Lemon meringue pie, as delicious to eat as it is to see. To my friends who know me well, of course I did not make this but I will order it in a diner, very, very soon. So refreshing when the days get hotter and murkier, don’t you think? Happy Yellow Day to you.
- If you could visit any city in the world, which city would you pick and why? See all answers
- Off To Venice, Back In 3 Weeks, Or Not….
Imagine gondolas, gliding through canals, my husband and I are on a much-needed vacation, there seems to be so much stress in our lives but on vacation they melt like milk chocolate in the sunshine. We are in Venice, Italy, there is nothing on our minds except pleasure: where will we eat, sleep, visit or walk.What flavor gelato shall we have today? Hazelnut? Strawberry? These are the only decisions we have to make.The strong Italian coffee is addicting, We yearn for it each morning and sometimes we have it in the afternoon as well.
We don’t know anyone here, and that’s just lovely. There are no bills piling up, no dog barking incessantly, no dirty laundry piles waiting to be washed. There are rotten food items in our refrigerator back home and we both didn’t want to deal with it so we shut the doors firmly and left, hoping it will fix itself even though we know it will be there when we get back. (My true fantasy is to say IF we come back.)
Our children are not children anymore, they are young adults with lives of their own. They don’t need us very much at all and for me, honestly, it’s an adjustment. I’ve never been good at saying good-bye in any shape or form.
I would also like to rent a car (my husband will drive it) and go to the country side and pluck purple grapes with my fingers and take photographs of the rolling green hills and the animals that live there. I don’t care at all about going to Rome or shopping there, I have been to Rome before with my parents but I would go with my husband so he can see all the historic magnificence while I enjoy the present.
- Do you ever get into a food rut, eating the same meal over and over? If so, what’s your rut? How do you get out of the rut? See all answers
- In a rut
Do I detect a note of negativity attached to the word “rut?” Because, frankly, I see it quite differently. To use YOUR term, perhaps I do go through “ruts” which to me are mere phases of delightful food choices. There are certain times when I eat the same thing for dinner, over and over again and it makes me happy or it makes me feel safe.
These past few weeks I have needed comfort food so I have been eating a pumpernickel roll, butter and American cheese, Yoo-Hoo or Diet Vanilla Pepsi, Baked Lays and something, okay always something, for dessert (I AM flexible.)
When I tire of this meal which could be weeks or months, sometimes days, I start on something else that captures my fancy. Another comfort food favorite: Scrambled eggs with cheese, a lightly toasted English muffin with butter and honey. (I had that several weeks ago.)
Sometimes I feel like veggie burgers with cheese for a few days in a row. I have been known to go through a salad, goat cheese and avocado phase too. Sometimes I get a craving for a cheeseburger and fries (that’s a one meal sensation.)
I have no interest in getting out of a rut when I am in a rut. Why, on earth, should I? It serves a purpose, for me. In the last few days all I have wanted were green grapes (in addition to the regular food) so I have had bunches of grapes satisfying my thirst.
There is nothing wrong in being in a particular phase of eating, I know a particular young woman who ate nothing but grilled cheese sandwiches every day for several years in a row. I am so proud to call her my daughter. Don’t make a big deal about food, if they are hungry, they will eat.
Describe your ideal job — where would you work? What would you do? See all answers
- The ideal job
- HELP WANTED: FOOD TESTER/CRITIC (Anonymous)
Requirements: Love of eating food (cooking skills NOT required)
Not necessary to eat the following: salmon, oysters, caviar and raw fish
Helpful: Flexible to eat junk food i.e. Twinkies and compare to gourmet French pastries.
This job requires traveling first class to wherever the company sends you. Must be willing to travel extensively. The company will also pay for a companion ticket. EXTRA BONUS: Writing and blogging about your experiences at the various restaurants/hotels where you have eaten/stayed.
Enthusiasm and being exactly on time rewarded.
Lemons, perfect for drinks, to squeeze on foods, for a
marinade or my favorite, a simple, elegant centerpiece.
