Where the inside of my mind leaks onto the screen.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

A Four Letter Word


Urban dictionary lists several definitions:
  • a four-letter word that often leads to deprivation, frustration and, ultimately, failure
  • a word used by large food corporations to deceive old/fat women and men into believing their product is actually remotely healthy
  • the thing your on today, then off of tomorrow
And my personal favorite:
  • a form of torture, hence "Die" with a "t" at the end

However, definition #1 listed in the more widely accepted Miriam-Webster version says:

  • the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats
Well, as the result of about a 7-week struggle to maintain my vocal health, I've had to do a ton of research and fundamentally change mine.

My quest to eat more of the foods that apparently are vocal-fold friendly (namely, high-water-content fruits and vegetables) has become a source of amusement for the other teachers who share my lunch break.  They watched my first attempt at peppers.  Deemed quickly by me to not be edible.

I got discouraged and survived on Fuji apples, carrots, and almonds for a few consecutive weeks.

And then my lunchbox was empty, and I'd forgotten to bring anything from home.  So I visited the produce section at Harmons.  Beautiful!  Expensive, yes, but arranged in ways that actually made me want to try some of these foods I was pretty certain I wouldn't actually like.

I settled on a few new items.  Sugar snap peas: because they had the word sugar in them.  Celery: because I was fairly certain I could drown it in peanut butter if necessary.  Cantaloupe: in case I absolutely couldn't eat the green stuff.  And little cheese wheels: because they were cute, and I saw a commercial about them recently, and... okay, it was a bit of an impulse buy.  

And guess what?  I ate every single item.  It lasted for an entire week, and I took careful mental notes as I went.  

I like the peas; I don't love the pod.  But if I eat them while I correct papers, I several disappear without me realizing I was even eating them.

I like the lighter colored celery better.  Because it tastes like nothing.  The darker green it gets, the more it tastes - well - green.  But I was right; a little peanut butter goes a long way, and like with the peas, I can eat a ton of celery while correcting.  Also, I feel really great about just how much water squishes out when I bite.  If I am supposed to be focusing on high water, celery makes me feel very successful.

Mmm... cantaloupe.  I was worried about it getting too mushy by Friday, but I could still just barely handle it.  This week, I'll eat my cantaloupe by Wednesday to be on the safe side.

And the cheese is perfect to eat when I just can't stand the thought of the last lingering taste being peas.  

Is it working?  I don't really know.  I have a feeling my voice won't be 100% until winter break when I'll have several consecutive days without teaching music.  But I feel pretty proud that at 32 years I'm making changes that hopefully will become a permanent healthy way of eating.  Instead of the veggie cheat I drank for nearly 3 years (12 oz of V8 Fusion for lunch each day), I'm eating the real thing.  Regardless of the effects on vocal health, it has to be a better thing overall.

This week, I'm going to learn to like actual mandarine oranges (not the syrupy kind in a can).  Next week, I think I'm going to attempt cucumbers.  We'll see how that goes.

Yes, it's a new four letter word.

But so far, not an awful one.


Kris said...

So glad to see that you are making healthy changes to your everyday diet and that you are enjoying some of them. Juicing and smoothies is another great way to get those veggies and fruits in as well. We eat loads of fresh veggies and fruit over here but sometimes I love to go out and try new things as well (like Fennel which tastes like licorice!). Keep it up!