Sunday, 29 January 2012

The vexed issue of diets

came under discussion yesterday. In the absence of the Senior Cat the knitters descended. We would normally meet in the library on the last Saturday - but not in January. They wanted to meet and our house is fairly central to everyone else. All I had to do was make sure the kettle was full and the mugs were out - and the jug of water and glasses in the heat. I turned the airconditioning system on so it would be cool enough to knit.
We spent a couple of hours sorting out knitting issues. I had found a new-to-her hat pattern for someone, someone else was not sure which decrease she would use at the armhole on the garment she is knitting, another person was knitting a new-to-her cable and so on. We usually do talk knitting or related crafts. It is that sort of group.
One of the women also has a sister going into hospital today for major surgery for cancer. She knows she may not even make it through the surgery. We listened. I will 'phone her later today and listen some more.
It was this news that led to the vexed question of diet. We are all, I suppose, food conscious but one of the women in the group has, as long as I have known her, had issues with food. It began when she "turned vegetarian" because her sister demanded it. That meant she cut all meat and fish from her diet. Then she decided she was "gluten intolerant" and cut all cereals from her diet as well.
After that she cut all dairy products and eggs from her diet. It has left her "a vegan" but a vegan who does not eat many forms of carbohydrate (including potatoes) and does not, by any means, like all vegetables. Yesterday she said she had cut out sugar as well. She looks pale but says she is "feeling really good". Perhaps she is.
What was she eating? Oh, she was eating really well. It was a "very healthy" diet. Perhaps it is. Perhaps it is also a more moral way of eating.
I plan on giving my father fish today - with potato and salad. There are enough strawberries from our garden if I eke them out with a little rockmelon and a dollop of good quality plain yoghurt on top. We will eat like royalty.
I do not think I could turn vegan.


Nicole MacDonald said...

It sometimes appears to me that food intolerance's are a convenient way of having an eating disorder right in front of everyone. I read a couple of days ago that about 70% of those who consider themselves gluten intolerant have never been tested for it. Makes you wonder..

widdershins said...

Methinks the lady doth ... evade!

... Nicole, never thought of it like that ... something to ponder.

catdownunder said...

I think you are right Nicole. I am "allergic" to alcohol (and vinegar). It makes me feel uncomfortably itchy. However as many other people do not uae alcohol this is hardly a problem. Shellfish makes me feel ill too - but normally people do ask about those things and, let's face it, oysters and prawns are not part of the everyday diet! Basil gives me a headache but the problem is not so serious that I would refuse to eat it if someone gave me a little in a dish when I was eating out.
But bread, potatoes, rice etc etc? These are basics. I have met someone who is genuinely gluten intolerant. The smallest quantity of wheat flour can put her in hospital. She takes her own food with her everywhere and she would not wish her lifestyle on anyone else - neither would I.