August 25th, 2005

ghost

Fitness stuff

Despite my general disapproval of relying on the scale... I've been getting on the scale. Sigh. My weight seems to be holding precisely steady.

Now, on week days I eat like a monk (almost literally, since I've developed an interest in cookbooks by head chefs at Buddhist monasteries lately). Weekends, however, are a lot harder. I've had a couple pasta-oriented indiscretions in the last 6 weeks, but I'd hate to think that they were enough to bring my weight loss to a total halt.

I'm comforting myself with the fact that I have always put on muscle mass freakishly quickly. My arms already feel a bit harder, and my jeans are fitting better. So maybe muscle weight accounts for the number on the scale.

Whatever. I'm striving to eat well, and keep moving. What else can one do? In the final analysis, that's all there is.
dark woods

Zen Cooking

Since a number of people have requested information about these, here are the Buddhist cookbooks I've been reading. I found all of them through Amazon marketplace, even though a couple are out of print. In case you hadn't already guessed, all of these are vegetarian.

Tassajara Cookbook by Edward Espe Brown is a great, simple cooking book. Its very light on specific recipes, and instead offers thoughts on ways to approach various vegetables, and general notes on preparing types of dishes (e.g. soups, casseroles, etc.) I love this one because it has revolutionized my cooking by breaking it down, and making me think about presenting the ingredients "as themselves" rather than trying to invent fancier and more complex dishes all the time.

Also by Edward Espe Brown are Tassajara Recipe Book (which was presumably written to compensate for the lack of recipes in the previous book) and Tomato Blessings and Radish Teachings. Of these, I like the second one better. It's got lots of short essays about things like mindfulness practice, and life in the monastery, and retains more of the spirit of the first book.

I am also enjoying 3 Bowls : Vegetarian Recipes from an American Zen Buddhist Monastery by Seppo Ed Farrey and Nancy O'Hara. This one is also full of wonderful little bit of Buddhist thought and practice, but the recipes are better organized than in the "Tomato Blessing" book.

There are others out there, including another one with "three bowls" in the title (which refers to practice of monks using three bowls at formal meals) but the three above are the ones I've used.

Eat mindfully :)