Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Done with it ... not

Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.
~ John Lennon

Thought i had finished writing about health issues but the universe seems to have other ideas. I had planned to write about the lead-up to my momentous decision to relocate as folks seem to be interested in hearing about that.

There i was continuing exploration of my new abode, walking 3 km in the broiling sun to find Organic Home Farmers Market, only to find it closed - they open on Tuesdays and Thursdays and it was Wednesday - when i was subsequently laid low, as it were, by "bad feelings" as we say in Jamaica. I'd had slight intimations the previous week or so but this time i had to lie down.

The old familiar symptoms had returned insisting they not be so easily forgotten: the tightness in the left breast, twinges in the left armpit, uneven breathing, irregular heartbeat. When i can feel my heart working, i know there is a problem. An MRI 6 years ago had shown blockage of the coronary arteries more severe than 85% of men my age based on calcium score. That's the indirect way they state the results. Normally the heart works away quietly and imperceptibly in the background. 3 years ago i embarked on a no-added fat diet (coined the word 'nafvegan' to describe it) and my symptoms went away. This intervention had been inspired by the work of Drs. Ornish, McDougall and Esselstyn. (See also The China Study and Forks Over Knives.)

Since quitting DC i've tried to stick to vegan fare, difficult at that is when travelling, acquiescing to the unavoidably ubiquitous larding of cooking oil, sort of a holiday from discipline. I was savoring all the new taste sensations, flavor combinations and subtleties.

Thai vegan street food 

Fresh, tasty ingredients with flavors of coconut,
holy basil, galangal, keffir lime leaves.
Take-away containers
The oil content made visible

I had gotten away with it up to now but 6 weeks of subsisting on what invariably oil-cooked vegan food i could find had finally caught up with me.

So it's back to the kitchen. One of the reasons i came to Thailand was for what i anticipated was the abundance of fresh, delicious vegan food available on every street corner, but i had not counted on the amount of oil used in its preparation. I was intending to spend less time at the stove and more at the computer working on the 3 projects i have in mind. The best laid plans of mice and men ...