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  • in reply to: 42 kilos lost and counting #52052


    Artist, Sculptor, Photographer, Poet,

    Friend, Daughter, Mother, Grandmother,

    Returning University Student, Traveler,

    Explorer, Food Hound and knowledge collector


    I’ve been following Maangchi’s Korean food site/blog for a ‘very’ long time now. And finally decided to sign on after reading the weight loss Blog… so here goes with a little meaningful background first… My family and I have been eating Korean food since 1984 when a young South Korean student came over to do his Graduate studies in the USA… We met him one day when he came to buy a car and adopted our family because he liked us and /or he liked my husband’s straightforward style …??? … Just like that he became my preteen daughters’ older brother (oppa) and the son (adul) we never had (sort of)… When not on campus going to his classes or out with his friends, he hung out with us learning to fit in and practice his English skills, which rapidly became comfortable… Not more than a year later he persuaded my husband to mentor him and get him a job working together, while he continued his studies… From Roy (his Americanized name) we learned to enjoy eating Korean food and watching Korean Movies while I slowly learned a little vocabulary… Meanwhile we came to appreciate Korean theatrical performances (Pansori, etc) that were sponsored by the university, which at the time were few and far between… as for sports events, my husband, my girls and Roy would often go without me (movies, museums and galleries are more my style) …Since there were no Korean Grocery stores like Lotte, or HMart, here in the 1980s & early 90s and very few Korean restaurants as well… we learned to cook at home with Roy who happily brought the ingredients that came from far far way (NYC and much later from across the Potomac in Virginia) and took over the kitchen with our girls as helpers….I can’t tell you how delicious those eventful productions were… With Roy’s help, over time we learned by trial and error how to know a descent restaurant by their panjan, their pajun, their soups, their BBQ, and Bibimbap… Personally I love the kimchi and heamul Pajun, the Haedopbap, and Kimchi djigae best …actually, I’ll eat practically anything Korean as long as it’s not moving (literally) …Interestingly my daughters are even more critical than I am (if you can call it that) …If a restaurant can’t make something as simple as Bibimbap or Tchap Tchae which we can easily and do make at home…Well they can forget it… and…We do have our favorites…Truthfully, Roy spoiled us in the process… Today, it’s gotten really easy to go out for “good” (authentic) Korean Food, which can be found ‘E’verywhere… It’s as popular here as Chinese, Italian, Thai or Indian food (in that order); and, let’s not forget the Sushi, by any other name is just as much Korean fare (love it as Haedupbap best)… I know my family considers itself very fortunate to be in a location such as WashingtonDC where practically all the Korean ingredients and resources have become easily available.

    Sadly, we lost touch with Roy some time after he got married (his wedding was a very special experience for us) …Still, for the previous ten years, he had been an integral part of our family’s casual and formal events with friends, family or with our girls and just us… In the meantime the girls had gone off to college and lives of their own themselves… and for years after we periodically reminisced about Roy, whether he had a family, how many children he might have, how they were doing, and if they had returned to their wished for Korean homeland or not (life for South Korea by then had changed dramatically…its people had finally regained their freedom from an oppressive military dictatorship that lasted 30 years)… Nevertheless, for us, Korean Food remained a significant part of our weekly meals because a really good restaurant had opened within a short walk from our house that we frequented very ‘very’ often… In time we got to know the owners, a young couple who treated us with the same deference they provided their Korean guests…They must have known we were in love with their culture… because we felt welcomed and accepted…part of their regular crowd… Periodically they would introduce us to different regional dishes, such as Toshisal style BBQ… and our food tastes increased with the seasonal menus…it was wonderful…we had our own Korean restaurant we proudly took friends and family to…the food was consistently that good… somewhere along the way my lovely husband died and several years later the restaurant was sold to a couple whose touch is not that good…Oh well…c’est la vie… Eventually I discovered Lotte, which was grand … then HMart came along which was a huge place and closer to home …later still, another Lotte opened nearby and I started to do my daily/weekly grocery shopping there as well …If I don’t feel like cooking I can pick up hot food that I can eat on site or take home (I’m alone now and there’s no one to cook for so why not, besides my husband would have loved it just as much as I)

    …Overall I eat Korean food so often that I never even noticed that I lost a considerable amount of weight over the last five years (The weight was slowly falling off and I didn’t feel a thing…nor did I lose any sleep because the hunger pains had just vanished… In effect, I simply quit thinking about food… First off, let me tell you I am Diabetic (have been for what feels like centuries)… Second, I enjoy ‘good’ food (Yum)… and third I am a ‘volume’ eater (always have been)… Common sense tells me that even though I am no dietician and what I know is based on the prescribed Diabetic Diet I am supposed to follow… I think I have figured out exactly why we all have been able to lose weight after years of failure…the only portion control required here, is the Rice and the Meat (animal products)… because practically everything else is ‘Free Food’ (literally)… and this is why… 1) there are very few starchy vegetables other than rice in the Korean diet… 2) 90% of the vegetables are of the very low calorie variety… 3) 99% of the time it’s eaten RAW even when it’s hot or at room temperature (which I love)… 4) raw food takes far and away longer to digest, leaving us feeling satisfied all the time… and 5) it’s low in fat… So there you have it the best tasting health food diet in the world and by whatever means it took to get here we have found it…Hip Hip Hooray I Say… Still, I cannot say that I am no longer Diabetic (that will never happen) but things have improved for me dramatically…I have more energy…my mood swings have evened out dramatically… I’m not always hungry… and… what’s more I don’t feel guilty about what I eat when I cheat because with this Korean food style it’s easy to calculate it in once a week (which I have to do anyway since I’m Diabetic…Grrrrr)… so here we are…happy to tell you that you are all doing great… and that I am pleased for all of you as well… I may not know you but you are kindred spirits for me and I’m proud to count myself as one of you who made it to this place in your lives…

    …As for myself… since I’m retired… I’ve decided to… 1) go back to school and get my Master’s degree for the fun of it… 2) learn more of the Korean Culture through their language while taking courses and watching the Kdramas on CableTV (my personal treat)… 3) play with my granddaughter who lives in NYC more often… 4) eat my way across (South) Korea someday… So, that’s the plan for the next 20 years … sort of… SeeYa … I’ll try to stay in touch …. Thank You Maangchi for being in the right place at the right time…I wish you the best… Oh, and thanks for letting me share…

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