I’ve been home for two and a half weeks, and most of my waking hours have been spent not in the bathroom, or even the living room, but in the kitchen. I need to continue to eat as much as possible, which means that I’m preparing food every day. My acupuncturist added in some more types of food, so now, my list of allowed food consists of: chicken, fish, millet, black rice and sticky rice, persimmons, pomegranates, egg whites, flax seed oil, watermelon, spinach, peas, Chinese dates, and bananas. Ginger and salt are fine seasonings, as well as a small amount of parsley and mint. I can also drink pomegranate juice and cranberry juice.
We buy the chicken from Tendercrop Farm in Newbury, MA, where they have a great deal on chicken legs, and lucky me– I love dark meat. On our last trip we bought 40 legs: 4 to a bag, which stay in the freezer until I’m ready to prepare them. I cook 4 legs at a time, and under direction of my acupuncturist, we de-skin the chicken prior to boiling. After cooking, I de-bone the legs, which takes about 20 minutes. I go through this process about every other day.
As for fish, I stick to salmon and haddock. I tried tuna recently, but it grossed me out a little, and sardines are…blegghhh. Fish is much quicker to prepare, but the first time I was steaming salmon, I splashed the fishy water all over the stovetop when I flipped the pieces. I think I’ve got it down now, though.
I cook the millet in homemade vegetable broth, and the rice in chicken broth. I also boil eggs and de-seed pomegranates.
And then I need to eat all of this! I eat four meals a day, which each consist of diced chicken, flaked fish, and rice or millet, all mixed together, and topped with persimmon slices or pomegranate seeds. I have snacks between these meals – egg whites, rice cakes, and/or watermelon.
It all tastes pretty good, and with this menu, I have a variety of textures and tastes to choose from. Because I’ve been eating like this for so long now (about two months) I’m really used to it and haven’t been craving other foods. However, it can be really difficult to squeeze in that fourth meal some days. If calories didn’t matter, I would have three meals a day, spread out a bit more than I’m doing now, I would have more snacks, and I wouldn’t eat a big meal later than 9. I would also get to bed earlier if I didn’t need that last meal, or at least be able to relax in the final hours of the day rather than heat up food in the kitchen and then stuff my face.
There aren’t enough hours in the day for cooking, eating, sleeping, and everything else! This coming from someone who’s not in school and isn’t working, whose only regular appointment is Tai Chi on Fridays with seniors.