With the back of the Good Cat packed near to bursting and my metaphorical loins girded (I say metaphorical because in reality I donâ€™t think I have the girdable kind, and yet I think I am psychologically ready to vacation without eating, say, Florida...) I am heading to visit my mother-in-law for a couple of days, and then on to the beach.
I got an email from Anonymous Friend (she of Goosey Goosey Gander Euphemistic fame) on the subject of Cheetos, which, in her lexicon of treats, are better than homemade rum cake. She believes the gods on Mount Olympus had powdery fingers stained the color of sunrise when they finished supping on their â€œAmbrosia.â€ She didnâ€™t want to enter the contest because, you know, she is my FRIEND and if the gods of Random picked her it would be awkward---but she did want to pass along HER tip for heart healthy living:
Three days ago I took a snack pack of Cheetos in the back room, sucked every last atom of orangey goodness off each one, and then fed them to the dog.
HEE! Thanks! Thatâ€™s a great tip, but I doubt the AHA would recommend it. Itâ€™s like...eating Mortonâ€™s. I wonder what the fat/calorie count on a Cheeto is when you donâ€™t eat the ACTUAL Cheeto. Also, I suspect that leads to a Very. Gassy. Dog. My favorite part of the story is the CLANDESTINE nature of the Dog/Cheeto/Girl rendezvous. Itâ€™s a back room deal for sure, destined to remain secret because (sadly) Cheetos did not return from this assignation. And you KNOW the dog is not telling.
In further Questionable Nutrition News, Orla sent this link to a Florida news story about a woman who tried to SUE Capâ€™n Crunch (Yes! She sued the good Capâ€™n!) for duping her when she learned that his CRUNCH BERRIES are not an actual fruit. For FOUR YEARS she scarfedthe â€œberriesâ€ down, thinking she was getting one of her five-a-days. Poor lady. Truly, I blame Pepsi, the parent company, because they are tricksy hobbitses at Pepsi, and not to be trusted. I say this because I ate the blue pill, Nemo, and am thoroughly enslaved to Coco-Cola via a combination of well-targeted marketing, geography and the superior flavors of diet Cherry Coke.
My favorite part of the story? Down at the bottom it says, â€œThe judge also noted that the lawyer in the case had previously been denied an attempt to sue Froot Loops.â€ Because, you know, CLEARLY FROOT refers to a real fruit, or a bunch of them, perhaps a pear-banana-crunchberry hybrid. *sigh* I wish to bring a class action lawsuit against that lawyer, actually, for wasting taxpayer money and being a weasel.
Donâ€™t forget you have until MIDNIGHT EST to enter the contest to win a Better U, Better Me Kit. As per YOUR advice I am taking my FANCY red yoga mat with me to the beach and shall run my OWN boot camps, alone if I must, instead of just cardio-swim-walking-snorkeling.
I canâ€™t post winners yet because I am on my laptop, and I canâ€™t cut and paste the comments on it because it is horrible. SO. The contest is CLOSED, and I will roll for winners as soon as I am HOME to do it on a computer that doesnâ€™t make me want to hurl it at a wall. I COULD do it from the laptop, but it would take 20 minutes instead of 3 minutes, and I would cry. OH YES I WOULD.
Iâ€™ve had a week. I am so physically TIRED that I am a weepy weepy sack of weep. Instead of simply biting off more than I could chew, I unhinged my whole jaw like a natural born python and swallowed a WHOLE elephant. If you have ever been on Weight Watcherâ€™s, you will understand how OVER I have done it when I tell you that I have earned---COUTING CONSERVATIVELY MIND YOU---at least 22 activity points on WW in 5 days. Ten points of it on Wednesday.
I taught 5 PE classes a day in VBS, had a good friend in from out of town, and have done four bootcamps, two hikes, waterskiing, a swim across a lake and then a swim back, the last half pulling an exhausted third grader who hung like a sack of rocks in his life coat. I. AM. TIRED. My whole body hurts.
I say all this not only to whine and have you kindly pet my hair (although, to be brutally honest, thatâ€™s a factor *grin*) but to put the following event in a CONTEXT of I AM SO FREAKIN TIRED.
On the LAST day of VBS, I got up, ate half an apple and some Kashi Vive, and headed to church. ALL WEEK, I virtuously SHUNNED the teacher snack table, which was laden with hydrogenated oil muffins and grocery store fakey-cakey donuts. I am NOT wasting calories on stuff with no nutritional value that doesnâ€™t even taste good. One day, someone brought it HOMEMADE MONKEY BREAD with toasted pecans. Oh hellsya, I had a small piece, but I tracked it and did not feel even a tick bad. I am trying as part of BETTER U to not eat stuff just because it is THERE, but instead choose to indulge in a reasonable portion of my very most favorites, so a treat feels like a real treat.
BUT FRIDAY---I was SO tired, and someone brought in sacks and sacks of fried chicken biscuits. I donâ€™t care about them that much. Almost all fast food leaves me cold. AND YET! My tired eyes, already glazed, positively frosted over, and a chicken-eating brain worm that had been living here-to-fore undiscovered in my spine shot control tendrils up into my brain and I sat there EATING FRIED CHICKEN IN A BISCUIT, trying to stop after every bite and not stopping.