- Describe your perfect Sunday morning. See all answers
- My Perfect SUNDAY Morning……
- THIS IS PURE FANTASY
Mimosas My perfect Sunday morning would be in mid-May. The winter would have passed and now the mornings are bright, the air is filled with sweet songs from the birds chirping in the bright, blue sky. I would sleep until at least nine o’clock in the morning and I would stretch my arms and legs in my bed like our black and white cat who just woke up too. His name would be Felix and I would not be allergic to cats anymore.
My husband would make me coffee, just the way I like it, and would bring it to me while I was still in bed, for a special treat, and he would sit at my side and talk to me while I sipped the PERFECT cup of coffee. Both the taste and the scent of the coffee are intoxicating. Mmmmm. Our dog, would be at our side, giving us kisses and not licking my coffee cup (not to say that this has EVER happened before….) and we would talk to our children, away at college, on the phone and both of them were happy and having a good time.
We would then get dressed and meet friends, at a nearby restaurant for an elaborate, champagne brunch buffet. I would have a mimosa (or two), eggs benedict, pancakes, chocolate chip loaf, (I just had to put that in) very crisp bacon, raspberry scones and a sample of whatever I wanted. No one talked about illness or getting older. This was a special occasion, a joyous occasion and we all laughed and celebrated whatever good news it was!
July 2, 2012
Sometimes You Just Have To Eat
Today, I felt hot and sticky because of the high temperature and humidity and all I wanted to eat were lush strawberries and sweet, orange cantaloupe. When I opted for a veggie burger for dinner I felt absolutely virtuous. Later on, at night, when it was cooler I was so hungry that my hands were trembling just looking at the assortment of items I had assembled to have on it: half of an avocado, two thinly sliced tomatoes, Swiss cheese on the *multi-grain soft, thin bread.
I didn’t plan for was the freshly grilled smell of my husband and son’s barbecued cheeseburgers sitting inches away from my veggie burger. I’m not a vegetarian but I don’t eat red meat that often…but I did then. I had a third of my husband’s burger, I admit it was heavenly.
I ate a healthy piece of dark chocolate. I didn’t stop there. I went straight to snack mode which is always cereal: shredded wheat and brain mixed with “Honey Smacks” as they are now called. I did add fresh raspberries which was a delightful mixture of taste sensations, the red, juicy, tart raspberry along with the sweet “Honey Smacks” and milk. Yum.
After that, pretzels adorned with cream cheese. Mea Culpa. Was I done? Not by a long shot. I wasn’t feeling guilty though, hungry. I KNEW what I was doing and I was choosing to do it. No regrets.
I gleefully opened the freezer door to find some much-needed ice cream (and not frozen yogurt.) I ate a small bowl of cookie dough ice cream with whipped cream. I enjoyed every bite.
I kept going. It’s was so nice and quiet in the house at midnight, my husband, daughter and dog sleeping, my son out with his friends. It had been such a long time since I had a little time all to myself and I desperately needed that. I just didn’t need the refrigerator to be attached to the event….but it was.
After eating the ice cream in my bedroom, I went downstairs to the kitchen to be orderly and place my ice cream dish in the sink and I was assaulted by four chocolate hazelnut cookies, (this is a big fat lie, it was just an excuse to go to the kitchen again)and eat a piece of milk chocolate, and two marshmallow cookies with a thin layer of raspberry jam. Once upstairs I noticed chocolate hazelnut cream on my breast. How did THAT happen?
I KNOW I didn’t have enough to eat during the day and I was paying for it now. But, you know what? I didn’t care. I was happy to indulge for once. I knew that I would NOT do this again and I would watch very CAREFULLY what I ate the next day and I did.
I felt virtuous when I sat, eating an open-faced veggie burger, with stone ground mustard and drinking ice water. I don’t feel the same way now. It’s three hours later and my son is having a barbecue for his friends. He came running up the stairs with a freshly charred hamburger on a bun dripping with ketchup and a slice of cheese slithering on top, shining with grease. I did not hesitate, I ate it in one minute and I’m paying the price, in fullness and actual physical pain. I can’t lie; I have enjoyed it immensely along with the toasted marshmallow he brought up too. I know this game very well.
