19 August, 2014

Hey There! How've You Been? It's Been Awhile...

<turns on the lights, peers around the room>

Anybody here?

It's been a couple years since I had a new post. I'm sorry about the absence, but I think I might be ready to start writing again. I want to start out by thanking those of you who sent messages to me wondering what had happened to me and to the blog, so I'm going to publish a FAQ here. It might run a little long; hope it isn't too TL;DR.

Q. Why did you stop writing?

A. I was tired. Like, really tired, all the time. I didn't have the energy to write much, and I didn't seem to have the inspiration I once had. Out in the Meatworld (as opposed to the Blogworld) I was keeping up with the work I needed to do, but I was wearing myself out more quickly than I used to (and that's despite losing about 125 pounds over the course of 2 years.) It just seemed like life was taking a toll on me, and the blog was just the first thing to give.

And then, early in May 2014, I was at the doc's for a scheduled cholesterol checkup when I told him about a fleeting chest pain I'd been having off and on. A few hours later, I was in the cardiac intensive care unit at a local hospital, on a nitro drip, awaiting an angiogram. On May 9th I had a quintuple bypass and began my second lease on life.

You see, heart disease runs in the family. My father died when he was 58. Most of his brothers went even younger. Although certain aspects of my lifestyle weren't exactly cardio-friendly, it really wasn't a matter of if I was going to have a heart attack, it was a matter of when.

Q. Why are you writing again?

A. After the surgery and the subsequent rehab, I feel a lot more like my old self - more energetic and inspired and ready to giddy up once again. And because I'm still grocery shopping and noodling around in the kitchen and finding strange and/or wonderful things out in the markets, I have things I want to share. So here I am.

Having the bypass has necessitated some changes to my lifestyle, as you might imagine. I use a salt substitute these days instead of salt. I've drastically cut down on my consumption of animal fats and in some cases just stopped eating them entirely (do you know how damn hard it is to not eat bacon?  Or sausage? And I have entirely given up butter! It's killin' me! Kind of.)

Q. So does this mean you're going to turn into one of those boring-ass health freaks who spend all their time bitching about gluten and pork fat and holistic eating and all that crap?

A. NO. I still cure and smoke my own bacon and bluefish and other meats. I still occasionally make sausage, and there is no way I'll stop making capicola and pies with homemade crusts. I will probably not be eating too many blocks of ramen noodles any more - did you know that a package of ramen has like 900+ mg of sodium? - but there are plenty of other cool things to write about that you might find interesting even if you're not being forced at scalpel-point to keep your arteries clear.

So thanks for coming back. I'll try to make it worth your time.


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9 comments:

Jeff said...

Welcome back. I don't follow other food blogs, but I always enjoyed the unusual stuff you come up with. Hope you feel better, and count me in for your next phase.

hap said...

Glad to see you're feeling the urge again! Missed your skewed view on life...which tends to be a lot like my skewed view on life....my heart attack was a very minor one...and no damage done but it took a while to get the steam up to get on with things afterwards...looking FORWARD to seeing what you're up to these days!! Saw M Loo for a day and a ballgame in July, and of course we talked about cooking and absent friends! I love ramen too...and had to give it up as well...someone told me the noodles have wax or varnish or something on them that keeps them from being digested properly as well! WElcome back!!

Frank Yensan said...

So glad your back. I look forward to your next post!

Kate said...

Welcome back...I am sorry to hear about your health issues but I am glad you are taking care of it.

TomW said...

Cool. I have been looking hard for a blog like yours since you went on hiatus, and never found one.

Stephanie/Sproffee said...

YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. I can only reread your archives so many times before I need me some new stuff.

lavidamd said...

Welcome back! I'm so glad you are ok. I did wonder what happened when you stopped writing.

I am particularly fond of your Aldi product reviews. The Aldi here in Beltsville, Maryland, opened several months ago. It's the closest grocery store to my house.

grey74 said...

Glad to see you back. I had followed your blog for several years. I always wondered why you vanished without a word. I'm glad to see you are still alive. I feared that you may have been taken from us too soon, but I'm happy that is not the case. Still use your blog as a reference, and have tried many of the recipes you shared with great joy and success.

Scott Spolverino said...

Oh thank GOD you're back! Things were getting boring and meatless around here.