Finally I made myself get up and walk away. I felt stuffed and logey and unhappy. I called Scott, almost in tears and blubbered out my BRAIN WORM fried chicken story, wail wail, and then went RIGHT to abusing myself for my lack of self control and etc. I would probably STILL be sitting there fussing and blessing myself out if he had not interrupted me.
Me: And I just SAT there, like a big DUMMY and I ATE IT, I ATE the fried CHICKEN, WHY WOULD I EAT THAT?
Scott: Honey. Stop. Stop. You ate a piece of fried chicken. You didnâ€™t eat a BABY.
THAT made me laugh and I got over myself a little. I asked him about the plan for this weekend (He is GOLFING with my dad while I do a library date in Gadsden) and he was going over the schedule, and he ended it on some kind of QUESTION and I didnâ€™t hear because I was trying to calculate fat grams.
Scott: Joss? Are you listening?
Me: Oops. No.
Scott: Were you back obsessing about that stupid biscuit?
Me: Yes. I was just thinking about the fat grams, and in retrospect, it might have been a better choice to go ahead and eat the baby.
Scott. â€¦Well. Youâ€™ll know next time.
Tomorrow I am going to Dallas to do SECRET THINGS (!!!) but I will tell you as soon as ever I am allowed to tell. I plan to tell you ENDLESSLY, in fact, and to be rabidly obsessed, and I hope that some of you will get all rabidly obsessed with me and do the secret things too. It is part of my ongoing and eternal plan to become a better person.
The plan is like an onion. Or a parfait. Or an OGRE. That is to say, it has LAYERS. I want to be better spiritually and mentally and physically. I do. I am trying VERY VERY HARD to make sure â€œbe a better personâ€ is not merely MENTALLY ILL CODE for "being thinner,â€ but, you know, some days, it is. Part of my plan to be better mentally and spiritually is to lessen those days and have more days wehn BEING KINDER or BEING HEALTHIER or BEING MORE WELL READ or BEING MORE FORGIVING AND LESS OF A BUTTHEAD is the most important part. I will need shoring up and co-better-personizers to whine with and who will remind me there are more important things-reasons-motivations for change than smallening oneâ€™s jean size, things like, oh world peace and not dying of a heart attack before one gets to meet oneâ€™s grandchildren.
I would be MORE excited, if only they were not going to weigh me in Dallas. ON A SCALE. Horrors. I do not even let my DOCTOR weigh meâ€¦I go in and tell the nurse what the One True Scale told me in lieu of getting on his scale. His scale is a known liar and felon and probably likes to sex up beetles. Yes. It is a beetle pervert, and I wonâ€™t deign to put my feet on it.
In general, I prefer to stand only on The One True Scale. The One True Scale lives in my bathroom and was quite costly and fancy and all the paperwork SWEARS it is blindingly, heartrendingly accurate and I stand on it every morning first thing, naked, and it says the One True Number. NOW in order to be a better person,. I am going to have to fly to Dallas (and everyone knows flying makes you retain water, beloveds!) and then stand FULLY CLOTHED and AFTER A LUNCHEON on a HERETIC scale who is probably just as profligate and deviant as the one at my Doctorâ€™s office.
This is VERY wrong. But I am going to do it, because, between you and me, oh Best Beloveds, I have been EPIC FAILING at taking off the ten pounds I gained on book tour, and um, hello, THAT TOUR WAS WELL OVER A YEAR AGO. *gulp* Worse news, recently the numbers One True Scale have been edging upwards, WRONGFULLY, in spite of my fanatical exercise schedule. I blame the Peeps Cake, and I had a very serious talk with the rest of the peeps cake, and put some of it down my children and some of it down the trash, BUT EVEN SO, The numbers have, in fact, been high enough to have me considering liposuction.
I think I should have the liposuction on my BRAIN. The human brain weighs three pounds, so THAT;s a week and a half worth of dieting right THERE, AND with my pesky THINKING PARTS gone, I can continue to eat bacon and not NOTICE that my â€˜fat jeansâ€™ have become my REAL ACTUAL JEANS. Yes. My EMERGENCY FAT JEANS have retained emergency fat jeans job title and salary, even though they have CLEARLY been doing the job of my main real actual jeans for more than a year. I can tell because they are WEARING OUT. Worse news â€“ they are beginning to feel juuuuuust a little tightâ€¦
SO, I am PLEASED about the secret doings in Dallas, except my flight leaves at 6 am. TO say I am not a morning person isâ€¦deadly accurate. VERY deadly and very very accurate. Getting up at 3 AM to head the the airport makes me want to perpetrate cannibalism. I wonder if people can be counted as a lean protein? Perhaps I should only eat marathon runnersâ€¦
OH best belovedsâ€¦yesterday I ate a modest scoop of Kashi Vive for breakfast, then went on an hour long vigorous hike straight up the side of a mountain with Julie. I came home, had a Fettucine Alfredo Lean Cuisine for lunch with a full of cup of steamed fresh broccoli stirred in, then ate fruit salad and a lean hamburger patty for dinner.
Reading the above, perhaps you are worried that I am no longer QUITE FAT ENOUGH to destroy the earth by stomping down upon it with such a mass of authoritative weight behind each step that the very crust cracks and WHOLE VILLAGES go plummeting down into the magma (or, if you believe Jules Verne and Brendan Frasier, into the dinosaur infested cave-jungles). Well, please, relax.
