I’ve taken an unplanned break from my monthly challenge (of eating no meat) today. I’m reluctant to break a successful streak, but when it comes to playing with your diet there are always going to be health concerns to keep in mind.
This morning I took the tube to work during rush hour. Usually I’m in late enough in the morning to miss the biggest part of the rush, but on Thursdays I play football before work so I end up on a packed tube with all of the other commuters.
I’ve just started listening to the audiobook of Chuck Palahniuk’s “Haunted”, which is a collection of short stories or a dark and horrific nature. The part I was listening to today was particularly disturbing, to the extent that I won’t even try to give you the gist of it. I started to feel nauseous. At the time I attributed this to the writing being especially evocative, but in retrospect I’m pretty sure it was just a coincidence. This was somewhere between Camden Town and Euston. I switched off the audiobook in favour of some less disturbing music and decided to take a few minutes at Euston to get some air before I switched to the Victoria line to continue my journey.
Then I woke up on the floor of a tube carriage with a crowd of people looking over me. Well I can tell you that’s one heck of a disorienting experience. I’ve complained before about Londoners’ ability to ignore each other, especially on the tube, but I take it all back. If you ever want to interact with your fellow Londoners, passing out in front of them is an effective way to get some attention.
I don’t know for sure what caused my impromptu nap. Maybe the book really was that gross. Maybe I’m coming down with something. My guess is it was a lack of blood sugar, or a lack of iron.
I skipped breakfast at home this morning so I could get some more sleep. That’s not at all unusual for me, but since I’ve given up meat I’ve found myself much less able to go for long periods without eating than I normally can. Note to self: no more skipping meals. Lack of iron would be pretty easily explained: it’s hard to avoid iron in meaty foods, but easy to miss otherwise.
I bought a few cookies from a cookie stand in Euston to give my blood sugar a kick, and then took a bus the rest of the way to work to avoid being in a crowded, poorly ventilated tube. I got in in time to get a cooked breakfast, so I had a pile of bacon and sausages and scrambled egg. I’ve been drinking cans of Coke all morning too, as that’s what they give you after you donate blood to stop you from fainting. I’ll get some steak for dinner today just to make completely sure I’ve replaced all the missing nutrients.
Once I feel completely sure I’ve addressed everything that’s wrong, I’ll restart the challenge, with a new awareness of the importance of certain nutrients, and a hard-and-fast no skipping meals rule.