Tomorrow I leave with 3 other brave adults and 12 near adults (teenagers, high schoolers, cross country runners) for Portland. For a 129 mile high school relay. More on this later.
Today I did medicine. With a break for lunch in the doctor's lounge. I literally could NOT eat the vegetarian burger puck, nor anything else, except a carton of chocolate milk. Chocolate milk can be the perfect food, but in this case it was like the only actual food in the room. Meat and meat-substitute pucks play starring roles in doctor's lounges and public school cafeterias. They do not seem to ruffle inspectors and they don't take much preparation. Here's the weird thing: we have an overabundance of food in our society. So why do we eat non-food?
I am reading this book by Scott Jurek called Eat and Run. He is an ultramarathoner. Also a vegan. He runs fast, far. Really, really, really far. Scott Jurek might be over the top. I have not decided yet, though I do not suppose this is for me to decide. I understand his drive and passion.
It seems obvious, how we are what we consume. My patients who eat too much get sick. My patients who drink too much get sick. My patients who eat too little get sick. And it goes beyond food. Good literature and art feeds the heart and brain. Great music is like protein or manna from heaven or that canteen of water after a walk in the desert. Spiritual sustenance is more personal, but for some a turning away from spirit can manifest in scurvy of the soul and rickets of the religious center of balance. And physical motion? Physician is derived from words meaning nature, or the art of healing, or to bring forth or produce or to exist or grow. Fitness is derived from words meaning competence, being suitable, being qualified. Our physical nature and our fitness is essential. Until it isn't, and then thank goodness for good books and good music. And good food. And when we can no longer directly enjoy any of these things, we can feed upon our memories.