If you follow my Goodreads lists, you might have noticed I’ve just finished a flurry of books with a similar theme: “If it had a mother or a face, don’t eat it.” And if you browse through the Longleaf Bar and Grill category archives, you’ll see many examples of slow-cooked Italian pot roast with red wine and garlic, roast chickens, grilled pork tenderloin, baked stuffed red snapper, and on and on.
I’m not declaring (at least not yet) a transition to full-throated veganism, however our ages, my family cardiac history, and plain old good sense (not to mention an undeniable, increasing unease about where our foods really come from, how they’re raised, and what’s added to them), have led Buck and me to move strongly toward a substantially plant-based diet. I’m sure we’ll continue to eat a little fish, at least I think I’m sure, and probably the occasional home-smoked (on a small indoor smoker) turkey breast. It’s a work in progress, and I’m not sure where we’ll eventually come down.
It feels like a natural evolution, though, probably since we haven’t eaten any kind of fast food or fried food for more than 25 years, rarely eat in restaurants, and already eat a diet high in fruits, veggies and whole grains. We’re both trim, and exercise — mainly walking, stretching, and weights — is a regular part of our daily routine. Neither of us takes any medication. So what’s the (excuse the expression) beef? My dad died of a heart attack at 51, several of my siblings (you guys know who you are) have had surgeries and stents, and my cholesterol numbers are not awful, but not good. I want to continue to avoid taking drugs to lower the LDL, and Buck wants to generally tweak his cardiovascular health to stay agile and mobile, so we’re making some changes. We’ll go to Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville in July for a wellness physical, as we have for the past 17 years. The labs will tell us if this shift in our diet shows up there. I’ll let you know how it goes.
How about you? I’d love to know how you feel about what you eat, whether you think it matters, and any other thoughts you have on the subject, whether its physiology, philosophy or politics!
Meanwhile, I’m having fun with it. I ordered a cast iron tortilla press and some stone-ground masa harina and made my very first corn tortillas today. They’re not perfectly round or pretty, and I had to throw several away at the beginning because I had trouble getting the hang of peeling them from the plastic wrap, but dang, I was proud. And they’re good!
Lunch today was a soul-warming bowl of pinto beans augmented by a few vinegary jalapeno slices and a couple of freshly made corn tortillas.