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Sunday food

3 May

I’m very much aware that I’ve been writing a lot more about what I’ve been eating since getting the wires removed. At first, this seemed backwards. I thought that what I ate on the more restrictive liquid diet should have received more attention because it was more abnormal. Having thought about it some more, though, I think there’s a pretty good reason for the way things are. On the liquid diet, I ate pretty much the same thing every day, so there wasn’t a whole lot to say. I’d have several smoothies, a serving of Vega, and a can of soup. Now that I have more options, of course there’s more to write about.

With that said, here’s a summary of today’s meals:

  • Breakfast was the usual oatmeal, but today I increased the portion, starting with a cup of dry oats rather than half a cup.
  • Lunch was a soy yogurt plus variations on a couple of things I’ve eaten in recent days. One was chinese noodles with miso. I decided to try this as a substitute for ramen after I realized how salty ramen is. The first time I read the label of a package of ramen a few days ago, I was impressed to see that it ┬áhad less than 200 milligrams of sodium. However, I took another look yesterday, and I realized that I had read the wrong line, confusing the number for potassium with the number for sodium. In fact, a single serving has over 1000 milligrams of sodium, so I decided to do something a little different today. As with the ramen, I added some silken tofu. This time I used firm silken tofu, which has the advantage of more protein. I had no difficulty swallowing it without chewing. The other half of lunch was a can of refried beans with shredded tortilla bits. I realized after the fact that I ate the refried beans much more quickly and comfortably than I did on Thursday.
  • Dinner was a bowl of tamarind lentils from last night.
  • Dessert was Purely Decadent soy ice cream with Latchkey Lime Pie, from a recipe of Isa Chandra Moskowitz at Post Punk Kitchen. I actually made it last night, but it finished too late for me to try it. I used a graham cracker crust (Arrowhead Mills brand) because I was looking for something crumbly. It was a great pie, although the texture is a bit more gelatinous and less creamy than a typical key lime pie. This was fine with me, but it’s not something I’d serve to an omnivore to prove that vegan food can be normal. Or maybe I just don’t want to share my pie with anybody. I ate two slices and a couple of tiny slivers, altogether adding up to about a sixth of the pie. For what it’s worth, I think the graham cracker crust worked very nicely. It crumbled in my mouth as I had hoped, and the lime filling infused it with a very nice flavor.
  • A while after dessert, I remembered that I had four mangoes, which were on sale at Whole Foods last weekend. I decided to try one which seemed ripe. It was good, but perhaps not as ripe as I should have let it get before eating it without chewing. I tried, with varying degrees of success, to crush little pieces of mango between the roof of my mouth and my tongue. It all went down, but I think it would have been better to wait a little longer for the mango to soften. The remaining three mangoes will wait a bit longer.

Incidentally, I think today is the first day in four weeks that I haven’t eaten any smoothies. I actually like smoothies, but enough to be make me want to have as many as I had while wired, so this is something of a milestone.

Rubber bands

3 May

For the three week period following the removal of my wires, I have to have rubber bands in my mouth to keep my teeth returning to the right position. Now that I’ve been wearing them for a few days, there are a few things that seem to be worth mentioning:

  • Unlike the rubber bands that I wore on my orthodontic braces in junior high, these go right at the front of my mouth. They’re probably pretty visible to people when I talk to them, although I’m not really one to be too bothered by that. Most of the people I talk to in the course of a day have some idea of what I’ve been through over the last few weeks, anyway.
  • When I first put in new rubber bands, they taste (unsurprisingly) like rubber. In case you’re wondering, I’m familiar with the taste of rubber from licking an eraser in second grade.
  • Fortunately, I am allowed to remove the rubber bands to eat. It takes some restraint on my part not to eat all the time as an excuse to leave the rubber bands out.
  • For the first day or two, after a meal I’d find that I was having trouble figuring out where my teeth should be resting, and the rubber bands were helpful in straightening things out. By now, my jaw is finding its resting position even before I get the rubber bands back in.
  • These rubber bands are very prone to breaking. I had two break in the first section I taught on Thursday and one in the last section. Often, rubber bands will break when I try to put them in for the first time. The oral surgeon only gave me a small envelope of rubber bands, and I’ll be surprised if it lasts until my next appointment (which is Tuesday of next week).
  • Yesterday, I noticed the rubber bands making some squeaking sounds when I opened my mouth wide. I wondered if this was a sign that I’m able to open my mouth further than I previously.
  • Sometimes when I’m walking around, I’ll notice that I’m clenching my teeth. I don’t know if this is because of the pressure applied by the rubber bands or because I’m used to having my jaw wired shut. I also don’t know why this only happens when I’m walking around.
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