Friday, August 31, 2007

Thoughts on Food

Started back on August 12, 2007 and forgot to type it up. I've been thinking about my food intake and the Middle Ages.

Nutritionist's diet as follows: a list of correct portions for one serving (the sizes nobody in America eats after decades of bigger is better) and then what I am allowed to have each meal.

Breakfast: 3 carbohydrate servings, 1 protein serving, 2 fats
Lunch: 3 carbohydrate servings, 1 non-starchy vegetable serving, 2 protein serving, 2 fats
Snack: 1 carbohydrate serving, 1 protein serving
Supper: 4 carbohydrate servings, 1 non-starchy vegetable serving, 3 protein serving, 2 fats

At best, I only maintained my weight on this plan.

So what does this have to do with the middle Ages? The Acadiana Medieval Faire's kitchen is my baby (though apparently saying it like that means I have an ego trip) and I've done more studying on it than caveman's diet. Most everyone in the Western world can trace his genes back to a hearty European peasant. (Yeah, I'm being ethno-centric as a mongrel of English and French stock that found its way to Louisiana. Substitute your heritage if need be.)

Consider the peasant. For starters, they used way more calories a day than we do. Farming, walking, and other craft skills involved whole body movements all day while the sun was up. Bread was a staple, but of a much coarser quality than we are used to. Many calories were consumed through weak ales, but that was burned off throughout the day. Vegetables and fruits eaten when in season. So many vegetables in fact, surviving cookbooks only tell us to "prepare in the usual manner." Seafood in abundance thanks to the Catholic Church saying fish was okay on fasting days. Meat was a rarer item on a peasant's table, depending on cost and season--livestock butchered in the fall and eaten over the winter for example. Cheese and butter were eaten, being the only way to preserve milk. Milk in a recipe typically came from nuts like almonds and walnuts. It could be stored for three weeks at a time. As long as you didn't catch anything we have antibiotics and vaccinations for today or didn't die in battle or accident, you could expect to live into your eighties.

So what does all that have to do with me losing weight in 2007?

For starters, bread really can't come back into my diet until I'm burning calories like a medieval peasant and I'm at the weight I should be. Though I will make exception for occasional whole-grain pasta and brown rice, though limited to only 1/3 cup (1 serving). Sorry, but spaghetti isn't spaghetti without pasta.

So that means at least four servings of veggies at lunch and supper and at least three at breakfast. Still practicing portion control at every meal.

What I have discovered since August 12th.

It's hard to make a breakfast dish that stores well already cooked. I tend to eat breakfast after getting to work because blood sugar would get really wonky and I'd want supper at 3pm. The spinach souffle didn't have many problems, but the poached eggs with spinach, tomatoes, and mushrooms got really watery (I think I didn't drain the spinach well enough).

And it's hard to find veggies at school. Apparently, the salad bar is only open at lunch time and unless I want sushi all that is available is pre-packed salads. Only so much iceberg lettuce you can before getting tired of it. I don't know if the other cafeteria is open after I get out of classes, and I need to find out.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

There is a new renaissance festival in Louisiana! Check out the Acadiana Medieval Faire at:

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