It started at birth with me, a six-week premature baby having to stay in the hospital until I gained enough weight to be able to come home. After that, my mother overcompensated and then I went full speed to fat or what they used to call “chubby.” I can pretend to eat healthy food now (most of the time) but I know that I will always be the fat, round, girl, that I have always been.
My mother could never figure out why I never wanted to go shopping when I was a child and a teenager, how could she not know? I was a very slim child only from age five to six until she decided to fatten me up, relentlessly, wherever we went. The Nestle’s Quik was at my side, spooned generously into my milk at every meal, like a religion.
Last year, I gained forty pounds when our house was demolished by termites and carpenter ants and we had to stay in a hotel, in one room, three of us and our dog, our disappointment and our dreams, dashed. My husband was also on medical leave for a snapped Achilles tendon, our sixteen year-old daughter cooped in one room with us while our house was built again from bare walls. That’s when you know who your real friends are, because it is at their house you are sharing a meal, they are asking you in and treating you like family, it saved our souls and sanity.
The only comfort in our lives was that our son was away in college was missing the trauma we were living through, and FOOD. We ate out at restaurants, two or three times a day. It was clear we were not eating healthfully, we were eating to comfort ourselves, dessert for lunch and for dinner every single day and night. French fries with your sandwich? Yes please. The only decision to make was what flavor milk shake we wanted, vanilla, strawberry or chocolate. Candy bars, cookies and crackers were stored in our hotel room like paper cups.
Piles of cakes and pies, white tendrils of coconut smiled down at us from its vanilla perch. Chocolate mousse cake winked at us from its place on the revolving cake display, cheesecake with strawberries, we denied ourselves nothing. Deep, deep down I knew what was happening though I chose to deny it; only in our dreams did I believe that we were not feeding our depression. When times were easier, better, we would deal with it. Then, we couldn’t cope with one more detail, one more restriction.
In three and a half months we moved back into our completely disorderly yellow house. For months we didn’t know where anything was. There are still boxes missing, items that some day we hope to find. I started taking responsibility for my unhealthy body. I worried about my heart, I started slowly and decided to eat more vegetables and less red meat. In the end, I lost forty pounds with another five to ten to go. I drink ice water with lemon instead of soda. I try not to have dessert but lately I have been craving something sweet. It’s a slippery slope; I have to be very careful.
I know I am the same chubby girl I was when I was little. I will always be that child in my mind and body; I will always be the last girl picked for any team sport, the fat kid, the ugly, stupid child. I don’t measure up, why should I be able to do something when my parents always said I wouldn’t be able to do it?
As we get older we make our own choices, we slip away from the past and make up our own rules, our own belief system, we cherish different qualities than those that we were taught. I taught my own children that they can do anything they want and they can do it well. Whatever they want to do they should do it with pride. There is nothing that they can’t do, nothing they can’t succeed at; in my heart, I love and like these two people. When they were young, if I was fearful for them, I hid it, because they had the right to experience life through their own feelings and not become unnerved because of mine. That, is what parenthood should be about. This was my gift to them; the gift of freedom, freedom to choose, but most of all, freedom to believe in themselves, knowing, always knowing, that I believed in them too.
After a very small dinner tonight I ate Ben and Jerry’s half-baked ice cream, with whipped cream. After that I had one purple bunny peep, cheddar Sun chips, a piece of raisin bread and I’m still on the hunt. If the stores would be open now I would grab my license and run out the door to search for the new M & M’s with coconut that I saw in the stores a week and a half ago. That was my mistake. I should have bought them then, eaten them and have gotten them out of my system. Instead, during a time of stress and emotional eating, I’m raiding the fridge and searching in the cupboards.
When it’s this kind of emotional hunger, I don’t get full. I eat and eat and look for comfort and in the act of eating mindlessly, I, for a few moments push my stress and anxiety and worries away. But, it doesn’t last. I’m full but I’m not; I’m sure there is another victim out there that I can kidnap. If I had jelly belliesI would be happy. That is what I want to eat now, one after the other, slowly, not biting them completely because I do not want to disturb my TMJ, that nasty, sharp-pained nuisance. I’m not supposed to eat the Jelly Bellies but I truly don’t care, I want them anyway preferably now.
