Sunday, August 17, 2008

Too Hot to Eat

It is August and it is hot. Extremely hot. So hot that when I went to bed, the handy thermometer on my alarm clock read 90 degrees. When I woke up eight hours later it read 83. I sincerely hope my thermometer is wrong.
For most of my life I've heard women talk about how summer is great because they lose weight. They eat only fruit, and salad. They forget to eat sometimes because it is too hot. They bask in the sun and do sporty, outdoor activities. They feel healthy and fabulous.
I was never one of those women. I don't like being too hot. It makes me anxious, and when I'm anxious I think about doing things like eating way too much cold, milky ice cream. I prefer to be comfortable. Just a few weeks ago we hit a spat of perfect, 83 degree July weather. The produce was glorious, the colors in the sky and the gardens was glorious, and I was nearly completely happy.
Those days are over. Now I am hot and I am cranky. I can't sleep, and when I can, it isn't restful. I watch the seven day forecast on the tv and fume. There is only more hotness to come. Still, it is August -- late summer and beautiful. I bought a box of coconut popsicles that I pull from the freezer and eat slowly after dinner. Life is ok. Steamy and sweaty and melty, but ok.
And then yesterday, it happened -- it was too hot to eat. It was over 100 degrees, a rare feat in a town temperate enough that you can survive without air conditioning. Nothing sounded right or good, not even the sinfully rich cold stuff. My body wanted fluids and seemed to focus only on keeping cool and not expending too much energy. "Wait," it seemed to say, "go slow."
I ate a perfectly ripe peach for breakfast and coffee with milk. Lunch came... and went with few handfuls of blueberries. I made a batch of pesto and ate a spoonful or two before heading off to the movies for the hottest part of the day.
When I got home I ate corn, bean, and tomato salad, icy cold from the fridge. A hunk of blue cheese for savory richness and water, lots and lots of cold water. That was it. That was enough.
So really, it wasn't too hot to eat. But it was hot enough, and slow enough that I was able to feel my body responding to the weather. And instead of making me nervous, it felt good.

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