As much as a Francophile as I am, I’m very glad that my daughter will no longer be Monique. She is changing her middle name to Hayden when she becomes Mrs. Hernandez next month. I think it will flow nicely and what’s fortunate is that she is one of the few women who can probably have a middle name that is suitable as a common name for a woman (and a man). Think of Hayden Panettiere, the actress and dolphin activist. She was very sweet when she brought the subject up because she knows that my niece’s middle name is Hayden, something my sister Sabina did when we feared there would be no more Haydens in our line, but now I have a nephew to rectify that. Alex is also considering giving her kids the middle name Hayden, which fortunately does work for both genders. Monique was just something I thought sounded nice, but Hayden is something more special and personal. I do wish there was some indication that she was Italian in there, but her name is already going to be a mouthful.
Even before I started only being able to eat so little due to the sleeve surgery, I had toyed with the idea and had avoided the most bone-exposed eating for a long time. In my twenties I even went eight years without eating red meat or pork (only poultry and a little fish), but definitely gained a lot of weight.
Life is different now. I’ve learned that many smart people (like Einstein) became vegeterian in their later years. I’ve seen lots of documentaries and less biased reports about the the health benefits of a much smaller amount of meat consumption and I really like the taste and texture of (usually cooked) vegetables. I find them easier to digest. I’m still not convinced I should not have dairy or eggs, but I do think we can humanely treat farm animals that yield us these products. World sustainability is important, and also getting nutrients in the small amount of food I’m able to eat is important to me as I am no longer required to be on many medications. It helps that my daughter and her fiance live and work in Berkeley, where the slow food movement was founded, and that they often have vegan weekends and/or go on raw food forays. They don’t use microwaves or have many of the things that my daughter enjoyed eating very much growing up. She’s always liked a wonderful variety of cuisines, but her tastes have become even more exotic and experimental, yet still prudent and wise.