I’m not what you would call “the cooking type.” It’s not that I don’t like cooking, it’s that I haven’t done enough cooking in my life to know if I do or not. See, my problem is, that very often, I don’t have to cook. Someone else has always done it for me, even now in my adult life. Growing up, my parents weren’t able to spoil my siblings and I with a lot of material things, but they always made sure there was food on the table or food prepared in the fridge so we could focus on our studies. When we all moved out, they continued to make large meals, calling us to come over and pick up our portion. I know what you’re thinking: And that’s a problem, why?
Since my last flare up and my parents’ retirement, my “portions” have become a weekly thing. They know that my fatigue can prevent me from having the energy to feed myself properly and I know it makes them worry less to know I have good food ready to eat in my fridge. Watching me lose 20 pounds a year and a half ago from lupus-induced loss of appetite was very hard on them. I know they believe that if I was living with them at the time, they would have been able to prevent that from happening. I’m not sure if that’s necessarily true, since at the time, I couldn’t eat anything even if I wanted to. Regardless, it remains their biggest fear that I am sitting here in my apartment “not eating.” My parents are amazing, heroic, loving people. No matter how much I protest, they are adamant that they continue to help me in this way. It’s their way of helping me fight lupus and I am grateful for their support, but it’s also preventing me from committing to learning how to cook for myself. Why do it when you know someone else will do it for you, especially when you feel sick? The thing is, despite how grateful I am for my amazing support network, I know that I have to learn to function as though I don’t have one. It’s hard to even think about, but the truth is, my parents won’t always be there to cook for me.
It is a sad, sad thing to admit, but my diet is composed mostly of salads, fruit and sandwiches. It’s like I have lunch all the time, that is, when I’m not having a “real meal” cooked by my parents. I still get the nutrients I need (or at least, I think I do), but there’s no variety. I hardly ever go to the grocery store with a specific recipe in mind. It’s all pretty pathetic.
This is where my “cooking project” comes in, now named, “Cooking for the Wolf.” Food is at the centre of my Lupie War. The right kind of food has been known to reverse diseases like cancer and diabetes. I’m not expecting some kind of miracle, nor am I committing to a specific diet. I’m just committing to more home cooked meals… cooked by me. “Cooking for the wolf” is an important part of “taming the wolf.” They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, so perhaps the same effect can be had on a cranky auto-immune disease? It might help me bargain for less lupie activity and more life awesomeness.
Tonight, I officially started to woo the wolf with my very first vegan dish: Sweet Potato and Kidney Bean Chili. The word vegan usually freaks me out, not because I think vegan food isn’t tasty, it’s that I know great discipline comes with this particular lifestyle, discipline I don’t have. I love bread WAY too much. That being said, I have great respect for those who do it and are successful at it. So anyway, I saw this recipe in an email sent to me by the Crazy Sexy Life Blog and it’s potential goodness motivated me to follow the link and give it a try. I used olive oil instead of coconut oil and skipped the salt, but despite my little changes, it was delicious! Check out the recipe here. I served it to myself with a slice of mountain grain bread and a fresh fruit salad of raspberries, bananas, and persimmons for dessert.