Lent: Day 15

Hit the two week mark today.  As with most commitments, it has now evolved into a struggle not just to do, but to be mindful of the reasons I am doing.  Staying away from the obvious processed foods has become easier — no chocolate for 2 weeks is what I am most impressed with, and I realized I didnt really craved boxed cookies to begin with. There is just something so much more alluring and, well, real, about the fresh ones. My consumption of sweets has plummeted, and fruit has become the natural substitute. I recently regained an appreciation for bosc pears, which I prefer to most apples, as it turns out. I want to try baking with them sometime soon. They seem pretty similar to Asian pears, which are also so good. When I was young, my family would go out to Brooklyn to visit my cousins and my aunt would almost always greet us with a plate of Asian pears, cut up and ready to be devoured. And there were almost always more waiting in the wings.

But God knows I have not been perfect.  Far from it, and some days I also realize I have eaten things in the past that I should not have, and should have known that I should not have had I stopped to think about it.  Like any pizza that is not made with fresh cheese, which is 99% of the pizza out there.  Love Pinnochio’s but their cheese is not kicking and screaming.  So yes, no pizza not made with fresh cheese from hereon out.  I suppose one could argue that cheese, the product, is by definition a processed food, since it requires handling and altering to make.  But no unnatural ingredients need be added to make cheese (though preserving its shelf life is a different story), so what is done to it enhances and elevates the natural goodness of milk.  From my pov, what is done to milk to make cheese amounts to taking the original ingredient and creating another edible form of itself — the latter still being a wholly natural product, in its unpreserved state.  Same argument I would apply to olives.

Some days I catch myself saying no to food without remembering why, and such an action becomes pointless when that happens. The whole point is embedded in the why, and if I forget that, then I might as well eat that chocolate with the almonds and toffee bits, or ben and jerry’s chunky monkey. The challenge to forgo food for a purpose, that is tricky. I can see why sometimes vegetarians lose sight of why they don’t eat meat, and become so accustomed to doing it that eventually it loses significance. The lifestyle is no longer a gesture of defiance or resistance or a statement. I find that a sad place to be and I can see myself trickling toward that, and it is difficult to actively recall one’s motives. Some philosopher said man is his desires, but I think we can just as easily be our habits. In fact, that might be the more predominant state of existence, complacency. It’s a bitch to live for something.

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