Fuel. Desire. Comfort. Addiction. Food. All those great tasting things of the earth. . . which I cannot enjoy. For the past four months I have been on dietary restrictions due to Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) issues. It is the joint where your jaw attaches to your skull. The muscle surrounding the joint and cheek become inflamed. There are nerves that run from this point into the back of your head, behind your eye, into the cheek, and into the jawbone. It basically feels like you’ve been suckered punch in the face with a migraine, wicked toothache and loss of vision. I have been placed on a soft food diet, which is sad and ironic, since I do love my crunchy foods. The list of foods to abstain from while my facial muscle heals is rather long, but to use the doctor’s summary of the diet is “three chews and swallow.” Anything that takes more than that is off limits. No nuts, no raw veggies really, including lettuce, no meats, no bread, no caffeine, no alcohol, no carbonated drinks, no artificial sugars, and so on and so forth. So what can I have? –Air. Basically, air. Actually, I can still have pasta and chocolate.–Whew! Thank God for small miracles!
The interesting thing to note, in late January I started to feel a slight compulsion to go vegetarian. So this TMJ issue had impeccable timing. Granted, I choose to follow the doctor’s directives so I can go off the pills. However, after the pills, my diet will continue its slow overhaul. I am never one to clear out the pantry and buy only the “new and improved” items. I foresee this complete change happening over years with small tweaks. Heck, it doesn’t take a stretch of imagination that by the time I’m 40 or 50 I could be vegan. Just do not expect it to happen overnight. I am in the studying stages of streamlining my diet and lifestyle. So new to it, am I, that I don’t have a decent 19th century correlation! This is in part because I know these lifestyles have been around since the dawn of humanity. Wish me luck and maybe I will profile prominent 19th century vegetarians.