Sunday, 4 November 2012

too much food: take two

I think I’ve found the solution to my nutrition/food dilemma.
But before I talk about that, let me talk to you about mangos.
Mangos are delicious. I love mangos. They’re smooth, soft, and sweet, and the meat of the fruit is so delicious.
This is not a mango. And he who dares tell you otherwise can go shove it because he has no place on this earth and does not deserve to exist or eat any food. Ever. Because he does not know what a mango is.

I made the mistake of buying two of them in Cardiff yesterday. They were really cheap – 2 for 1.50. That probably should have been my first warning sign. In what world can you buy two mangos for 15RMB? Not this world at least. And probably not in any other galaxy in the universe. Ever.
So I’m holding it and I’m thinking, wow, that’s a good deal! The fruit feels soft enough so it’s probably ripe, but it’s not too soft so it’s not overripe. Plus it’s so big! This must be one delicious mango!
Boy, was I wrong. My second warning sign probably should have been when I was cutting into the fruit. As my knife was sawing through it, I could actually feel and hear the fibers in the fruit break. Cutting into mangos should be easy; the knife should cut smoothly into the fruit and you definitely should not feel like you’re sawing through it. Unless you’re cutting too close/into the seed of the mango, in which case that will happen.
My third warning sign should have been when I was creating the cross-hatch into the fruit. When I cut the mango, I hold it vertically and I cut the two sides, avoiding the seed in the middle. Then, I take the two sides then I make a cross-hatch pattern… oh, just look at the picture of the real mango and you’ll know what I’m talking about. As I was creating the cross-hatch, I could see the fibers of the fruit.
Then I ate the stupid thing and it was fibrous and yucky and not sweet or soft or juicy and I got the fiber string thingies stuck in my teeth and it was like a mango that I had once wronged had come back from mango hell and decided to take revenge on me or something. It was so terrible.
For your reference, this is a real mango:
The real stuff.
Moral of the story: don’t eat British mangos. They’re actually gremlins who have taken the form of mangos. Eat them after 8PM and you’ll go crazy or something.
Anyway, today I made my first real meal. I’ve made fake meals before… like when I was all fitness- and nutrition-oriented and weight-loss-oriented (well, I guess I still am weight-loss oriented, especially since I’ve gained 4 kilos [!!!] since I arrived at AC.) In the past I’d make easy stuff like grilled salmon or pan-seared salmon or something really easy that I thought was super fancy but not really.
Yesterday I made fried rice with Yvonne. Technically I made it all, with her guidance (I chopped everything, put everything in the pan, added the seasoning/sauces, stir-fried it, ate it…) so that’s a dish that I made. Today, I made beef and broccoli stir-fry that was pretty decent. It took me about 40 minutes from start to finish, excluding the marinating time. I can definitely see ways that I could improve, which means that I’m going to have to alter the recipe. I’ll put up the recipe once I’ve perfected it.
Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry
Sorry the quality is so terrible. I’m definitely bringing my dSLR back after Christmas break so that I can take actually good food pictures that will make you salivate like no other.
…and the fried rice
I promise you that the food I make looks a lot better than this. I PROMISE. God, this food actually looks like it’s been made for dogs. I need a better camera. And better lighting probably.
BACK TO MY FIRST POINT. The whole “Eureka! I know why my nutrition is way off balance!” I came to this conclusion as I was eating my dinner. It occurred to me that that was the first time I’d actually eaten a meal as I would have back home. Granted, it was without my dad, but when I was living in Beijing, there would be multiple times a week I’d eat at home alone anyway, so I guess it kind of was like home.
In Beijing, I would always have a bowl of rice, and a couple of dishes in the middle to eat from. One of the dishes would be some kind of meat-and-vegetable stir-fry, and another would be a “rice mix-in” (a dish that you would put in your rice and mix, such as steamed egg or tomato and egg stir-fry) or a vegetable dish. That would be for 2-4 people, so it made sense that I just made one stir-fry. I could only finish half the stir-fry anyway. But at AC, even when I ate elsewhere, you just always had your own plate and it was never a sit-down Chinese meal. At Christine’s (bio teacher) house, for a Hong Kong bonding session right before the Mid-Autumn Festival, we all had rice and there was food in the middle, but everybody was standing up and… it was just very different. During regular meals, it’s just absolute crap and you have your tray and everything and it just feels weird. I never know what the proper ‘portions’ are because I’ve never grown up eating like that. I always grew up having my bowl of rice and eating the side dishes and I think because I’ve grown up eating like that, I have this biological/innate/instinctive *alarm* in my body that tells me I’m full after I’ve eaten this much or that much or whatever. Plus, we always had fruit after dinner, so I would just know how much of the ‘main meal’ I could eat so that I could still eat the fruit and not feel like I was going to pop like a balloon at the end of the meal.
Very long-winded monologue. But it’s a very important breakthrough, so I think the rambling is justified.
I have this great idea for an activity at AC. The thing is, a lot of the time, I have these great ideas when I’m not at AC and once I get there, it just kind of gets shut down and… I don’t know, maybe that happens with everybody. You have this wonderful idea, and then reality kicks its ass. I guess Tony Robbins is right: it’s about resourcefulness, not resources. I’ll post up the link to that video after I finish this post.
I’m going to spend the rest of this term, as well as the winter holidays, learning how to cook and perfecting a couple of dishes. All of the food I’m going to cook is going to be Chinese or Asian fusion – I think it’s important that I learn how to cook food from my own culture before I try to master Italian or French cooking or something like that. Then, next term, I want to lead an activity in which on a weekday, we have a ‘guest speaker’ (an AC student) that talks about their culture, especially their cuisine and how it shapes their culture and/or vice versa. Then, on Saturday or something, that student cooks a traditional or typical meal for us. I think it would be a great idea to become more exposed to the cultures and foods of the world. Good idea, no?
I’m off to bed now. I realize that my body feels lethargic and it feels like absolute crap when I eat too much. I’m going to focus more on intuitive eating… and finding the yin and yang of my foods and returning to my roots ;)


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