Monday, October 6, 2008

The Orange Problem


When I turned 40, I was told I had high blood pressure. It was very depressing. I was now an old lady with the accompanying old lady diseases and it was just a matter of coasting down the other side of the hill until the inevitable end. I had spent the bulk of my 30’s raising kids and running a business, something I was not that well suited for- running the business that is; on second thought, probably raising the kids too. Anyway, stress was high, time was limited, and food was anything you ate on the run to keep you alive. Needless to say I gained weight and likely clogged my arteries with things I’d rather not know about in detail.

Once I recovered from the knowledge that I was now 40 and in the beginning of acquiring all of the diseases I really should get after treating my body so badly, I decided I would try to be better. I started reading all about food. The problem with research about food is that it is quite conflicting and if you take it all to heart you’ll only be able to eat grass, drink water and take the occasional breath of air. You can’t eat most carbohydrates that can be found in Botswana since they give you diabetes. You can’t eat meat because of arteriosclerosis. Be careful of those pesticide laden fruits and veggies and those hormonal packed chickens. And don’t even get me going about the kill-you-dead mercury in fish. I think you see where this is going.

Despite this, I have found my way to a place which I think is safe for the moment. This is why each morning I am faced with the orange problem. We need six servings of fruits and veggies a day. I decided to squeeze these in where I could. First thing in the morning, I wake up and eat an apple before doing stretches and going out on my 35 minute morning walk. Then I am back for breakfast: tea, an egg, brown toast, and the orange. The apple is fine. Apples do not surprise you for the most part. But oranges are another kettle of very tricky fish. Today was a good day. The orange was juicy and sweet, but that is not the norm. Other days I’m faced with a bitter orange which refuses to finish; the slices going on into infinity. Or one of those dry ones, like eating cardboard. It is just so unreliable.

To compound this, it is morning. I spent my formative years knowing that morning meant either sugary cereal or equally sugary donuts. It is quite a shock to now have to contend with this problematic orange every morning. My cellular memory is finding it hard to adjust.

You might be asking yourself- why not change? Why not eat a mango or a peach or even a plum? Where I live apples and oranges are always there, year round. I am a Capricorn, a compulsive creature of habit- I can’t be eating a different fruit each day based on the season; that would just make the situation worse- more unreliable issues to contend with. I’d rather stick to the prescribed uncertainty of the orange.

I have tried to mix it up by eating a few slices of orange then the egg then more orange then the tea, but it just ruins everything. Now I just eat my egg and toast and drink my tea while the orange waits, menacingly. Sometimes on a terrible day when the orange is both bitter and dry – I’ll finish it just before it’s time to eat lunch. Other days I gulp it down in a hurry just to have it gone and inside of me doing, hopefully, something of value. Anyway, I’ve accepted the situation. Much like the Wall Street fat cats who partied through eight years of Bushdom, I had my fun food-wise and the orange is my own Nancy Pelosi reminding me that the party is indeed over.

5 comments:

daoine said...

LOL! And here I am scoffing grapefruit, kiwi fruit, and granadilla in one sitting, plus muesli and yoghurt for breakfast - and I can't get enough of it. I could eat breakfast all day.

Perhaps you should stick to apples - they are extremely good for your digestion, whereas the acidity of oranges can prove a problem later in life when arthritis rears its head. My grandmother loves oranges, but she's not allowed to eat (many of) them.

groovyoldlady said...

I say, feed the BAD oranges to the donkeys and solve many problems at once.

Lauri said...

D- I was trying to get variety, another thing I read. Maybe the problem is the reading.

GOL- Excellent advice! Thanks!

Selma said...

When I was pregnant I had a daily craving for oranges. I used to eat about 5 or 6 a day. I can barely stomach them now and if I feel I should eat one for my health it is like swallowing a handful of nails. This post was absolutely brilliant!

Lauri said...

Selma isn't it terrible what preganancy does with food? Take heed Daoine!!