丑の日を前に Mindful eating

憧れのうなぎを食べた。

帰国以来、夏のうなぎの看板を見るたびに惹かれていたが、健康的な食生活を工夫して手に入れることに精一杯だったので我慢した。つまりは経済的な理由だ。うなぎを食べた最後の記憶は10年前一時帰国の時に友達家族がご馳走してくれた時以来。(あの嬉しさと幸せな気持ちは忘れない)

松戸市に引っ越し、ご近所に鰻屋さんがあるのを知った。

2つ夏を我慢し、3年目の今年、ようやくうなぎを食べた。

頂き物以外は精製していない白砂糖を食べることをやめた私は必ず砂糖を使用しているであろうタレが気になった。そりゃ記憶の中の蒲焼はおいしかった。元気になった気がした。もし砂糖を使用していなくとも元気が出る感覚はあるのだろうか。あのエネルギーが満ちた感覚はうなぎなんだろうか、砂糖なんだろうか。

いろんな興味を持ちつつ、ジョギング中に鰻屋さんを訪れて話を聞いた。

コロナ対策で今は持ち帰りのみの営業とのことで、すぐ近所なのに捨てる容器を無駄にするのが嫌で、後でガラスの容器を持参した。そして白焼きを頼んだ。初めての白焼き。

持ち帰り、付いていたスープにお湯を注ぐ。ここでまず持ち帰りの利点が一つ。薄味に慣れている私にちょうどいいようにお湯を多めに入れて塩味薄めにできる。利点は次々出てくる。

私は日本で育った日本人だが、実は箸を使うのが苦手だ。そして下手だ。一人だし。誰もみていない。スプーンで食べた。快適だ。

家にあった山椒の葉を醤油漬けにしたものを薄く塗って、さらに付いてきた粉の山椒をかけた。

一口、口に入れる。香りが鼻をぬける。

立って、足の重心をチェックし、重力に対して負荷のないバランスをとった。その後できる限り、全神経を口の中に集中させた。目をつぶって。これもお店ではできない。

蒲焼を食べた時のような高揚感は全くない。なんなら精進料理を食べているような、淡白な味だけど良質の栄養を食べている感じがする。山椒の香りはするもののパンチが効いたわけでもなく穏やかな風味を与えている程度。

自発的にうなぎを堪能した。

あの高揚感は砂糖の作用であることを認識した。

穏やかなみなぎる感じはある。それらとともに、昼間食べたフルーツや野菜、卵、ミネラルウォーターなどの材料は夜の睡眠を経て明日の私を作ってくれるだろう。

大満足の経験ができてとても嬉しい。


I'd been longing to eat a box of eel over rice since I came back to Japan. We have custom of eating eel during season changing period for summer. But I waited to have them 3 summers for economical reason.

My last eel over rice experience was back in 10 years ago when I stayed in Tokyo temporarily. My old friend and her family offered me a box of eel over rice. I never forget their warm treats and I was very happy to receive them.

I moved to my current apartment in Matsudo city, I found that there is a Unagi (eel) restaurant in my neighbor. I waited 2 summers and at this 3rd summer, finally I experienced eating eel.

Since I quit refined white sugar intake besides gifts, I was conscious about the eel sauce that is usually seasoned with sugar. I am a very rare kind who avoid eating white sugar in Japan. Of course in my memory, eel grilled with sweet sauce was tasty. I felt energized after eating. Now I wondered if I feel energized without sugar? Is the feeling of energy comes from eel itself or effect of sugar?

I visited the eel restaurant during my short jogging, and asked if I can have them without sauce.

Now they were offering take out orders only due to COVID19. I didn't want to waste plastic containers, so I brought glass container from home and ordered a box of eel without sauce. My first eel without sauce.

I came back to the restaurant at 6pm and brought my eel back home. I poured powder of soup that came with and hot water into a cup and realized there's some benefits of take out. I could pour more water so I could make my soup less salty since I'm used to light seasoning. Benefits came out one by one.

I'm a Japanese woman who was raised up in Japan, but unfortunately I'm not good at using chop sticks to be honest. I thought, I'm here alone. No one looking at me. So I don't care. I have never seen anyone who eats eel with spoon, but I did. I felt comfortable.

I lightly put sansho leaves soaked soy sauce that I prepared beforehand from my balcony, and moreover added powdered sansho pepper on top of the eel.

I had my first bite. Fresh flavor of sansho pepper came through my nose.

I was standing up and naturally checked my balance of weight in my foot against gravity. After that, I tried to concentrate on the sense of my inner mouth. I closed my eyes. I would be seen as a real weirdo if I do this in Japanese restaurant in Japan.

I don't feel the elation that I felt when I ate eel with sauce, at all. As if I'm eating at buddhist temple, I felt I'm taking food with light taste but rich in good sauce of nutrient. I felt the aroma of sansho, still nothing intense and it was quite mild.

I enjoyed eel voluntarily.

I thought the elation and energized feeling that I felt when I ate eel with sauce was the effect of sugar (and salt), not eel.

I have "quietly energized" feeling, but it's totally different from the one I get from refined sugar.

These materials including fruits and veggies, eggs, mineral water that I had during the day will make my tomorrow through tonight's sleep.

I'm feeling very happy with what I experienced.


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