Wednesday, May 18, 2011

"Sorry! I'm allergic": A Parallel of Food and People

"Sorry! I'm allergic."

So, someone mentioned to me the other day that our relationship to food is a lot like our relationship to people.

As I thought about this, the more it seemed to apply to me.

For those of you that aren't aware, I am allergic to... a lot of things. Basically how it works is, the more I eat of a food, the more my body builds an intolerance to it, which develops into a full-blown allergy. I am naturally VERY allergic to some things, moderately allergic to others, and other foods I just have to keep on a rotation so I don't react to them as much.

Also, I am an aspiring chef.

These things do not blend well.

So, back to the food/people analogy:

--I have rarely met a food I didn't like, or at least appreciate. However, as previously mentioned, there are a lot of foods that don't like me, or at least, that can only handle me every once in a while. That one is pretty self-explanatory.

--I don't often remember what food tastes like. Odd, eh? I remember what it smells like; I remember it is "good," or "odd," or "Blends well with tomato," or "Tastes like the color teal, with a bit of a clarinet-y aftereffect" (not kidding) but I don't often remember exactly what it tastes like. This is good in that I don't get fatigued of a food very quickly--it always seems new and delicious--but I sometimes don't do a good job of rotating food. Therefore, the food gets annoyed at me (allergies flare and cause problems) before I remember to rotate around. Sometimes I wear out friendships in a similar fashion; I love just spending time with people--hanging out yesterday doesn't satisfy me today, with some things. I just remember I liked it yesterday, and why not do it again today? This can cause problems, as people often need to take me in smaller doses.

Cheese is a food that doesn't often bother my system (not like regular milk or other dairy). This is great, as it is usually a pretty safe food for me, but if I eat too much of the same kind, especially consistently over long periods, it starts to get irritated and decides to make me ill. Usually there is very little warning. I just eat it as usual, and then as soon as it hits my tummy I know I crossed the line.

--Sometimes I'm a little wary of trying new things for myself because I don't know how my body will react to it. I will cook with new things and feed it to other people, if I have some experience with the food, or someone who knows it well can describe it accurately. I am, however, very wary of what I actually consume. This applies to people in that I will work with people quite easily, even in things like matchmaking, if I know enough about them. However, I am very careful about who I actually let in as friends.

--Sometimes, I eat food even that I'm really allergic too, because I remember it being my favorite. Take, for example, peanut butter. Or chocolate. Delicious foods, and for much of my life, my allergy to them was minor. I remeber growing up with them--we had great times, peanut butter and I. Chocolate and I, too, for that matter. But as I grew up and developing the allergy, I knew eating them would mess me up. I would convince myself it was worth it, that it wasn't that bad. Sometimes my body wouldn't react at all, but many times I paid heavily for eating them. Same with some people. I remember growing up together and being perfectly fine (or just not realizing I was having a problem). I would continue to include these people in my life even after they messed me up (many times, badly), because I remembered all the good times.
Moral of the story: Sometimes things change. So do people. So do I.

--I often cook for other people. I love putting combinations together and making people happy. Sometimes I can eat it, sometimes I can't. When I can't eat it, I like having cheese and crackers for dinner, or cheese with a little bread and fruit, or--if my allergies are flaring really badly--just cheese. With people, I love throwing parties. I get different groups of people together, combine them in different ways in different environments, and see what happens. Sometimes I like to be part of the party, but oftentimes, I would just prefer to host and let everyone else have fun. And have cheese for dinner.

--I really like making bread, but wheat is one of my top allergies. I understand bread, and how all the ingredients work together to get a particular kind of loaf. I'm not a fan of store-bought, stereotypical bread, though it does have its place in the world. However, I do not know very much about cheese. I know which flavors are my favorite, which ones smell bad, and what they blend best with (aka i know how to use the cheese) but I know relatively little about the inner workings of cheese, as I have only experienced it as a consumer. I am well on my way to becoming an amateur connoisseur of cheese, however, because of consuming it frequently and having been exposed to a wide variety of excellent flavors, textures, origins, and uses of cheese. There does still seem to be a bit of mystery, though, as I have never experienced it on a personal level, like I have bread. I certainly do not have a favorite flavor, though I do have favorites in specific culinary situations, as well as a type or two I like for frequent, day-to-day snacking.

There is more to this analogy. However, this post is already really long, so I'll save it for tomorrow.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Things I Love

Library Cards
clean laundry
having a (functioning) washer and drier IN MY HOUSE
having money to pay rent
pretty clothes
friends with talents they are willing to share
eating well
having time to do crochet projects
working desk
clean rooms
sunny days
talking to friends
modern technology
The Family: A Proclamation to the World
sour cream/neufchatel fruit dip
fancy dishes
BYU Campus
fresh bread
man sweatshirts
Batman sweatshirt. Mine.
yard work
gym memberships
pretty yarn
drumline music
marching band
my CTR ring
my hat
my clock
bus passes
friends that help me do cool stuff
cute stuffed animals
dance shoes
cooking for people
feeling pretty
walking through flower gardens
having adventures
my cowboy hat
Hobby Lobby
having money to GO to Hobby Lobby
California Adventures
the Block at Orange
big rooms to have parties in
hosting parties
talking about intelligent subjects
going on dates
talking about intelligent subjects while on dates
Jamba Juice
my yellow blanket
Bobby the Cow
Calvin and Hobbes
canning fruit
making applesauce
cool clothes
logic puzzles

Obviously, I am having a good day. :-)