Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Someone please pass me a celery stick
I hope you all had a lovely long weekend, celebrating or not celebrating Easter. We (my stomach and I) had a great time away in lovely Tenterfield with its autumn colours, rolling countryside and stunning National Parks. For the second year in a row my family spent the four days down there in a couple of little cabins tucked away next to a creek, enjoying camp fires, singing, bush poetry and our usual Polish Easter traditions. Specifically, that would be food and lots of it. For my family, both Christmas and Easter mean feasting. Not because of Lent or feasting on Good Friday and Easter Saturday, but because these are the only two times of the year that we make traditional Polish food. At some point many years ago, we began experimenting with the food of our new homeland - the food of others. We started cooking Italian pastas, Thai curries, Portuguese fish and any mix of food from around the world that is so readily available in Australia. Slowly but surely, Polish food faded off the menu of everyday cooking and now appears only twice a year when we gather to feast. By the end of breakfast, everyone usually holds their bellies, muttering that they really need a nap now, because eating has been so exhausting. Instead my sister pokes and prods us all and we go for a shortish walk to 'gently exercise our stomach muscles'.
This year was no different, but it turns out that I am different or more specifically my stomach. Before the trip I enquired as to who would be bringing he snacks, fruit and veggies. After much mockery at my expense, my family couldn't fathom why I would want to bring celery sticks, reassuring me that there would be plenty of food. Reflecting on their jokes about my eating habits, I thought that perhaps I was over reacting and I could in fact just stick with what the group was eating.
Unfortunately it turns out I can't and I'm not sure if that's a reflection on my strangeness or theirs. My eyes still water thinking about a 'salad' that was made primarily from potatoes or the half eaten brown avocado handed to me when I enquired as to the availability of more fresh produce. Argh, what have I become!?! Furthermore, feasting feels ghastly. Who would ever have thought that I would one day actually want to feel hungry? It is really fascinating how the body adjusts to eating patterns. At one stage in my life I thought my body loved fat and sugar and that was how things were going to be. Now my two day headache proves that sugar and I are not friends. I used to be able to happily overeat and sure I didn't feel great for a little while, but not 3 days! And Sundays feast was nothing compared to last year, when while 'gently exercising my stomach muscles' I felt like I was going to vomit. What puzzles me, is how few little changes I have made and yet the side effects are huge. The body is indeed a fascinating thing and by constantly adapting, apparently I haven't got it figured yet and I need to keep listening. That or perhaps not making the sugar mistake so often. Either way....where did I put those celery sticks....