On a Roll.

Clockwise from top: Fish Lover’s Roll, Rainbow Roll, sashimi tuna and belly salmon. YUM!

Lately the Mister and I have been enjoying sushi rolls on a regular basis, which is surprising because until about three months ago, you probably couldn’t have paid the Mister to eat raw fish (pro tip: not all sushi features raw fish).  The restaurants serving sushi also served teriyaki and sweet and sour pork, which were much more his style.  But that has changed.  Sushi is beautiful, and I feel perfectly decadent eating it, even though it’s all good for me. Not only that, but using chopsticks makes me eat more slowly, because I’m not very adept with them.

For us, sushi is a win-win. It’s not deep fried; it’s not covered in sauces or full of preservatives. The combination of flavors and textures is quite satisfying. It’s also fun to watch sushi being prepared.  Recently, the sushi chef came to our table to present us with buttery pieces of raw fish, or sashimi. He shared bright orange, fatty salmon, from the belly of the fish, and gorgeous, ruby-hued Bluefin tuna. Now that was truly a treat.

I wish I could say that my pantry contents are strictly clean and healthy, packed with nutrition and no longer peppered with salt, fat, and sugar. Like many folks, before I went under the knife, I pledged to overhaul my intake as well as my outlook, and I decided that things like coffee, chips, soda, and sugary snacks should not survive the purge. I just knew I’d be preparing little Bento Box meals with melon chunks, cheese sticks, and hard-boiled eggs, and I’d steer clear of the stuff that was little more than empty calories and additives. After all, this is the rest of my life, right?

That was then.

They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Well, I’m guessing the road to my refrigerator is, too. Although I do eat far more healthily than I used to – I rarely eat beef, I don’t drink soda, and I have all but eliminated potatoes, noodles, and bread – I am not the perfectly pious post-op I predicted. I am not averse to having bacon with my eggs, treating myself to rice pudding, or enjoying a cocktail. I even whipped up a blue box of Kraft Dinner once because I had a hankering for a couple bites of mac n cheese.

Yes, I admit it.

My point is that even though I did not adhere to my initial (strict) expectation of only consuming the ‘right’ food, allowing myself the odd indulgence is not a bad thing. The key is that it’s infrequent.  If I stray from the path once in a while, I don’t need to beat myself up for it.  If my diet is primarily chicken, fish, dairy and vegetables (with a lot of sushi for good measure), then a couple of pieces of chocolate, or a beer, or a cookie won’t have much of an effect.

Sometimes, just a taste of something is enough, and I’m on my way. I consider that smarter (for me) than totally banning those things, and it emphasizes my understanding that my success begins with my head. I have to learn how to manage my food cravings and behavior in a way that works both physically and mentally. Of course, not everyone handles their cravings that way – for some, it’s far better to avoid the foods that are most troublesome to them.  Whatever works.

Forgot the name of the mango-topped roll on the left, but the one on the right is a Rainbow roll.
We’re happy to have a sushi habit to replace some of the bad habits we used to have. Sushi is so beautiful and tasty that on some level, it seems like cheating – like I must be getting away with something. And I suppose, in some way, I am: I don’t have to prepare it, it’s relatively inexpensive, and it makes a satisfying, nutritious meal that doesn’t feel ‘heavy’ after I eat it.

The sushi roll we like best features avocado, cucumber, and imitation crab salad rolled up in rice and seaweed and topped with velvety slabs of the freshest raw salmon and tuna. One roll, cut into eight pieces, is the perfect size for us to share. The taste is amazing, especially with ginger, wasabi, and soy sauce.

This is the rest of my life, right?

What’s left of our favorite, a Sunset roll.
  Lucky me.


photo credit: me (sushi) and kalleboo

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Aging like a fine wine. ;-)

8 thoughts on “On a Roll.”

  1. I am so glad I took the plunge and tried more than just a bite. This is something I could get used to. Thank you for making the introductions!

  2. Lucky you. Glad you and Mister are enjoying the finer things in life. Lu and I have been enjoying sushi for years. Another must do together soon. Love you!

  3. Thanks, Pat — we really are enjoying it. We look for sushi restaurants when we’re out of town so we can compare. I would love a sushi double date – surely you can steer us toward your favorite venue!
    We have really enjoyed all the sushi rolls we have tried. We try to stick with the ones not covered in sauces, but I do love me some eel sauce!
    Love and hugs to you and Lu — hope our date will be soon! 😉

  4. Oooo, there’s lots of sushi in Hawaii, (!) and I haven’t been a fan in the past….now I’m going to get some on my next shopping trip. Mahalo! Funny that I would get this advice from Olalla… 🙂 Honi-honi (hugs and kisses)xxoo

    1. Christi, I am so glad you’re going to give it a try! You should be able to get the freshest, most wonderful sushi on the island. It is funny, yes!
      I had tried it a couple of times over the years, but I believe all I ever tried was a California roll, which was pretty benign and void of any raw fish. I liked it okay, but not enough to become a sushi fan. It wasn’t until recently, when we were with friends at a local restaurant and they ordered a variety of sushi rolls and nigiri (fish and rice only), that I was able to try ‘real’ sushi. Yum! Now I wonder why I waited so long.
      I hope you find a great place for sushi and find some you really enjoy. I’m a big fan!
      Honi-honi — I like that! xoxoB

      1. I like it, too. Here’s the meaning…. 🙂

        “The honi is a Polynesian greeting in which two people greet each other by pressing noses and inhaling at the same time. This is a very honorific as this represents the exchange of ha–the breath of life, and mana–spiritual power between two people. This act and the concepts behind it are very unusual to western audiences and care should be taken to explain the spirituality and sacredness of this simple act of greeting.”

        Source: Renee Bishaw, Hawaiian Greeting/Protocol

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