At 8 pm, I LOST MY MIND, popped an ENORMOUS bag of full fat movie theatre butter flavor Orvilleâ€™s popcorn, dusted it liberally with white cheddar powder for EXTRA fat and salt, and then poured an enormous tumbler of Shiraz and settled in to watch CHUCK with my eldest kid. After Sam went to bed, I remembered a DARK CHOCOLATE AND MARZIPAN Ritt bar had snuck into my fresh veggie laden cart at the Publix, and I went and gobbled half of THAT down as well. *burp* I then went directly to sleep for eight hours and metabolized all that crap, turning it directly into MORE BUTT.
This morning, I saw ONCE MORE the horrifying and EXACT number that made me join Weight Watchers in the first splace, and lose that seven pounds, when I needed to lose 12. EXACT AND HORRIFYING NUMBER.
AND CHRISTMAS IS COMING. With Christmas comes my traditional family Eggs Benedict brunch and TONS of ham and fat potato fat fat and my great aunt Gladysâ€™ Pecan Pie and my motherâ€™s fudge and walnut crecsents and ting-a-lings and hot cider and pans and pans and pans of the delicious parker house rolls made by Sister Schubert, who is neither my sister nor any relation to my cat, Schubertâ€¦but the woman can make some FANTASTICAL CARBOHYDRATES, let me tell you.
YAY! Thanks for being my FACEBOOK friend! People keep sending me PLANTS and facebook assures me that ACCEPTING these plants will save the rainforest. (!). I am FOR saving the rainforest, and I am ACCEPTING PLANTS, but I canâ€™t figure out how to SEND PLANTS BACK. I want to send everyone these limited edition white DAISIES. And, you know, save the planet. But I canâ€™t QUIIIIIITE figure out the application. I can make a montage, but I canâ€™t send a plant. Thatâ€™s slightly pathetic, and the word slightly there is a kindness. HOW HARD CAN IT BE?
MANY THINGS TO SAY, and then I have to leap in a car and go to Atlanta. I am sleeping over in town tonight as we leave for the writers retreat TOMORROW verra verra early. WHEE!
OH â€“ apropos of nothing: I DID A FUN PODCAST INTERVIEW if you need something to listen to while you do your dishes.
MEANWHILE< speaking of saving rainfoests and other worthy causes. We saw LLAMAS! They have some weird lips. We went to this wildlife preserve which is run by darling hippies and they rescue stuff and heal hurt stuff and they are all dewey and young and vegans. VERY fun.
They have a silver fox with a terrible underbite. HUGE bizarre underbite---like his lower jaw sticks out an inch or more. His wife was classically fox pretty though, with a long slim nose and big ears and bright, sly eyes.
We didnâ€™t know they were foxes â€“ they had no marker. We were standing there goingâ€¦are these COYOTES? Are theseâ€¦HYENAS? when this weird super-pachouli-smelly little woman started yelling at me -- like -- unprovoked, I had not even made EYE CONTACT, and she got WAY too close to me and spoke loudly enough for everyone in a twenty foot radius to hear:
"THEY ARE FOXES AND YOU KNOW THEY STILL SLAUGHTER THESE BEAUTIFUL ANIMALS? FOR FUR! FOR COATS! CAN YOU IMAGINE THIS BEAUTIFUL ANIMAL BEING KILLED FOR HIS FUR. THEY KILL THEM IN TERRIBLE WAYS, BASICALLY THEY *GRAPHIC DESCRIPTION REDACTED*
Sam is old enough to smell crazy and edge away, but Maisy was looking at her, horrified, her overactive imagination already conjuring up images of Fox Bastilles.
You know, I KNOW the fur industry is full of satanists and monstrous cruelties to minks and suchlike---but really, should you be getting all DETAILY about that with a 6 year old? I wanted to say, Can I have some club soda? You seem to have spilled your activism all down my CHILD, who, by the way canâ€™t even VOTE and is too short to MARCH and saving the EARTH is what COLLEGE is for, not kindergarten and do you SEE her in a FOX FUR STOLE, lady???.... But instead I said, "Well, that one is beautiful' and pointed at the girl, and then I pointed at the boy fox and said, "But THAT ONE needs serious orthodontic work."
The patchouli-lady looked at me all puzzled with her crazy eyes spinning in her sockets and then wandered offâ€¦ IN HER LEATHER SANDALS.
Right now I have to go get on my elliptical for 6 or 7 hoursâ€¦.My friend Renee wants to go eat HERE and I need to earn 70 extra WW points because I WANT THOSE SCALLOPS. Or the FRUITED PORK! Or the roasted onion salad (VIRTUOUS) wtih the appetizer of PIONONOs, which have the word â€œnonoâ€ at the because I SUSPECT they are evil. Sort of like a meat filled poptart.
Mmmm. Meaty poptarts.
AND I HAVE NO RIGHT TO BE, since Mr. Husband TOTALLY fixed my LIFE (read: computer). He is a genius and great and perfect. I, meanwhile, woke up as sour as the very devil. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
Here in Powder Springs, where we are being slowly overtaken by DOOM (by which I mean, chain restaurants) and you regs remember how I cried when Mexican Thai Castle closedâ€¦it was like the day the music died around here. We were singing,
BYE BYE Bean Burritoes with Thai
Took my Kia to eat MiKrob
But the well had run dry
â€œWhere else can I get spring rolls, side of nachos,â€ I sigh,
But HEY at least I can spit in ANY direction---north, south-east or west, and (assuming I can clear the MILLIONS of housing development signs on every corner) I can hit a CHILIâ€™s. *weep*
I love the city.
