Bread and Wine...and Chicken?

I've been a vegan-ish vegetarian for ten years.
And, yes, that is my hand seasoning chicken with a lemon. I'm blaming grief for this identity crisis. 

We finally found an Internist we both love. His clinic focuses on preventative medicine. He's a hippie Lutheran. He's extremely thorough and came highly recommended. After your blood work, you meet with a nurse practitioner specializing in nutrition. She spent over an hour & a half with us. She went line by line over our results, then she gave us meal plans, exercise plans, goals, charts, graphs - I'm in heaven! Unfortunately my triglycerides were too high for a person with my horrific family history. My husband had several other issues, but the moral of the story we have to drastically reduce our carb intake. Gasp. Including whole grains and quinoa. Gasp, gasp. One of the recipes she encouraged me to try was a rosemary garlic lemon chicken.
I remember craving fried chicken while pregnant, but every time I'd try a bite I would throw up. I'm worried this will make me sick, but I'm up for anything to improve my health. I haven't had chicken in almost ten years, and I've never cooked it - ever! I told her I would try inserting chicken or salmon a few nights a week in place of pasta or couscous.

Apparently my waistline is allergic to carbs, even the protein-laden ones, so I've been trying to cut out as many as I can, particularly at dinner. I've always noticed that my vegan friends can eat all the oats, barley, quinoa, brown rice, & couscous they want. My body doesn't respond the same way.

I've been thinking about food a lot this week. In between grief books, I've been reading Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life around the Table by Shauna Niequist. She argues that while some experience God in nature, water, or music, she feels God's presence most strongly at the table. When discussing body issues, she calls on foodies to follow the liturgical calendar of feasting and fasting in lieu of fad diets. She talks of fun - "When we break out of the normal clockwork of daily life and pop the champagne on a cold, gray Wednesday for no other reason than the fact that the faces we love are gathered around our table." Of friends - "But when they left, I cried hard, choking tears, bent over the sink. My heart ached as they left, because that thing, the thing we have when we're together, the thing we thought we left behind all those years ago, was alive and well, and it seemed cruel and unusual that we have to fly across the country to experience it." Of travel - "They say the color of the air in Paris is the exact color of champagne."

Cover photo from
I had to skip over some chapters on miscarriages & her children getting sick, but I enjoyed her storytelling & her recipes. I can relate to her spiritual connection with food. Through the Sacraments Jesus connects with us through every day material objects - water, bread, & wine. Every time we splash our face we should remember our baptism. The same is true at the dinner table. Every bite should remind us of the body & blood of Christ. We should take every bite with reverence & gratitude, and if that doesn't change how we eat & celebrate, I don't know what will.

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