Saturday, January 29, 2011

Overlooked by all but me

The poor monkfish. What did he ever to do receive the ugly stick? Why was he not blessed with the beautiful graces of the squirrel, the chipmunk, the deer?

I felt bad for him today. No one wanted him at the fish market. The others, they wanted tilapia, salmon, swordfish. I took the monkfish home. I massaged him in olive oil, soothed him some chunks of garlic, bathed him in lime juice, tickled him with freshly ground pepper. And then I coated him with an eclectic robe of riches: salsa that I made with mango, cucumber, sweet red pepper, cilantro, and this overpriced pineapple core that came from Wegman's.

Upon his completion, the once plain swimmer now stood on the winner's circle, basking in his glory.

He was, indeed, divine in all of his paleo-centricity.

Speaking of which...I had a neat experience at Mr. Bill's where I was trying to find organic turkey bacon. Unfortunately, no one at the Farmer's Market carried the brand which I wanted. But the butcher noted what types of meats I was requesting, to which he asked if I did endurance sports. Yes. Ah, he says he could tell because he provides the same organic, free-range products to numerous Ironman competitors. And then he said he was friends with Sharon Mongrain, a woman from Philadelphia who I know by proxy. Small world, it is. And it was a sign, I think, that I am moving in the right direction.

Friday, January 28, 2011

I am an avocado.

If I return as a fruit, I will be an avocado.

A versatile fruit, the avocado provides one of the smoothest and flavorful centers. It’s not sharp or bitter. Rather, it’s beyond mellow. Plus, it’s inclined to warm weather. It’s productive when treated properly. It was worshipped by the Aztecs who considered it a fertility fruit.

Not that I want to be worshipped in any fashion relating to fertility. But I want to be treated well by the people in my life.

We all do.

Unfortunately, I don’t always feel that way, and so I continue to take measures to eliminate negative people from my surroundings. Recently, however, I spent several hours with a well-respected professional with an arm’s length of credentials.

However, he was clearly outspoken in his criticism of my training and my goals. Even though he doesn’t know me, his comments stung for days, and I can still clearly hear his toxic words piercing my hopes. Fortunately, I don’t have to listen to him again, but the pain that I internalized still lingers.

Coupled with that incident, I am dealing with the stresses of overhauling my nutrition plan, which has its flock of skeptics. As a former vegetarian and animals rights zealot for most of my 20s, I found the prospect of becoming a subscriber to the Paleolithic plan rather ironic. Still, I have not felt as healthy and as clean in a long time, and that includes my years as a strict vegetarian.

Despite continuous reading, researching and talking with other Paleos, I feel as though I have to defend my choice to question whether I consume too many cereal grains that contain the toxic protein gluten. No, I don’ t need to eat a bowl of Kashi or fusilli to get my carbohydrates. But people will still insist that I do.

Since my switch, I am cooking with new approaches, embracing kale as my partner. Coconut and grapeseed oils have added new flavors to my fish dishes and vegetables. Organic bison has replaced all other beef. My chickens roam free!

Yet as content that I am with my decisions, I still feel as though I am finding my way to becoming the person that I am meant to be. Right now, with a few injuries not completely healed—physically and emotionally—I am a one-oared rowboat, circling, circling. What I need most is to be with other avocadoes—smooth, mellow, worthy of being treated well.