A zestful life. Doesn’t that sound amazing? I think it evokes a life of laughter and travel, a life full of playfulness, music, art and animals. Probably there is a Silver Stream trailer involved. Today, however, my zestful life involves my new obsession with orange zest in my oatmeal. Orange zest has upped my oatmeal game to the heavens and it was no slouchy oatmeal in the first place! My oatmeal is bright, it is spunky and playful. Wow. All that from a dish that ticks off six of my Daily Dozen (Dr. Greger) and two of my GBOMBS (Dr. Fuhrman) and is ready to eat in about ten minutes. Come to think of it, it makes me feel a bit zesty too.
Truthfully, my food often makes me feel zesty. At least it does these days. I recently committed to eating whole foods almost exclusively with Luna and Larry’s coconut bliss ice cream being the exception (really, though, the dark chocolate only has four ingredients.) When I am perusing and cooking and eating my whole foods, I get excited! I get ants in my pants! I should gain about seven hundred pounds, but I don’t. I eat and eat and eat and I look great. I feel terrific. Best of all, I have hope. Hope of curing what ails me. And I love to fight the good fight.
Every now and then, though, I forget about the source of my zest and I decide to (open air quote) treat (close air quote) myself. I think it’s more my demons than myself but either way it ends up with me scarfing down some processed foods, serially cereal bingeing, eating fake meat burgers with gluteny, preservative-full buns, gorging on heaping plates of processed-soy-and-oil-cheese nachos. Not knocking all the vegan options, actually thrilled that they exist, but these still aren’t whole foods. And I don’t feel any better eating these versions than I did with the death-filled versions. Not much anyhow.
Why do I do this? I honestly don’t know. The intellectual answers about self-sabotage and demons are true but I don’t feel them in my gut. I think I just get lazy and also some of that the-grass-is-greener stuff. Memories certainly play into it – I still dream of beer and pizza date nights. Pizza will get back on the table (my gluten-free, vegan baking course starts soon!) but I don’t know about the beer. I have more than one demon nudge wink sigh.
I’m going to persevere and climb back onto that wagon one more time than I fall off of it. With luck, good or bad depending on the day I’m having, I am only halfway through my life. I am going to do my best to make it zestful. And maybe I can brighten the day for someone as my oatmeal does for me.