I am an extremist.

I cause fear and terror whenever I eat in social situations. I eat plants. Only plants. No animal products. No meat, no fish, no eggs, no dairy. No oil, no fat. Whole foods, that is: plants that have undergone only minimal processing by machinery in a plant. That makes me extreme.

In the privacy of our own home my wife and I indulge our food fantasies to our heart’s content. Potatoes are consumed in shameless quantities, along with horses’ rations of oats. Travel or eating out as a starchivore requires planning. Plant based food might be had on the road, but rarely without oil or fat. We bring our own. We travel with a cool pack containing a couple of kilos of boiled potatoes, along with some canned peas and corn to adorn our humble spuds.

Dishing up our potatoes at a social function is as offensive as farting loudly in polite company. (That is known to happen to a starchivore, trust me). First there is incredulity: “is that your dinner”? Then there is pity: “what do you eat as a treat”? Followed by derision: “your food is tasteless crap”. Meanwhile, our table companions pop statins, beta-blockers, nexium and blood pressure tablets, and not necessarily to cope with our extreme behaviour.πŸ˜€

Then the Siren songs begin: “have some of this juicy steak”, “taste this nice gravy”, “the fish is out of this world”, “would you like fries with that”?,”you can’t eat bread without butter and cheese”, “would you like some peanuts”?, “what, no oil or mayonnaise in your salad”?, “surely a balanced diet is better, everything in moderation”?, “I bought this ice cream especially for you”.

I eat plants to successfully manage type 1 diabetes. My body’s mistaken defense mechanism likes to kick own goals, kill by friendly fire, shoot itself in the foot, so to speak. The usual complications of poorly controlled blood sugars include blindness, amputations, kidney failure and death 12 years before the average. That is extreme.

Eating plants isn’t.

I like being extreme.