Warning: this post is not a celebration of food as my usual WIAWs are, but I figure it’s important to show the grimy days sometimes alongside the giddy ones, because both are real and both impact you as a person. I love being happy, energetic and mobile (who doesn’t), but I’ve been run down for more than a month and a half now so I’m in a food crisis where I’m not sure what to eat. I’m sure lots of people feel the same, so hopefully my ramblings won’t be alien but will maybe reflect your own ambivalence when ill on what on earth you can do and eat to do more than just survive.
I started the day well enough – I ate my breakfast and felt like I was going to be hungry enough to require a sturdy second breakfast before our training course commenced, so I packed the heat, but following that and a combo of new meds kicking in, it was either haunting nausea or burning hunger on swivel mode for the rest of the day. It feels like I ate way more than I should have, but that’s just because nothing is actually appetizing at the moment and I eat because I feel I should, not because I want to. I have the feeling this is going to be life for the next while to come, so please excuse my lack of recipe posts for the rest of the week – I can’t stand the sight of food!
05h30/Breakfast: coffee + 1 banana smoothie with 1.5 cups icy water, 1/2 frozen and chopped cucumber, lettuce, 2 TBSP protein powder + TBSP flax powder, spices, mint leaves and NuNaturals Vanilla Liquid + 2 low kcal vegan cookies (too much in a rush to take a snap, sorry!). Usually my smoothies come out more watery or more voluminous so that I can fill a giant bowl or this medium one plus my 1 litre water bottle, but not today – I just made the rim. Small pleasures to wrangle the science of the smoothie!07h30/second breakast: 1 brown rice cracker + 1 TBSP hummus + 1 vegan sausauge + some artichokes + coffeeOnce the training class got started I was in pure hell – I couldn’t read/see and kept on closing my eyes “for just a second” and then I felt I was half passing out sitting up. I’m sure the lady next to me must’ve thought I had gone out late the evening before! It wouldn’t have been so bad if I was in my own office and could get up and walk around for circulation, but we’re neck-deep in Excel, and all those swirling cells do not help.
10h00/teatime: black coffee + 1 slice of 100% rye bread smeared with 2 tsp tahini. I know I’m supposed to be on a gluten-free kick, but when I went back to my GP after setting an appt with the specialist she says in the meanwhile I don’t have to be 100% stringent until proper tests are done, because being GF and vegan in South Africa is asking to starve, or at least be deprived of easy carbs like bread or cereal. I don’t usually munch bread but when I’m in training or away from the office I find it’s better to be safe than sorry, and honestly bread is one big lump so that helps keep me full and focused. After the sandwich and coffee I felt much better and actually enjoyed the course a lot more, when it was being presented and not interrupted with cricket updates. I love training and learning SO much, like the total dork that I am, and I finally figured out THREE ways to get an average 😀 You might be thinking, duh, but for someone who did precious little maths in school and had a lot of remedial classes thanks to moving countries and entering a new syllabus every four years, this was a fist-in-the-air achievement.
12h30/lunch: steamed 1 cup pumpkin, 2 steamed carrots + 1/2 cup steamed green beans plus some salsa. I really wasn’t feeling lunch but sometimes you have to pull your socks up and get to business, and once I started it wasn’t so bad again until I got home, and then for half an hour the world was my enemy.14h00/lunch continued: 1 black plum, 1 mainly green salad with 1 radish and pepper topped with nutritional yeast and apple cider vinegar + hot carob (1 heaped teaspoon carob plus stevia sugar and hot water – hits the spot!). I spoke a bit about curative diets and eating to heal yourself last week, so sometimes when I’m nauseous my one response is to try and eat more to see if that’s the culprit, so I made a steadfast effort the afternoon that didn’t end until a 15h30 pass-out nap. Verdict: nein. Sometimes a diet of toast and water or gruel and tea is actually the best, so other than the fact that I’ve already packed tomorrow’s lunch this would be my plan of action for the rest of the week. 15h00/more snacks: 1 TBSP chia seeds + 1/2 cup soy milk + 2 TBSP protein powder – this is my go-to snack for the afternoons when I arrive back home, usually at 16h30, and if I were to go to the gym (which obviously I’m not at the moment). This sweet combo plus a few slices of banana really helps keep energy where it needs to be.Snacks part 2: flat green beans, sun-dried tomatoes, 1 TBSP hummus + some vegan pecan paté.I wasn’t feeling life at all so I had a nap until Man-thing started making noises at 18h00 which woke me up, completely nauseous, hence my “modest” dinner.
19h00/dinner: steamed zucchini + a chunky green tomato sauce I made from the last of a friend’s gift from her veggie patch.19h30/dessert: 1 cup strawberries + some vegan jelly and 1 tsp peanut butter + soy milk. Felt a bit better after munching, but I wasn’t brave enough to wild on toppings like chocolate syrup, which is usually the only way I eat fruit and jelly in the evening (not because I hate fruit, but because it’s an excuse to elevate it to an art form). The fork is for show. In fact, in most of my food photos all the utensils are for show. I eat salad with my fingers like a barbarian, even if the leaves are splashed with apple cider vinegar and have nutritional yeast all over them. Steamed anything is also hand food…I must seem like such a barbarian to Man-thing, because when we watch a series over dinner I forget myself and get back into these unladylike habits, but it seems a waste to miss out on a whole experience of smell, taste and touch. Or I’m just really ill-mannered.Anyway, I thought I’d end this post on a positive note, or at least projecting positive, which means listing the things I want to do again once I’m diagnosed and on the road to recovery with energy back in store:
- Start post-work forty minute walks with Man-thing again. These were really a treasured part of last year and left us feeling a lot better about ourselves and the day. It sucked in the beginning but we got the hang of it and then it was fun to get out and get some fresh air every day.
- Do 10km fun run/walks again. Another AWESOME activity that I really, really enjoyed but can’t do at the moment. I get a bit skittish with all the people but once the gun goes off and the people start moving I can forget about being in a swarm and just focus on power walking my way to the best post-event splurge meal I can think of, usually involving a smoothie and chocolate to start.
- Go hiking. We had planned to get a December ticket to the local nature reserve and to go hiking there every week but that never happened, and I can barely climb the stairs to get one floor up to my office in the mornings, but hiking is really one of my favourites – on an unknown trail, enjoying random moments of breathing, feeling the sun on your shoulders, seeing a random animal or insect…awesome.
- Do yoga. It sounds silly but I don’t even have energy to stretch and touch my toes, and I used to count yoga as a daily exercise back in the day (which I still believe stands true) that would last more than an hour just because I was enjoying myself so thoroughly.
So ja, my goals are exercise orientated? I guess I just miss having energy. I may not look it but I love movement after being caged in an obese body for more than two decades, so this illness/lack of energy is really impacting me not only physically but also very emotionally, because I can’t decide if it’s me or my body that’s gone wrong or given up. Either way, I suspect all this may be the best excuse ever to eat custard or a smoothie for every meal!