiotic lifestyle.
I do not have much faith in doctors — I’m sorry, but I don’t. Most seem to want to “put a pill on it” as my co-worker DB says. Since my stomach troubles began (about 2 or 3 months ago, who can remember?), I’ve been struggling, trying to find the cause. Yes it’s true, I have been under a lot of stress lately due to managing and updating an old home but that cannot be it in its entirety. I’m beginning to think, straying from a macro diet has a lot to do with my stomach issues — or at least, this is what I have chosen to believe. Who knows… maybe I’m a crackpot or maybe I’ve been impregnated by an Alien and will soon give birth to a chest burster.