I love the country.
I cannot love the suburbs, and I am now officially living in one. I cannot move because I LOVE my church my kids love their school, I love my house, we all love our friends, etc etc etc â€“ we have roots here in this little town, LONG ones, and yet a SUBURB has crept out and grown over it like MOSS until I can barely see the town any more. Itâ€™s the kind of place now where your crazy Uncle Abner would have to go to the nervous hospital. When we first moved here, you could have still let him live on the porch. Because everyone would have KNOWN it was just Crazy Abner, a little drool-y, perhaps, a little google-eyed, but essentially harmless.
Itâ€™s now a place where Boo Radley would never never never come out.
BUT! A ray of hope! In the old building where Mexican Thai Castle used to live, SEAFOOD SOIREE just opened. It is our new favorite place ever. The food is like--- I grew up on the Gulf of Mexico, so understand when I say this, I mean it in the BEST possible way â€“ the food is like what you would get at a Church Fish Fry. PERFECT flaky delicious crisp fried fish and shrimp with hushpuppies or a REALLY good salad or SPICY sautÃ©ed mixed veggies or other stuff. They have chicken fingers and sautÃ©ed shrimp for CRAZY PICKY WEIRDOS who donâ€™t like church fish fries, and mahi mahi and salmon if you are JUST that fancy. They have WiFi and TV and funky shaped tables and sofa seating.
It's hard to spot. We never would have known it existed if they hadn't put a chalkboard sign out on the sidewalk that said, simply, "FISH AND BEER," a combinaton of magic words that caused my husband's foot to AUTO-SMASH down onto the brakes.
The also have LIVE JAZZ on Friday nights, a total DATE NIGHT vibe, but are also rather family friendly and owned by a local couple the SHE of which runs the front and the HE of which is a COOKING GODLET. One of their small people brought us lemons last night. If you live anywhere around here YOU MUST GO. It is in the same building with the used bookstore slash coffee shop. GO. EAT THERE. You WILL go back if you go once.
And LORD KNOWS we could use some locally owned places with the kind of food that you canâ€™t GET anywhere else.
To digress, and whine more --- I get how an Applebeeâ€™s has an hour long wait list for sloppy gross food that never comes the way you order it and tastes like plastic mannequin butt even if it does, served by a sullen critter with a lot of metal posts in her face while MEANWHILE, a hidden a gem of a local place struggles â€“ I think it must be TV? Because the food looks good on TV and the commercials remind you it exists? But HOW ON EARTH is there an Applebeeâ€™s SURVIVING on Times Square, surrounded by some of the best food in the universe? Itâ€™s ALL tourists, quite frankly, so they donâ€™t even have the local â€œWe just wanted to grab a quick biteâ€ excuse. I SERIOUSLY think if you VISIT New York and EAT AT APPLEBEEâ€™S you WILL be sent to hell for it, come judgment day.
I would rather see people courting painful death by making getting a meal from the STREET NUT CARTS or POISONOUS LAMB OF SALMONELLIC DOOM GRILLED SAMMICH STANDS. ANYTHING but sit down and order from the same menu they could have ordered from without shelling out the air fare and paying several hundred dollars a night to live in a hotel cube the size of a BORG sleeper cell. I see tourists streaming into that Applebeeâ€™s in their flip flops and I HEART MANHATTEN T-Shirts, and I weep.
Man I amSO grumpy today.
I want to go live in Fairhope Alabama. AND RAISE MINI GOATS.
Scott asked me what the goats would do, like what would their JOBS be, and I quoted my friend Sara and said, "They would be full time employees charged with eating cereal from the hands of children in an enthusiastic manner."
I think this is a good job for a goat to have. I might like that job myself, the mood I am in today. I am going to shut my pie hole and slouch around grumbling to myself instead of whinging at you nice people, NOW, before you decide to drown my grumpelous self like too many kittens.
SO we went to the GRAIN HOUSE of Vegan Love -- yes Virginia, it WAS Cafe Gratitude. I was worried because all the shoes I have with me are leather.
Me: WIll they kick me out when they see I have on leather shoes?
Jill: How will they know? Maybe they will assume it is a man-made leather subsitute?
Me: They LOOK leather...
Jill: Well, if anyone gives you any flack, tell them it is RECYCLED leather. Say, "It used to be on a cow....but I recycled it!"
At which point I laughed so hard my spleen came out my nose.
I would love to mock cafe Gratitude, and REALLY it would be SO SO SO EASY, because to order HUMMUS you say "I am Happy" and to order Ceasar salad you say "I am Dazzling." You have to say it like you mean it. When the waitress brings your lunch she sets down the salad, say, and she looks you in your eyeballs and she says "YOU ARE DAZZLING."
Dude, she MEANS it.
And then later the Waitress asks you the question of the day which in our case was "Can you please share with me one thing you really celebrate about yourself?"
Cornelia and Jill and i all agreed that it would not be hard to mock them. But oh best beloveds....we could not mock them. Two reasons.
