Sunday, August 22, 2010

Omnivorous Diet

OK.. This Blog post will likely be none too interesting for the most of you.. I am actually putting it here for one soul reason..

I'm in the midst of writing my book, and very enthused about it I am.. it's changing heaps.. continuously morphing into something different as I keep coming up with new ideas at night time, or while pottering around doing something else..

Anyhow, my initial thoughts had been to include some info on what I ate while growing up, but the lengthier it got, the more I felt it just didn't flow with the rest of the story, and was even, all things considering, a little boring, in a story which I'm otherwise hoping will enthrall and entertain,  so I've been frantically chopping things up and rearranging them, and have finally decided to cut and paste this extract.. (below)..

As I've said, it's not something which I particularly wished to blog about, but the idea is that in the book, for those that are vaguely interested, I'll include a link to this particular blog post..

During my most earliest years, due to some complications breast-feeding, I basically survived on formula milk powders.

From that, I believe I moved on to baby foods, probably much of which originated from jars, and then slowly just began eating what the rest of the family was already hooked on..

So I guess you could say, I grew up on the conventional English meat and 2 or 3 veggies diet.

Memories of my younger years have mostly faded into vague mists of obscurity, but throughout my school years, and the time I spent still living at home, a typical days eating for me could quite possibly have often been something like the following:

07:00 Breakfast cereal smothered in sugar and cream of cows milk, followed by drinking the rest of the bottle of milk, and sometimes one more bottle, (just to give me that little extra boost!!)
10:00 A small chocolate bar or some other kind of sweetened snack bar thing..
12:00 Lunch was generally 2 or 3 sandwiches, filled with some kind of spread or another (mostly fish or meat based paste), followed by a piece of fruit (an apple or orange), and followed by another small chocolate bar. And all that accompanied by some sticky sweet cordial carried in flasks that I seem to recall I was always breaking.. - All lovingly prepared by mum. Bless her.
16:00 Getting home from school, I would generally drink a pint of milk, and eat a small snack, maybe biscuits or slice of bread and something.
18:00 was dinner, which was generally some kind of meat - fried, grilled or boiled - together with the 2 or 3 veggies - boiled potatoes, carrots and possibly a brassica of some kind.. All generously covered in a gravy sauce.. - If we were (what I, at the time, considered) lucky, it'd be followed by desert, of a heated fruit pie, and ice-cream, or some custardy delight thing.
20:30 I'd most often eat another snack bar, or a packet of crisps.. - Just to help me sleep see..

During the summer months, we did eat our fair share of salads, which I recall having a particular fondness  toward.. – They Consisted mostly of lettuce leaves, tomatoes, spring onions, cucumbers, gherkins, ham, cheese, crisps and bread & marge.. – Each on their own platter on the table for us to serve ourselves from.

And then, I mustn’t forget, that there was the forever present bowl with some fruit in it for us to eat.. Mostly apples or oranges, but being hooked on all things artificially sugary, I admit openly that like many others, I much preferred to snack on biscuits and cakely snacky things..

Actually, while still briefly on the topic of fruit, I recall that from a very young age I had a very strong aversion toward bananas. Even the smell of them would make me want to throw up. One time, while on a school trip to Belgium, aged but 9, I somehow convinced myself that I was morally obliged to eat a banana a friendly hotel staff member gave us once at lunch time..

After pretty much forcing it down me, I became as sick as the proverbial dog.. For the rest of the week, I was in bed, throwing up and feeling about as rotten as one can feel when one’s 9, in an exciting foreign location, and supposed to be having a good time.

Drinks were taken at any time, and were mostly milk based or lemonade, or orange juice from a glass bottle, or cordial of some kind. I seem to recall too, that I went through phases when I was often snacking on yogurts, especially, I think, in my teen years, I was hooked on the dairy thing.. I even remember there was the odd day or 2 when I managed, somehow, to get through as many as 8 pints of milk in a single day! (although a more consistent average was often more like 3 to 4 pints a day)..

At other times I was completely hooked on lemonade and forever visiting the fridge to pour myself a glass, and during my late teens, I did the same with bottled and cartoned orange juice.

In my mid to late teens, I started drinking coffee regularly, and aged 16 or 17, while working for Weatherbys in Wellingborough (home of my parents), I believe I had my first of what was to be many many beers at bars, and soon fell into the pattern of getting pretty darned drunk on a semi regular weekly basis..

