Whenever we stay at a hotel and have breakfast at one of those buffet-style troughs I always make a direct line for the bacon tray. It is fairly reliable – indeed I’d say predictable – that the bacon chafing dish will make an appearance at any of these morning or brunch foraging affairs. The quantities available are positively mountainous. As a result the bacon is an invitation beyond restraint! And unrestrained I am. There is no question whatsoever in my mind that I suffer a psychological perversion of surplus. It isn’t a matter of greed which has a moral connotation much like the word cupidity implying as it does covetousness. No, my affliction – though reminiscent of the biblical immorality of excess – is diluted by the word gourmandizing which contains the elevated suggestion of gourmet (a certain description of bacon’s appeal to me especially now that I’ve discovered PC Old-fashioned Style bacon). Yet admittedly my distortion is closer to piggishness than to hankering, moral or immoral. I could perhaps temper it by saying simply edacity but that is clearly too arcane.
Not all bacon is created equal – and we think you’ll agree this one is a different taste experience. It’s sliced extra-thick for a super-meaty bite. But let’s back up: it all starts with carefully selected and trimmed pork bellies. They’re cured and smoked over maplewood – for a mild hint of sweetness. When cooked, they retain more of a chewy, salty bite than thinner slices. You know it’s made for breakfast but don’t stop there – slice it into crisp matchstick strips you can toss into sauces, soups salads. You won’t be sorry.
Once one has stepped over the boundary of bacon, all other limitation is lost! I blame Dr. Atkins for having contaminated my indulgence with what has proven to be an impossible directive; namely, to pretend to survive upon protein alone. I know for a fact that it doesn’t work! And like the alcoholic, the return to the former life with carbohydrates is fraught with the peril of astronomic restatement!
But over the long term, too much protein and too few carbohydrates may not be the healthiest plan. This kind of eating pattern has been linked to an increased risk of developing osteoporosis. That’s because digesting protein releases acids into the bloodstream. The body neutralizes these acids with calcium—which can be pulled from bone if necessary. Eating too much protein also makes the kidneys work harder. In healthy people, this usually doesn’t pose a problem. But those with kidney disease or diabetes (which is associated with kidney disease) need to watch their daily protein intake so they don’t overload their kidneys.
Depriving yourself of carbohydrates can also affect the brain and muscles, which need glucose (the fuel that comes from digesting carbs) to function efficiently. The fiber delivered by some carbohydrate-rich foods help bowels move. And remember that healthy sources of carbohydrates, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, come with a host of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.
I find as I age I need less and less reason to side-step my lingering indulgences. I mean, what are we saving it for! Consequently it is but a hop from the bacon to other charms like baguette bagel and MaraNatha peanut butter. Happily I conjoin these fatty elements with a singularly gratifying sliced green apple. But that’s about as far into the opposite realm I venture before having a gulp of maple syrup which I insist has an antioxidant feature.
Meanwhile we’re awakening to new possibilities – not the least of which is more frequent or longer jaunts on the bicycle. I noticed today that the Ottawa Valley Trail is losing its blanket of snow even in the shaded portions between the trees. The combination of greater exercise and associated afternoon naps may succeed to restore a less hibernating routine.