1) THE FOOD. OMG, there is a REASON they name the hummus I AM HAPPY. I ate it YESTERDAY. I am STILL happy. If I could make vegan food taste like this all the time I would totally be vegan.I thought about buying their cookbook, but a quick perusal of the ingredient list in the hummus alone cowed me. I can't get these things at the Whole Foods in ATLANTA much less at my hometown Kroger.
2) The SINCERITY. I am helpless to mock in the face of such true earnest goodwill. True Believers win me over every dern time. Our waitress was adorable. ADORABLE. And SO sincere in her hopes that our meals would help be all abundant and fulfillign and whatnot. She was a peach. Everyone who worked there was peachlike and not DRIPPY. No one drifted about with their toe-bells jingling. They were PEPPY and ENERGETIC and CHEERFUL and DEAR.
All in all, if I lived close, I woudl eat there every freakin Friday. And I cannot mock it. BUT...
I can mock the mirror in the bathroom with its VERY AFFIRMING post potty message.
It says "I AM COMPLETELY FULFILLED IN THIS NOW MOMENT"
Actually, even THAT is too easy. BYOM, please.
SO the day after SAMâ€™S PLAY, I had crack-smoke-fully agreed to go do a library lunch in Huntsville.
It seemed NOT insane because I had gone to the library BEFORE, remembered really liking the people, remembered that they had done a GREAT job with the publicity and gathered a nice crowd for me, remembered the venue as being lovely.
All those things were true, but I ALSO remembered it as being two hours away. This is EMPHATICALLY not true, and ample proof that the crack, she is bad. That library IS two hours awayâ€¦.from my parents' house. Which was WHERE I WAS STAYING the last time I agreed to go. HEH.
It is FOUR hours away from MY house, and while I WILL drive four hours for a good venue of nice people who rock the publicity, I HAVE to stay over. I canâ€™t drive more than an hour, two at the outside, after doing a book talk. Post-public speaking, I am generally very drained and sleepy and four hours of driving + drained and sleepy = suicide by truck.
Well. I could not stay over even though I have family in Huntsville because I had SAMâ€™S PLAY on Thursday night, and Maisyâ€™s dance recital was Saturday in the MORNING. So. I had to go up and back. In one day.
Luckily my wonderful Dad has seen me get into the passenger seat and drop into immediate REM sleep after public speaking, so he decided to go to Huntsville WITH me and drive me back after.
Let me tell you how NICE these folks were. They looked on my website and saw I had caught granola-fever, and put the chocolates they had bought me aside and went right out and got me UNSWEETENED Carob almonds (surprisingly great!) and dried apricots. THEN! To add fermented bean curd to an already perfect day, alert FTK reader Tami showed up with LITTLE SOUP PACKES OF MISO PASTE. *weep* Yaâ€™ll FTKâ€™ers are so NICE.
Anyway, I say all this because I am getting a lot of emails and comments asking
WHAT ARE YOU EATING, EXACTLY, YOU BIG FREAK? Some go on to say, BECAUSE I WANT TO BE A BIG FREAK TOO and some just want to know.
The only question I have been asked more in the last two weeks is WHAT ARE YOU READING. SO! Here we go!
I also generally have an audio book going, and I am delighted to report that Lee Childâ€™s new REACHER book launches today , and I am going to buy it on audio AS SOON AS EVER the closest bookstore unlocks. BEEN WAITING FOR THIS ONE. REACHEREACHEREACHER! Viva la Reacher! Reacher forever!
Now, as for what I am eating (I big freak) here is HOW TO DO A 14 DAY SIMPLE INNER CHILD CLEANSE. Which, by the way? I am done. Lost about six and a half pounds, got back in my old jeans, and yes, Virginia, my skin IS glowing like the dewy butt cheeks of 1000 babies, if I DO say so myself.
Morning: Get up and drink a quart of boiling hot salt water. SEA salt, please, as Mortonâ€™s or any other iodized type of salt will make you vomit. We are CLEANSING, not trying to contract bulimia. Try to think of it as BROTH, and you are less likely to gag. FOR THE RECORD, I am an EASY gagger, and I absolutely could NOT manage this. Supposedly, salt is a scouring agent and is very cleansy, but, ugh. No.
I drank a quart of boiling hot lemon water instead, under the theory that lemon must be a cleansy sort of thing, too, or else why would Pledge come in lemon flavor? <---logic!
Protein: Crazy Bible Pasta
WILD CAUGHT fish/shellfish (Eat farmed fish as your sole source of protein and you will have so much mercury in you, you would be able to act as a viable thermometer. Also, you might contract brain cancer. Mercury = bad.)
Fat: Olive Oil. No butter or lard and NO! hydrogenated oils
Carbs: Whole oats (I ate em raw, but if you must eat em cooked, use water and NO quick cook kinds or flavored kinds. You want old fashioned WHOLE GRAIN oats)
Crazy Fiber brown rice blends
Whole grain couscous
Kashi Go Lean Cereal (no milk, no CRUNCH variety, the PLAIN go lean that looks like cat kibbles and is NOT sweet)
*With carbs, you are looking for a BARE minimum of 4 grams of fiber per serving, where a serving is 150 â€“ 200 calories. Except the oats, I actually did not eat anything with less than 7 grams of fiber per serving that first week,choosing courcous with milled flax is also a smart choice.*
ANY AND ALL raw fruits and veggies and blanched veggies. I also ate a TON of sautÃ©ed spinach. Avoid starchy veggies---no potatoes, corn, peas. If you have to COOK it to eat it, it is probably not good. Juice is fiberless and sugar high and to be avoided. I used dribbles of it to flavor my sparkling water.
