On Writing, Food, and Dieting
Food for thought, thought for food,
Makes a better attitude.
At least I keep telling myself that. Like just about everyone else who goes through dietary issues and changes, I get cranky and grumpy and tired of thinking about it, and yet can’t stop thinking about it at every turn, because it’s my food! Making it even more challenging, I’ve just finished writing my second cookbook, Minimalist Cooking 2, which will be available at Smashwords and Amazon.com in the next few days (and I’ll do a post complete with links when the time comes). So it’s been an intense two months of thinking about food, cooking food, having Steve photograph food, and writing about food, all while adjusting my personal intake of food to gluten-free vegetarian and a lot less of it altogether. Five pounds down, eight to go–fighting weight, here I come!
The former fashionista in me is looking forward to the day that I get to buy new jeans. This leads to thoughts about shopping for clothes, and of course if you have been reading this blog for a while, you are aware of my love/hate relationship with clothes shopping. So here we are: thoughts on food lead to thoughts of shopping. What fun, eh? I am glad that by the time I am ready for new jeans, I won’t have to face the low-slung styles which were the only available choice the last time I wore the next size down. I know that Helen Mirren is ten years older than me and still sports a bikini, but that’s Helen freaking Mirren, who can render camera lenses cloudy and soft-focused with a mere glance. Or maybe she really is all that, a goal too lofty por moi.
Honestly though, I don’t have anything to complain about in the larger scheme of things, being not overweight to begin with, and still being in the stage where lifestyle changes can make a big difference without entering the world of juggling layers of medication, and in fact I have been weaning myself off of a lot of meds I was already taking. No, I am the spoiled-rotten lover of food having to face up to how bad a lot of it is for me, and having to do some serious attitude adjustment. Of course I can’t vent about it in the cookbook :}
Venting can be done here, and up to a point in other sorts of writing, which I’m indulging in at the moment. It’s National Novel Writing Month, where the goal is to write 50,000 words in thirty days; I’ve been an on-and-off participant for the past six years. This year is different, though, because this is the novel that is going to see the light of day. I think. That’s my intention, anyway. (Nice dance back from that commitment, hm?) To make it more likely to happen, I’m using Alan Watt’s writing guide The 90-Day Novel. In Watt’s guide, the first 30 days is all about getting the words out as directly and quickly as possible, and not worry about rewriting and editing and over-thinking the thing, and that meshes perfectly with NaNoWriMo. He also provides tons of prompts to get the flow of words going on those days my brain is as blank as the computer screen. Of course I’ve already broken one of his rules by mentioning that I’m even doing this, but I don’t get too hung up on that sort of thing. Everybody knows I’m a writer, and writer writes, so it’s no big deal to say I’m writing. Right?
Anyway, writing a second cookbook began with the decision to expand on the ideas that I presented in the first one, thus it is called Minimalist Cooking 2: 27 More Practical Recipes. It took a while to decide which recipes from my collection were going in and which were not, and to see if a particular focus revealed itself. That turned out to be one-pot and one-dish meals, which was great because I do love that sort of cooking and eating. A lot of my recipes are from my commercial cookery days, so had to be rewritten for the home cook and in smaller proportions, and they also needed detailed instructions. I think I did this project just in time, because I was starting to forget what I meant by some of my shorthand instructions!
Now that the cookbook is done, it is easier to focus on learning some gluten-free recipes, getting creative with the no-meat thing (and mostly no-dairy), and threatening the bathroom scale with being tossed under the next cement truck that goes by if 1200 calories a day doesn’t show some results. Excuse me while I go make some cinnamon herb tea and pretend it’s a sticky bun. Aaaaarrrrrrggggghhhh!