I can smell roasting chicken

Three weeks ago, my dermatologist eliminated all but one of my basic food groups from my diet as part of my month-long skin treatment. Well, the list of foods to avoid is more comprehensive than that, of course. I’ve been told to stay away from chicken, eggs, cheese, chocolate, seafood, nuts, and pulpy fruits and vegetables (mangoes, okra, stuff like that).

I’ve been good, for the most part. I’ve stayed away from nuts and shellfish altogether, and anyway, I stopped eating prawns some time ago since they make my throat itchy. I’m not too picky about fruits and vegetables I eat or don’t eat. Chocolate, I can live without.

Cheese and eggs have been much harder to avoid. I love to cook breakfast food and pasta dishes. I’ve stopped making my idiot-proof fried rice on weekends because it’s too depressing to eat without a serving of fluffy scrambled eggs. And I’ve had to look for pasta recipes that don’t call for cheese, either as a main ingredient or a garnish.

What hit me hardest was the loss of chicken. I am a meat eater. And to be a meat eater in the Philippines is to be an eater of chicken. I happen to love chicken. I’ve been obsessing over Hainanese chicken rice for three weeks. Once my doctor declares me rash-free (by next week, hopefully), I am going to eat Hainanese chicken rice for three straight days.

And then, I won’t eat chicken again for a month. Maybe.

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