April's CR Diary

A diary of a 30 year old woman following CRON, or Caloric Restriction with Optimal Nutrition, for health and life extension.

Monday, September 06, 2004

The Body of Christ is Delicious with the Pesto!

One thing that's nice about going to a lefty, liberal, fuzzy church is that no one is hung up on being reverant. I always have this dilemma because politically, I fit in very well at very lefty, UCC (that's United Church of Christ, though we've been called "Unitarians Considering Christ") types of churches. Back in the early eighties, when my mom had some extremely unpleasant experiences in the South as a divorced woman with a child in a mainline church that will go unnamed, the UCC welcomed her with open arms, and she was ordained UCC in 1984. That means she can do weddings and funerals and preach (which she can do with about fifteen minutes notice... I come by the ability to create a lot of text out of nothing fast honestly) and she can even do baptisms (she has threatened to baptize my cat.) Aesthetically, I prefer the fancy, incense, loud organ music, no one says hello to you, anonymous, quiet, reverent, stuffy, stuck up style of high church Episcopal churches... no doubt a preference that can be traced back to my first love being an organist (the organist turned wine expert I blogged about around my birthday -- hi Patrick!) But anyway, I tend to not go to church much these days, mostly because I'm either working or exhausted on Sunday mornings and my favorite NPR program comes on at 12 noon. But I went to my mother's church yesterday to cater the coffee hour. Don't give me too many compliments on being a good daughter... I have to preserve excellent relations with my mother, because she is a) a reliable cat sitter and I travel a lot b) the only human being who will listen to me babble on about the wonders of CRON and all the fun things I learned from the email list for hours on end without complaint. Lately, I've noticed that even she has started to read a book while I talk about it, but who can blame her?

So anyway... I'm setting up the coffee hour, and it's beautiful. Chickpea pesto and olive cream cheese dip set out with a tray of sliced pita and celery sticks; yellow tomato salsa made with fresh yellow tomatoes, fresh cilantro, garlic, green chiles, and lemon herb olive oil with chips; bagels and cream cheese as a nod to those who like more traditional food, and fig newtons. I love presentation, so I had cute little garnishes and pretty trays and such. People come down from the service, having just had communion, and set about devouring the food. I watch them like a hawk, which is what I do when people eat food I've prepared. I think people would find it disconcerting if they didn't like the food so much. A few minutes into coffee hour, one of the worship leaders brings down a giant hunk of sourdough bread, leftover from communion, and adds it to the coffee hour table.

Now we are Protestants, so to us, the communion bread and wine (or grape juice) is a symbol of the body and blood of Christ. We do not believe in transubstantiation. So we use real bread, not those bizarre wafers that Catholics use, and we don't think that a miracle turns the stuff into the actual flesh of Christ. (My mother has a zillion funny stores about the homemade bread that nice old ladies in rural Southern churches would bake for communion when she was young and serving tiny little churches in North Carolina. Frequently, this bread would prove unbreakable, and the spectacle of the preacher banging the body of Christ on the altar in an attempt to break it would ensue. But I digress.) So it's perfectly acceptable to put the leftover communion bread on the coffee table, especially when it's amazing fresh baked sourdough.

I proceeded to inform all that the Body of Christ is especially delicious with a touch of chickpea pesto! I had a slice of it myself. We even ended up in a conversation with some of my mother's Weight Watcher friends about the Points value of communion bread. How many points in the bread? The grape juice? If you're Catholic, do you have to count the Points differently? How many Points would be in the actual flesh of Christ? The blood? The mystery of the Incarnation is that Jesus was both 100% human and 100% divine, so how do you count the divine part? Does God have Points? Calories? Clearly, some PhD theology student must take up these questions.

So coffee hour was a ton of fun, my food was a big success, and the Body of Christ was slathered with chickpea pesto and olive cream cheese dip (he loves that) and devoured.

The rest of the day was busy... worked a bit on the packing (ten more days!!!) and then met up with some friends to go to a play at the Philly Fringe Festival. Fringe is one of my favorite things about Philadelphia. It's this two week ish long festival of fringy art: music, plays, dance, visual art, performance art, etc. It's based on the Edinburgh fringe festival in Scotland. I try to go to several performances every year. One year, I discovered that my freshman year in high school roommate was performing a piece in which she unravelled her knit dress, stitch by stitch, and simultaneously reknitted it on the spot, causing a very slow motion strip tease. At the end, she would be totally naked and have reknitted the entire dress, which she would then put back on and restart the process. Brilliant play on the concepts of women as domestic knitters and sexy strippers. A large group of men, no doubt inspired by this interplay of concepts, watched the entire six hour or so show. Anyway, the piece I went to last night was called "Babel" and it was a dance and theatre performance "loosely based on the word of God" that was about the current goings on in the world politically: anti-war, etc. It was very good. Kinda like Farenheit 9-11 with dancing.

After that, friends and I stopped at 20 Manning, which is a restaurant owned by the same people who own Audrey Claire (these folks should pay me for product placements) and had a drink. I had a pomegranete cosmopolitian. I hadn't been able to get the idea of a pomegranete out of my head since last week when I quoted an old MR message on the topic of sham eating to Dean. If you want to read the original message, search "sham eating" in the archives. (I made a post to the CRS list last week about how much I love the archives, and it was fairly well received, so I'm on a quest now to increase archives use by pointing others to them at ever possible occasion.) There's a really funny line about a pomegranete.

So about what I ate:

eggwhite scramble 140
1/2 cup of grape nuts 200
Body of Christ with olive dip hard to say but I counted it as 300 because the Body of Christ was rather dense, and the dip is pure fat
glass of skim milk 80
celery with toasted walnut pesto 200 (all the calories are in the pesto)
bunch of white grapes 90
pomegranete cosmopolitian 300?

Over target, and not that nutritionally good. Okay, not good at all. The grape nuts did improve my fiber and various nutrient counts, but I suspect that's a cheap trick since it's fortified. The Body of Christ really threw me for the day, knocking out my appetite for healthy foods. At least I got pet on the head worthy MUFAs, which is better than I would have done in the Priestess of the High Carb Darkness days. Back then, I would have eaten the Body of Christ with fat free mustard and considered myself brilliant. But enough confessions of a high carb sinner for now.

Today had better be a banner day nutritionally, or else I'm going to have to ground myself. No more going out until I re-read the entire Albatross, including the pages the cat chewed up. I know that sounds extreme, but the last two days I've been unfocused, and I don't like that feeling.

Another interesting thing: My weight has held steady at 109 for the last four days. That's with the indulgence yesterday. So I'm fairly sure I've lost another pound. I wonder if the carb craving is a response to this? Or is that just an excuse for the inability to resist the delicious sourdough Body of Christ?


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