Wednesday, January 22, 2014
My family doctor recently informed me that my cholesterol was a bit above the normal. I've never had an issue with that so I was nearly in denial: rather resorting to blaming the incompetence of the lab workers who obviously need to go back to blood-work school. After reluctantly accepting this negative diagnosis that may well affect this somewhat healthy (and somewhat sagging) body I resolved to cut down on my intake of certain "treats". † Treats: One man's dessert is another man's death sentence, I'd say. I dislike milk, so ice cream seemed a perfect substitute, right? Nope. Ice cream is out. I like to think chocolate is a gift from the gods. Don't we all need a little chunk of that dark, creamy richness each and every day? Ok, a couple a week: that’s the best I can do for now. † During the week, I aim to eat as healthy as possible. You know the drill: Yogurt and dried or fresh fruit for breakfast, steamed soybeans or almonds for snack, rainbow on my dinner plate...But when the weekend rolls around it’s time for a semi-splurge and breakfast is my target of opportunity. † Lots of restaurants offer a plethora of unhealthy choices and one of my favorites is a national chain where I can order a dozen different fat-laden, sugar-coated items if I so choose. And I do. Not only do I munch down on bacon (soft - or I'll send it back) and eggs (with cheese please), I add on a waffle with extra butter (and hot syrup) and maybe even a side of hash browns (with onions, jalapenos and cheese). And lets not forget the details: A steaming cup of Joe with chocolate sauce and whipped topping (I bring my own...just in case). † I later regret this egregious lapse in common sense (which remarkably resembles gluttony). And this past Saturday it took me till 3 p.m. to get over my latest gastronomical adventure. Usually I reserve enough common sense to ingest one gargantuan meal such as that but this time I went to far. † I decided to experience Kimchi on the same day. † Being a lover of foods from around the globe, I shared with an Asian friend my desire to try authentic Kimchi. To my surprise, a week later her husband dropped off a sample of their homemade version of the traditional Korean side dish made with white radish and Napa cabbage. That was so sweet and thoughtful of them! † I've heard all the warnings about Kimchi such as don't open the container in the company of friends - unless they are willing participants in the feast; your body will permeate the unique fragrance for days after ingesting, etc. But being one to never turn down something new, I had to taste. It was great - until I swallowed. Fish sauce, which is a principal ingredient (Vietnam’s signature condiment), tends to become, ah, more pronounced as you chew. Whew -weeeee!!!! † I'm ok. The dish is fabulous. I'll just have to get used to the pungent, ocean-kissed perfume of lignified fish. I'm also grateful I didn't have to hang out with friends that evening. † Now it's my turn. But what could equal such a byzantine delicacy? I'll return their thoughtful gesture with a libation equal only in its definition of health an antibiotic free, hormone free, package of homegrown venison. Unique, yes but I'm afraid it can't compete in the unique flavor category!
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