Salad Days

panzanellaI’ve just bought a Korean lunch box.  People have been asking me what’s ‘Korean’ about it, and the truth is, I’ve no idea.  It was just made there.  All I can tell you is that, if this is a standard example of a Korean lunchbox, they’re very good at making them.   As short-legged people who try to walk beside me will confirm, I walk everywhere at as brisk a pace as possible.  Today was no exception; but I’d completely forgotten that, inside my bag, the Korean lunchbox was full of salad.  When it finally dawned on me, I expected the inside of the carrier bag to be sodden with dressing, but it was no such thing.  So well done, Korea – your press hasn’t been great lately, but here’s one  consumer who’s satisfied with at least one aspect of Korean industrial endeavour.

Now, you may think I’m being poncy bringing salad to work; and you’d be right.  But there’s as much method in my madness as there is madness in my method.  I’ve been fighting off insanity.  No, seriously.  Let’s not put too fine a point on it, but, work-wise, motivation has been hard, almost to the point of impossible over the past few months.  As one of nature’s cynics, I avoid most forms of medicine and medics; basically because, when things get tough for people, so-called ‘doctors’ automatically reach for their prescription pads and recommend you take anti-depressants. Well, that’s not going to happen to me.

Does anyone seriously know a single person who has been on anti-depressants and actually recovered?  People who aren’t now taking something stronger than they were originally prescribed?  I don’t and I’ve met a huge amount of people who’ve been on them.  If someone with a title says, ‘you’re depressed’, you believe them, in the way you’ve been brought up to respect the opinions of doctors.  The thing is, I don’t.  There will be root causes to how I feel or what triggers certain moods or periods of what I like to call “darkness”, but drugs, which have been deemed OK because they’ve been endlessly tested on animals, aren’t my solution.  Dealing with the root causes is, and working a way out of it is the only way to get a grip of your own life.  No matter what it is, no one else is to blame or responsible for getting you out of it; and it’s certainly no time to start sounding like a Damien Rice album.

So, salads.  Yes, I do declare, you can eat yourself happy, no matter what you’ve been through.  I’ve been in the process of adjusting my diet over the past month.  Nothing immediately radical, as that could be counterproductive. 

I’ve already been a vegetarian for 27 years but I’m now teetering on the edge of veganism.  I’ve dramatically reduced my dairy intake to almost zero.  Yes, I may miss real cheese but so be it.  I won’t miss cow’s milk, soya makes great cappuccino, I won’t miss butter at all, always hated it, and, despite my fondness for frittata, eggs have to go too.  Chocolate, well… it was only ever a luxury.

I have to report that, after a few weeks of filling myself up almost entirely on fruit, vegetables, and a few nuts a day  it is in the process of transforming me.  I’ve discovered Quinoa, been using good quality wholegrain rice and keeping my usual gargantuan pasta portions down to a minimum.  Energy-wise, I’m almost back to “normal” –  in other words, where I was three years ago when keeping up with everything was still second nature to me. 

I shall revisit this, especially if it keeps working.  I’ve been seeking out solutions to see what works for me.  We’ll just have to see how it goes from here. 

For now – Forza Panzanella.

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