Something fermented â€“ Miso is best as you are off dairy this week. Or you can take acido-dolphins in pill form, which is what I did.
Drink another quart of cold water by the dayâ€™s end, and you may have black coffee and or unsweetened tea if you are a caffeine junky like me.
At bedtime: Last thing you do is drink a 6 ounce cup of Senna Tea with 1.5 teaspoons of honey. ONLY use for 14 days.
WEEK TWO: I added a little milk for coffee, red wine for mental health, and black beans and other bean-type things for protein/carbs and unsweetened carob almonds for a dessert-like substance.
THATâ€™S IT. It seems very restricted, butâ€¦itâ€™s 14 days. You can do ANYTHING for 14 days.
On Motherâ€™s day (Day 15! DONE!) I ravaged a platter of SOUTHWESTERN EGGROLLS!!!! FRIED OH LORDY! YUM! And bogarted a small bag of POPPYCOCK (I got so HIGH on the sugar I was bouncing into walls) BUT Now I am back on the narrow path to narrower jeans again. I want the jeans I am fitting into to be NOT QUITE SO TIGHT by the time I leave for NYC in 2 weeks. Here on day 16, I am keeping the same eating plan but am off the tea and the Acido-dendrons. I am considering allowing myself to eat chicken and meat again but so far have not.
Also? White bread and pasta now tastes like Elmerâ€™s glue to me â€“ vile and sticky and white in my mouth. Canâ€™t stand it.
ALSO? Except for Easter and Motherâ€™s day I have had no dessert or processed sugar since ASH WEDNESDAY (February 21). At this point, I donâ€™t crave it like I used to, and I have gone off artificial sweeteners as well.
The thing about this â€œLife planâ€ is, it is complicated and fussy enough to be INTERESTING---I am ENJOYING obsessing about it and finding WEIRD THINGS I can put experimentally into my stomach in the name of health. Itâ€™s become entertainment, and I only hope I donâ€™t find myself in a hemp dress and rubber sandals, scrabbling around with dirty nails near my compost pile in the back yard so I can bury my home-strained tofu to ferment naturally in the earthâ€¦. but it is not INCONCEIVABLE, you know?
I planned that blog title to be a public service announcement for those of you who, like me, live with a 9 year old boy who owns a whoopie cushion. Be careful where you sit, I was going to say to you, and careful what you believe today.
April Fool's day may very well be my son's favorite holiday. Since there is no way to avoid getting hooked like a trout about 1,000 times on April the Oneth, I had pre-resigned myself to my fate, especially since his friend Nick gave him THE GREAT BIG PRACTICAL JOKE KIT for his birthday. THANKS, NICK!
I had PLANNED to be a good sport, but let me tell you, this morning when I deliberately lowered my bare foot in my son's plastic vomit so I could pretend to be grossed out, only to discover my son was still asleep and it was, instead, the cat's NON-plastic vomit.... yeah that's kinda set a TONE for today. Heh. The tone was "Horrified Shrieking punctuated by gagging." It only got better when my kid came down the stairs and I said, "Son, do you know what TODAY is?" And he thought for a second and said, "Yeah. Thuursday, March 30th." Oh. Right. SO, disregard the title of this entry. Me, I am sitting here dandling my foot in a bucket of bleach and DYING to change the subject....
SCOTT is out of town and the two things I long to tell you about I cannot tell you about because I need either the DIGITAL CAMERA which he took with him, or a file off my LAPTOP, which he took with him. SO. He comes home this afternoon...I will try to post again later when I have the needed objects in my possession.
OH -- listen, I ate the universe's most beautiful and delicious thing. They were these COOKIES I got off a blog I read...The only thing I did differently was, instead of using chocolate chunks, I took a big bar of Ghirardelli dark chocolate still in it's wrapper and whanged at it with a meat tenderizer until it was all in pieces and mixed THAT in. Seriously, GO FORTH AND BAKE THESE. If these cookies don;t move you to grateful tears, you may very well have no soul.
I truly enjoy the blog by the way. I found it via a link from the late great Chez Miscarriage, a blog I STILL link to in the hopes it will return. Ah well, make the cookies, and read this chick's blog a little. I'm not pimpin' a friend here---I've never spoken to her or even left a comment. I just enjoy her writing.
Part of VIRTUE is eating whack-job foods. Not just low fat or whole grain or whatever, but things that are actively bizarre and possibly awful. Because awfulness sure helps you cut those PORTION SIZES!
SO! TODAY at the Kroger I DISCOVERED A NEW MEAT! Yes. I did. A new and previously untasted (by me) anyway MEAT. For EATING. It is sitting by the lovely little veals that make me sad to think about, even though the little veals are so delicious that every couple of years my convictions fall slain before The Piccata Gods and I eat and eat and eat of them and then feel horrid and vow to never eat of them again. So I was staring down at the delicious little veals and thinking, POOR THINGS IN A BOX, WHY MUST YOU TASTE SO GOOD? and I tore my greedy evil eyes away to the LEFT and saw! They had GROUND bison.
