One day two weeks ago I threw out my back. Nothing serious but I'm so stupid that I put heat on it instead of ice and ended up having to go back the the chiropractor twice more than it usually takes. You see, once a year I do this, but this is the first time I've done it during summer beach volleyball season. At 53, I'm the oldest dude on our regular court (but still have the highest vertical), and this might be my final season. I've got a lot of work done in my home office this year and I think all the sitting is catching up to me.
My chiro and I had some good conversations. He's about the same age and he reminds me of the Chinese kid from Oceans Eleven. The 'Grease Man'. He's one of those lightweight small guys that are all sinew and muscle and flexibility. Yeah he does ultra-triatholons. I used to have a very strong 'core' before pilates and big rubber balls came into fashion. That's because my primary sport in highschool was springboard diving. I retain my good posture and I never destroyed anything in particular except my gut.
He recommended I do 'movement', meaning exercise, and it worked. Simple stuff like squats and bends that made me hurt and pant for a week. Now I can do it without much problem, especially since my back pain is done. He also recommended The Paleo Diet. I whipped out my iPhone and took a picuture of the ISBN number on his copy, told the Spousal Unit and she said just figure it out, you don't need to buy the book. Besides, I already know what I eat that I could do better at.
For the past six months or so, I've been making a concerted effort to eat better lunches. And so I have moved through the deli section and bought a set of cutting boards. I've developed a taste for soprassetta and pepper jack cheese which are two new additions to my lifelong love of deli. I've also been consuming a lot of gourmet potato chips. I cannot resist Kettle Maple Bacon. Who could? But I turned a corner this summer when I realized that I could make a better ceasar salad.
Just this past weekend, I found myself at a joint called DTLA Cheese in the Grand Central Market. There, with Paleo fundamentals on my mind, I thought it would be cool to eat as I imagined most working class men in the 1920s ate, with some meat, fruit and cheese wrapped up in a handkerchief. So I got myself a chunk of hard sheep cheese called Fiore Sardo and a fat square of fennel salami called Finocchiona. The guy at the counter wrapped it up in special paper and put it in a brown bag for me. 10 bucks, and it lasted longer than lunch.
Now I'm not a cook. Not at all. My mother's kitchen was strictly a place for me to wash dishes and fix peanut butter and jelly and Nestle's Quik. I never touched the stove except for giant Saturday morning breakfast. So I know my eggs and sausages, but that's about it. Now I am having emerging behaviors about kitchen propriety that may very well stress my marriage. This combination of disciplines around food and movement I am integrating into my life, I thought you might like to come along.
So the first thing you need to know are the broad outlines of what I am calling the Peasant Epicurean Diet. It is designed for an upper middle class snot such as myself with rather paleo attitudes about grooming and housework and all that. I'm a man's man who works at a damnable keyboard all day long. Let my role model be a cross between Rudyard Kipling and a player to be named later. In short, I am going to use expensive ingredients because I dig flavor - that's the epicurean part. But I'm also going to use very simple raw ingredients that need a minimum of preparation, that's the peasant part.
Let me put one more image into your head. Back when I was 19, I worked at a retail store. Teamster Union shop. There was this pale skinny kid from Czechoslovakia who worked there. My friend Clave Marks could speak fractional Russian and Czech, but not much enough to have a conversation. The kid, every day, came up to the lunch room and ate out of a grocery bag. Groceries! Like an onion, an apple, a head of lettuce. Dude could fill up for a dollar.
The first staple of this diet is deli meat. The second staple is cheese. The third is romaine lettuce. The fourth is water.
Instrumentally, I have a big kitchen knife (Henkels I think - I've had it for 22 years) and a stack of pie tins. That's right. You see the signature meal I've been eating is a Man Lunch. That means I can throw this thing together in about 5 minutes. I don't know about you but when I had no cooking skills and I jump off the keyboard to eat, I want to eat now. I'm thinking the wait at the drive through is a good deal compared to figuring out something in my wife's kitchen. The most frightful apspect of this involves digging through a refrigerator that is (dis)organized according to principles that make no sense whatsoever to me. So I needed my own section of the refrigerator. Meats. Cheeses. Bottled water.
Now since I'm going to continue in this thread for a while as I develop the food and movement discipline, I realize I ought to just use today as a benchmark and sample day. How about that?
Today, my after morning poop weight is 210.6. Today's man lunch was, I think, pure Peasant Epicurean - let's call it PE - as follows.
1 dozen slices of Gallo sliced salami.
2 slices of pepper jack
1 half dozen strawberries
2 dozen or so green seedless grapes.
12 oz bottle of Pelligrino
All except the water goes into a pie tin. I use a hand towel, not napkins.
This morning I had no breakfast, but it's going to go something like this as time goes on.
Tea. Always tea. Simple, pure. Use Dasani bottled water and English Breafast grind Earl Gray loose tea. I get mine from the local Japanese supermarket.
2 Boiled eggs. 2 Microwave sausage.
That's it. Boom.