Clean Living

I have something of a masochistic streak about me, which means that I often do ostensibly healthy things in the most unhealthy fashions possible. Haven’t run for a long time? No problem, I’ll just go tackle a 5K run without even bothering to stretch first! Haven’t been on my bike all summer? No worries, I’ll just pump up the tires and go ride for 60 miles or so around Dutchess County! Feeling a little puffy around the middle? What the heck, I’ll just starve myself and lose 30 pounds in 30 days! (I’m not making any of these things up, just for the record). The worse it feels now, the better it will feel when it stops. That’s a credo to live by.

As I age, though, I find that I’m a bit less willing to torture myself just for the sake of doing so, but would generally rather find healthy ways to do healthy things instead. Because of my growing ability to be reasonable about such matters, the rest of my family are more willing to go along with my little exercises in self-denial. For example, starting tomorrow, the whole family has decided to embark upon a two-week cleansing diet before we head up to Iceland for our summer vacation. We’re giving up red meat, pork, gluten, shellfish, dairy (except for yogurt), fried foods, yeast, sugar, processed/packaged foods, coffee and wheat, and planning to get by on legumes, nuts, rice, soy, green tea, free-range/organic poultry and fish, fruits and vegetables instead, while also limiting alcohol intake to small daily portions of red wine.

There’s no disgusting cabbage soup or anything like that involved, nor any intention to starve ourselves, but rather just an interest in having what we eat be a bit healthier for us, with just a small edge of denial involved in the process. I spent much of this weekend cooking a number of dishes that we could pack up and store in the refrigerator accordingly, since none of us are much inclined to cook when we get home at the end of a long work day. I’ll be interested to see how we all feel at the end of two weeks: will we be excited to continue our new-found restraint and healthy living on vacation, or will it make vacation all that much sweeter because we’ll be able to have a big orgy of unhealthy eating without guilt?

Stay tuned . . . .

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