BISON! I immediately wanted to eat it.
IT IS ALL NATURAL! IT SAYS SO!
It has a sticker on the pack and the sicker says "This farm raised Bison contains no growth hormones or preservatives and is all natural and wholesome and and if you are a complete whackjob who is once again pretending that spelt is delicious because you are ridiculously vain (and shallow, did we mention shallow? With poor priorities?) and must lose five pounds, THEN THIS IS THE MEAT FOR YOU, especially if you call it BISON and not BUFFALO because anyone who has ever been 12 and obsessively read the novel Bless the Beasts and the Children over and over while fantasizing about kissing that one boy, we think his name was Cotton, on the MOUTH and SAVING HIM, then they won't be able to choke the meat down if you call it buffalo because their throat will clog with tears at the memory of those ragtag boys, standing at the cliff edge weeping and saying, 'Yah Yah Yah,' so just call it BISON and pretend that is a completely different animal. You tawdry, veal-eating trollop."
It was a big sticker.
I wish I was a vegetarian. I really don't like to think about where ANY of it comes from. I like meat to come from KROGER. In neat, plastic PACKETS. I remember Scott's first job post-grad school was at an event center and they had the EMU EXPO there...I came by to see Scott and we walked around looking at the Emu displays and trying Emu steaks and Emu casseroles and Emu Pate and Emu Puffs. Everything Emu. And it was all REMARKABLY delicious. It was disconcerting though, because they had pens and pens of ACTUAL ALIVE EMU there, too. They were milling about in cheerful little long-legged knots. So we walked around eating delicious emu and looking deep into the sweet long-lashed eyes of Emu who blinked at us sweetly and stupidly as we ate up their cousin Regina. It was very wrong. I haven't had Emu since.
ANYWAY -- I bought a bunch of BISON and then invited my friend Julie and her entire clan over for dinner. We are going to have TACOS. BISON Tacos. I am simultaneously fascinated and repelled and wonder if the children will eat it if we ALL pretend it is just regular ground beef...
I better make some fajita chicken, too, huh?
I AM tofu---this from an earlier entry: "If you set me next to anything for even a little time, I pick up its flavors. This means I have to choose my friends a little bit....carefully. It's not good to set an open tofu package near the cat box, metaphorically speaking. So that's why I don't spend a lot of time with, say, crack smoking, venereal disease addled violent felons. I mean, there are some things you KNOW you do not want to pick up."
So I BLEW the 20 days of virtue---remember the 20 days of virtue??? -- and I blame my friend Julie. The Twenty Days of Virtue was supposed to get the 4 pounds I gained on tour OFF MY BUTT, remember? But it turned into two days of virtue followed by a month long carnival of cheesy popcorn and Darkside M&M snarfing. NOT GOOD. But see, this self-same Julie, who is one of my closest friends, is breast feeding. Which means she can eat anything that MOVES and she is still starving after that so she eats all the inanimate objects and then has PIE and yet she NEVER GAINS A POUND. Breast feeding is MAGIC like that.
Julie is usually a GOOD influence on me because she's a little bit crunchy, you know? She's down with the macrobiotic granola, and so when I hang out with her we usually spend our time nibbling sunflower seeds and bench pressing our children. It's GREAT. BUT in recent weeks, since the baby, she invites me over and we pretty much hang out basking in HER placid nursing hormones and I obligingly help her eat up vats of buttered meat. Even with my crazed exorcise schedule, I went up another pound and change. I became unamused and wailed and whined to my friend Matt.
Me: Since all the fat is already in my buttocks, maybe I could squeeze some more of it down there and split it off into a whole separate other person. Lord knows there's enough butt back there already to make Dr. Ruth.
Matt: Ah, good plan. Would that be Meiosis or Mitosis?
Me: I don't know, but the butt-person could be handy to have around. You know, for cleaning out the litter box.
Matt: I think that form of reproduction is actually called "Rumptual Budding."
BUT A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO! AT LAST! HURRAY!! Julie became unhappy with her new EAT IT ALL AND THEN EAT MORE plan. She's very sporty and outdoorsy and athletic, and she says its really bothering her that she is storing an extra five pounds. (I suspect she means she is storing five pounds in a box under her bed because I certainly don't see them on her body. Or maybe she means she is storing them on MY butt. I certainly see proof of THAT!) Her response has been to go on this program called BODY BY GOD where you eat NATURAL foods and shun anything MAN-TAMPERED, no preservatives or hormones or white flour and sugar, and you use SEA SALT and get serious with the nuts and roots and berries and wild-caught ocean fish etc. etc. And I, with my tofu-ish and characteristic lack of gorm, am becoming a complete whackjob Whole Foods loon right along with her. HUZZAH!
Actually I can't follow her program exactly because it's anti-dairy which I think is crap. I think dairy is wholesome and kindly. Milk---assuming you spring for the second mortgage so you can afford the hormone-free organic --- is NOT a FOOD BY MAN. It's by God, dernit. Or at least, it's by COW. Close enough. But I have gone along with the rest of it, and am living on almond butter and organic veggies and free range chicken raised without hormones and this frozen LOAF thing that is best described as GLUTEN FREE SOY UNWHEAT BERRY SPELT BREAD SUBSTITUTE WITH FLAX RENDERINGS. That last one tastes like SOUR DEATH, but man, do I feel VIRTUOUS! I practically glow with a white light as I choke it down. And my pants are getting looser, so shut up and pass me another slice.