I’m not hungry, I tell myself, and physically that’s perfectly true. I am hungry emotionally having had two days of pure, unadulterated anxiety and sadness and heartbreak and stress, illness and loved ones and more stress. I hold my hand over my bulging stomach and know I shouldn’t eat more and know that I will. The only decision is what to eat and when to stop.
After searching my son’s room, with his help, he only had empty Starbursts wrappers. No good. His girlfriend offered to do a “jelly belly run” for me which further endeared her to my heart. After tearing the kitchen apart I found a great substitute, cut up pineapple chunks: fruity, juicy, chewy, not jelly beans but the same idea. I ate those thinking I was in the clear. Until I found the Yodels……
I’m not ashamed to write this, this is no hidden blog post, this is for people like me, that once in a while binge eat, grin, and regret it the next day. No matter what a Psychologist would say, I think it’s okay as long as I go back to eating healthfully tomorrow. So there. Yes gain, no shame.
Eat that Weight Watchers.
A few weeks ago on a Saturday morning, my husband woke us up from a deep sleep at 7:45 am, which on the weekends is basically the middle of the night. We went to meet his parents for brunch “in the middle” of our two houses in two different States. What I thought would be a one hour drive ended up being two hours for us. Two long hours, coiled like a bright pink hair scrunchy in the front seat of a very small car. I didn’t move around in my seat, didn’t ask to stop the car so I could stretch, I just sat there like a block of white marble. Why? What was I thinking? Apparently, I was NOT thinking.
During the trip there I totally forgot that I had Fibromyalgia. How could I forget that I had a chronic illness? I really don’t know but that is exactly what happened. It didn’t occur to me until I felt locked in place and could not get out of the car. I couldn’t turn, I couldn’t extend my legs out, I couldn’t move and finally, the long, first step from the car to the pavement was pure agony. It was the greatest Fibromyalgia Fog of all: Blissfully forgeting I had Fibromyalgia…until we got there. Had I remembered the illness I would have stopped every half hour to get out of the car, stand up and stretch. I should have been prepared, physically and mentally but I wasn’t. I just wanted to arrive at our destination. When we got there every inch of my body hurt like thousands of razor blades performing a pain symphony.
We walked up a long winding, flight of stairs, my new arch-enemy, to get to the restaurant we were going to for the brunch buffet. I looked up the winding staircase and had no idea how I would be able to get up. Being stubborn and independent I clutched the banister with the strength I had left, my stiff legs and knees protesting at every step; I walked like a small child, one step with both feet at a time. I realized anew that Fibromyalgia is a horrible, debilitating disease and forgetting about it entirely was a terrible burden for my body and my feelings; I felt stupid and embarrassed. “Loser” I muttered to myself.
Finally upstairs we were treated to a lovely meal. The brunch was a buffet, a man played the piano, my teenagers were well-behaved, there were mimosas available and it looked festive. We feasted on made-to-order omeletes, mine with mushrooms and cheese. On display were cinnamon buns with drizzled, sweet vanilla icing. They served eggs benedict. an array of cheeses and fresh vegetables and Belgium waffles with a vat of whipped cream and another close by filled with bright red, plump strawberries. They had croissants and rolls and blueberry muffin tops coated with brown sugar. They had serving stations of steak with horseradish mayonnaise and grilled sirloin, all too carnivorous for me so early in the day. There were smoked salmon platters and my personal favorite, a lovely poached pear, the color of burgandy, with brie and walnuts.
Once we were finished I dreaded walking down my nemisis, the evil staircase. I had to take a deep breath with every painful inch that I could move. Each step sent electric shocks down my legs, my hands were red and swollen, as if arthritis had landed in my body unannounced. I stayed behind the family this time and managed with one hand to clutch the banister down and with the assistance of my husband holding on to my other arm. I felt like a 95 year old grandma and while I appreciated my husband’s help, I loathe that I need it. I don’t like feeling dependent, at all. The food cheered me up, it was lovely and presented gorgeously. I tried to remember that and not getting there or going home. Next time, please, someone remind me so I can avoid a Fibro Fog as stupid as this one.