In an effort to be more mature about my drinking habits, I recall as a late teen, I got myself into the habit of drinking vodka, particularly a polish brand named Wyborowa, straight. And despite the fact that at some point I really was drunk on pretty much every Friday or Saturday night, or both sometimes, it took me some years before I was to experience my first hangover.

After having left home, and being out in the big wide world fending for myself, I was completely hoodwinked and brainwashed into believing that cooked food and animal products were essential fundamentals of a healthy staple diet.

So, when I initially began being responsible for my own meals, I followed to the T, the pattern I had already grown accustomed to.

However it did not take too long, before having my own money and free choice, that I basically became lazy with the rules I'd adopted, and instead began digressing, and focused more on a diet of pizzas, burgers and other so called “fast“ foods..

After moving to Germany, in '82 I have difficulty remembering preparing any food for myself.. It's quite possible, nothing other than sandwiches.. Very rarely anything fresh, and probably no fruit at all except an odd stewed apple pie.. Most of my food was consumed in pizza restaurants, or fast food joints.. followed frequently by icecreams and coffee, and washed down with coke during weeknights, and the German yeast beer (my new image!) at weekends.

Oh yes, there were also lots of those little tubs of yoghurty creamy chocolaty sugary things that were and maybe still are so popular in Germany.

Leaving Germany and migrating to Norway a few years later, was a most excellent move for me though.. It saw me slowly shifting my focus from the unhealthy lifestyle of junk food, regular alcohol binges and continuous subjection to smoke filled bars..

I not only began making a conscious choice to move away from all passive smoking environments, but also to make significant changes to my eating habits, and I once more began preparing my own food from fresh ingredients..

It was while living in Norway, that I turned vegetarian.


Anonymous said...

Interesting because I read recently that Norway has the lowest percentage obesity of industrialized nations.

Fruitarian Mango said...

hi anonymous,
that may well be true.. however, they also have one the highest percentages of osteoporosis, being keen dairy consumers.. while i lived there, - there were approximately the same amount of cows in the country, as there were people.. about 4 million of each..

but they are also keen nature lovers, and everyone appreciates their mountains and forests..

i fear though, also, that obesity is on the increase there, just as it is in many other affluent nations..

Padraig said...

Mango, even though I totally agree with you, I would just like to make the point that many people find random or trivial information interesting. For example, how many times do people put in their books about the name of the street they were born, their teachers names and what they were like, what way their parents voted in an election etc. I think they do it to "pad out" the books to get more people to buy it.

On the other hand a few details here and there like you've put in about your eating might make fill in blanks in someone's head, I don't know.

As for Norway having the lowest statistic of obesity in the world... that might be meaningful but it seems to me like it might be one of those things where it's tempting to jump to conclusions we shouldn't.

Think of all the fictional meaningless data we're exposed to every day. Just because the data might on the face of it be unhelpful for the future doesn't necessarily mean it shouldn't be there, just a thought.

Fruitarian Mango said...

hi Padraig,
you may well be right.. Kveta has been trying to convince me of the same thing, and I guess I am reserving judgment on what will and what wont be included in the book.. I may quite easily change my mind, and include this data after-all..

I still don't know exactly what I'll be including in the book anyhow.. just writing down my life is proving a rather difficult task, especially getting everything chronological, but I'm happy report that I'm making steady good progress, and really like how things are slowly panning out..

thanks for your thoughts..

AnĂ´nimo Anonymous said...

So you say that you had some "aversion towards bananas" when you was 9. What do you think that are the causes for such aversions:::

Fruitarian Mango said...


difficult to say exactly.. i think it likely it was never one thing in particular, but rather a combination of many things entwined.. probably if I had grown up on a fruitarian diet, things would have been very different, and likely is that no such aversion would have existed.. sorry, i doubt there is a simple answer to your question..


Heartofflesh said...

i love all the data and like Padriag suggested, i did find this information interesting and not something i felt like just 'skipping over,' like i do with some subjects sometimes. maybe because i thought when i first saw your site, when i was discovering frutarianism,and i thought, 'yeah, this guy lives in the jungle. this is easy for him. and he probably grew up in a family where fruits and veggies were a priority...and no candies or desserts. it helped me to see that you have had to overcome what most Americans i know need to overcome, in food and lifestyle habits. i vote leaving it in the book 4 sure!!!

Fruitarian Mango said...

rest assured, after restructuring my book again some, I have decided to include such data in it.. it all hangs together. Progress on the writing is still slow but steady, I'm at the end of the 1990s, nearly, but still have to backtrack a fair bit too.. I'll get there eventually.