Jul 28

Food, glorious food

It might be time to mention one of the mundane task we have to perform everyday on board, the necessity of providing fuel to the body (and mind). Being away for 2 months means that we cannot afford to go out eating every night, so cooking on board is essential, so is the shopping and forward planning. Even in bigger towns, the staff in supermarkets have little knowledge of the english language, and our command of the greek language is rather limited too (even though being a maths geek allows me to at least read the language).  I bought pork a few times, thinking it would be beef. Now I wriggle my fingers above my head to picture some horns at the butchers, if I want beef. I also liked the chicken livers you can get in every supermarket, neatly wrapped, and they come with little hearts as well, a particular favourite of Julian. Yesterday though, I got a packet where the hearts were still attached to the livers …hmmm , one heart to two livers. My knowledge of anatomy is quite rusty, but I don’t think that livers are usually attached to the heart, especially not in pairs. I guess, we have been eating lungs then; well, they were nice, but I haven’t told the others yet!

I was slightly worried that we might not be able to follow the paleo/primal diet I have adapted 6 months ago. Trying to figure out a diet that would be anti-inflammatory to reduce the symptoms of my RA (rheumatoid arthritis), I stumbled upon the paleo diet, i.e. the diet that our ancestors were supposed to eat before the invention of agriculture,  when we were hunter-gatherers. This involves eliminating all grains and related products (bread, pasta, cakes etc.), dairy, legumes, sugars (and sugary drinks) and some high-starch veggies; and leaves all meats (preferably organic), fish, seafood, other veggies and some fruit and nuts. I gave it a go for a months and the results were pretty amazing: I was able to stop the anti-inflammatory tablets I had been swallowing for 10 years. Yes, I still have the occasional bout of pain, but it is really remarkably better. This sparked my interest in food and their effect on the body, and I started reading books on low-carb diets, research papers on obesity and diabetes. I have now adapted a diet, that is high in fat (fatty meats, olive oil, butter and coconut oil mainly), good amount of protein and all carbs from veggies and a few fruit. In addition, I have started to cook accordingly at home and Peter and the kids have also reduced their carb load from processed foods (pasta, breads, croissants, cakes, biscuits, crisps, you know what I mean). A side effect was that I lost weight without being hungry ( I was last at my current weight at 16, I think) and so has the rest of the family.

We have actually managed to maintain this diet here in Greece (Peter and the kids get quite a few exemptions, like some bread or ice cream), just means we cook 3 times a day (even at force 7). Full english breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausages and mushrooms every morning, salad (who doesn’t love the greek tomatoes?) with tuna for lunch and meat/fish plus 2 veg for dinner. I do most of the cooking, but this is definitely an advantage: it means I do not have to do the washing up.  I make one big exception here though: gin & tonics as aperitifs are somehow justified even if I really should not have the tonic 🙂

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