I Hate Salmon, So Stop Making Me Feel So Damn Guilty!

English: Flesh of an Atlantic Salmon.

English: Flesh of an Atlantic Salmon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If I read one more article about the health benefits of my least favorite, strong (sorry, foul to me) smelling fish I am going to have a nutty. This expression was coined by my friend, Debbie, when our  boys were 2 years old.  The boys would often go off the deep end, fight, scream and cry, and we were sleep deprived and over-whelmed. Having “a nutty”just summed it up for both kids and moms.

By now, we know from every magazine, newspaper, television and vitamin commercial that the almighty salmon is healthy to eat and it has antioxidants. We see that everywhere, hear about that from friends, family, doctors, hair stylists, people from Verizon and Comcast. You get the idea. I’m wondering if I am the ONLY outcast who just can’t stand the stuff. I want to like it and be healthy but frankly the mere smell makes me nauseous.

I  blame my friend’s mother Natalie who forced me to eat it at their home one day when I was a young teenager. This family was very strict and very rule conscious, believe me. When I  politely refused to eat the salmon mousse for lunch she did not give up. Nor did she say, “I understand, have a peanut butter sandwich.” She then lied and said that” it was tuna, her mistake.” There was absolutely no choice in this household, I’d still be sitting there, hunched over, 42 years later if I hadn’t gulped it down, quickly throwing back whatever beverage was at hand. Believe me, no way was it soda, I’m betting on milk.

My husband eats salmon often when we go out to eat as does my mother and almost every person I know. Is there a salmon conspiracy? (I’m kidding) I have tried tiny bits of salmon in different forms with different toppings, yes, I want to like it. I don’t. Believe me, at 56 years old, there is no one, no chef, no expert that could make me eat salmon willingly. Hey, Top Chef, why don’t you make this one of your challenges? Because no one would win? Want to try it? Game on.

I’m sick of the articles in every Health Magazine about the benefits of eating this red-headed monster fish. I don’t even like looking at it on the plate. I feel like I’m supposed to feel guilty for NOT eating it and if I get really sick, which is inevitable, people around me will point a slim finger at me and say “You really should have forced yourself to eat salmon, it’s really not that bad.” So, don’t blame me, blame Natalie who forced me to eat it and I never recovered after that experience.

My daughter was a picky eater ever since she began eating solid foods, she would not eat the turkey, lamb, meat baby food. She spit it out. Know what? I didn’t force her to eat it, how could I? She wouldn’t swallow it. I let her eat other things instead and not junk. Today she is an admirable vegetarian, not eating meat for ethical reasons. Her older brother once tried to make her eat a tiny bite of his hamburger at McDonald’s and she did but she spit it out. So, in our house we have one vegetarian and one carnivore. I think we were too easy, looking back, not making our kids try things and offering options instead but we were new parents. Not wanting to make other people’s mistakes, as usual, we made our own.

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An Open Letter To My Fat Clothes

My mixed up salad

Dear Fat Clothes,

The first thing I have to say is: DON’T WORRY! I am in no way getting rid of you, not now, not ever. Forget what they say in all those Weight- Anonymous -Watch- What -You Are -Eating – Weigh- In -Clubs. I say NO. After being a three life-time membership winner to one of the above happy family groups I say, don’t listen. I will NOT throw you out or give you away because there is that chance that I will slip back to my slovenly ways again. I might. I’m not saying I want to but the truth is that it’s a possibility and I need to deal with that.

If it makes me feel better to have a corner in the back of my closet that have looser clothes for when I fluctuate (that I can theoretically wear on grundgy days) so be it. It makes me feel good to know that I have them. In fact, I believe you will find a whole array of sizes in my closet like a mini-mart of clothes. That’s alright too. Maybe I will get thinner some day, maybe I won’t. Right now I am comfortable where I am; I am right where I usually end up and if I put an effort into exercising a little more each day I will be downright proud.

The most important thing is that my eating habits have changed completely. I make healthy choices, yes to salad and vegetables, fruit and chicken; no to Twinkies and Snowballs. I haven’t had red meat for the last three months but I am considering eating it a burger on the grill sometime in the near future.

I hate to admit it but smaller portions and moderation are key. Also, I never drank any fluids during the day except my first cup of really strong coffee but I try to drink water now and have limited diet soda drinks, though haven’t cut it out completely (I’m working on it).

I’m not skinny nor am I fat, I’m comfortable, eating well and I’m sure my cholesterol is down. (It better be.)

So clothes, don’t despair, you are not going anywhere. You are staying here with me. Right where I need you and where you belong.

Love, Me

A Love Letter To My Dog

 

Bernese Mountain Dog, puppy, 7 weeks old

Image via Wikipedia

 

Dear Callie,

I adopted you from the Briarcliff ASPCA  animal shelter 8 years ago. When I arrived,” just to look”, the manager of the shelter was cuddling two tiny puppies, one on each side of her cheeks. She told me that they never got puppies but you and your sister had just been returned by a man who adopted you at 5 weeks old. He returned after a week to drop you and your sister off because “you were too much trouble.” What did he expect from two 5 week old puppies? You and your sisters and brothers were rejected by your mother who was very tired after having given birth a few years in a row and she would not nurse you. I’m sure in my own psychological, baby heart I related to you, having been born 6 weeks prematurely and in the Neonatal department of the hospital for 5 weeks, away from my own mother. I wanted to save you, to save myself.

You and your sister,  tiny,  black with white and tan spots were handed to me as I sat myself down on the cold, gray concrete floor. You fit into the palm of one hand. One of you ran around, eating electrical wires and trying to escape; the other one walked more tentatively and curled up in  the center of my lap. It was love at first sight. I admit, the other dog was more confident and feisty and she probably would have had fun riding in the car, unlike you.  But, we all know that I’m a softie and when the tiny fluff ball that was you crawled in my lap and sighed with contentment, I did too. We were made for each other, Cal.

When the kids came home from school, in 3rd and 4th grade, you were so tiny that they first thought you were a hamster. For the first week or two I slept downstairs with you on the sofa bed and I treated you as if you were a newborn baby. When you cried I held you, when you whimpered I soothed you and I put a stuffed animal in your crate and the sound of a ticking clock to simulate a heartbeat. You were never a dog that needed to be walked continously you preferred to be at home, safe in our tiny house that was always filled with warmth and lots of love.

You are a natural-born charmer.When we eat dinner you stay near me and you rest your soft, silky neck right on my knee. Oh, you’re a spoiled dog, but you don’t whine or beg, you just look at me tenderly, licking your lips, knowing I will surrender eventually. Who can resist your warm brown dog eyes, the way your fur is outlined  so it looks like you are wearing permanent eye liner. I covet your really long eye lashes that dip and curl.  You eat everything, and you especially love Lorna Doone‘s, spaghetti sauce and blueberries. You’re not a fan of broccoli or pretty much any vegetable that’s not covered in cheese sauce. But, I admit, you eat more things than my two teenage children combined.

I love you, Callie. You are so important to our family; you always have been. The kids used to lie on their stomachs with one arm around you and talk. My son would confide in you when he was furious, my daughter still whispers her secrets in your silky ears. I never knew the meaning of unconditional love before you joined our family. Your fur has white and gray in it now, and you jump more tentatively but that’s alright. We will love you as long as you are with us and long afterwards too.