I was telling Matt about the breadlike substance and he said I should skip this intermediate step and go straight to burying myself in the soil and getting all my nutrients through photosynthesis. Hehe. He gets off some pretty dern good lines, that Matt.
BUT TOO BAD, MATT! I stick my fingers in my ears and ignore you. You big carnivore. My course is set and you can't argue with looser pants. Nothing encourages me like a smaller butt. I fear for my children. I am starting to wonder why I would feed something to my precious kids that I won't eat myself because I KNOW it has the same nutritional value as a clump of dog hair dipped in festering lard. I am now casting a jaundiced eye upon Maisy's beloved Snak-Paks and Sam's addiction to canned mandarin oranges. If I don't get hold of myself, they are going to end up just like those kids you see in California wearing hemp pants and rubber shoes and licking desperately at their rock hard yeast-and-sugar-free soy isolate protein muffins as they wait by the side of the road for their mom to come take them home to the co-op in the electric car.
So far all I have done is trade the store brand mac-n-cheese for Annie's Organic White Cheddar Whole Wheat kind, but hey, THEY ATE IT UP LIKE MOTHER'S BISCUITS. And every journey---even the internal journey from Cheeto-junkie to CrunchHead---begins with a single step.
First, a confession...This is a reconstruction of an actual conversation I had yesterday at a shameful 3 pm...
Kira: So how is your vow of VIRTUE going?
Me: Very well. Except I am drunk.
I pretty much STAYED mildly drunk yesterday. I had about 18 people coming over to my house for potluck supper, and I needed to make chicken and (whole wheat) pasta and etc, but I was incapacited by (I am trying to be delicate here) Lady-Type Abdominal Pain. And people, the motrin was not cutting it. SO. I had Scott make me the most virtuous cocktail I could think of (Absolute Citron with club soda, lime, and a splash of cranberry.) Which, one cocktail SHOULD NOT = hooty, come on! EVEN I AM USUALLY A MORE EXPENSIVE DATE THAN THAT! Except I was being SO virtuous because I knew I was going to eat ECLAIR CAKE LATER, so all I had eaten was a bowl of (high fiber, low sugar, whole grain) cereal early and then a big salad at about noon. I had no HELPFUL FOOD PAD to cut the alcohol. The vodka came roaring pure and undiluted directly into my blood stream, so that I still had the Lady-Type Abdominal pain, but I did. not. care. I was a very cheerful and obliging hostess, I am sure. ("I love you guys...you guys are, like, my best friends," etc etc)
I DO NOT COUNT the cocktails (yes, plural, as I administered them "as needed" from 3 pm on yesterday) against my VIRTUE-NESS, because they were CLEARLY medicinal. As for the rest, I did...okay. I mean, there was eclair cake, people. WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME? But I made people LEAVE with all the sugar they had brought into my house, and expect to be both more virtuous (and hopefully more sober) today.
AS FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE FALLEN OFF THE VIRTUE WAGON, I ask you again, SO WHAT? There is no START OVER. There is no FAIL. There is only, "shrug it off and do better today."
Meanwhile, here is all the news that is fit to print from Chez Mild Headache We Are Pretending Is Not a Hangover.
1) REMEMBER THE CRAPULANCE? It was squatting on my house at the end of last year. Well....It has LIFTED. Scott starts his NEW BEAUTIFUL DREAM JOB on Monday. HUZZAH! HUZZAH! The pink shoes were kinda in celebration of the offer letter coming, so really if I complete 20 days of virtue I should get a completely different reward pair. <---girl logic is a beautiful thing. And anyway, nothing says VIRTUE like lettuce-green slingbacks.
2) After only three days of Virtue (one of which I spent pretty much BOMBED as previously confessed, film at 11) My fresh-from-the-dryer favorite jeans slid on more easily and buttoned with no need to lie down on the bed and make savage-piglet-being-killed grunting noises. It's the water. 8 glasses of water a day will peel the water-bloat right off IMMEDIATELY, which is very satisfying and motivating.
3) The battle cry of NEWT'S FOREVER has prompted my children into giving The Little Pets individual names. The smallest newt is Maisy's, and she named it Daisy Flower. Sam's medium sized little pet is called Spotty Newt, and my newt, the biggest, is now known as Fig. (Think about it.) I think they are TOO SMALL to show up in pictures. FIG is maybe a half-inch?
4) I wish I had stayed mildly drunk TODAY as well. ALL I WANT FOR DINNER IN THE WHOLE WORLD IS TATER TOTS, and no one will let me have them.
I could find any GOOD pics of just the flowers. The pictures were all clotted up with PEOPLE.
But here is a great shot of my bouquet as Scott and I walk out. HE LOOKS SO YOUNG --- PRACTICALLY FETAL. We are only an egg.
And here is a nice shot of one of the table arrangements beside our cake. That's a poured fondant icing, which looks stunning and smooth but tastes like wet cement mixed with sugar. But we picked a preternaturally moist, dense Amaretto pound cake, rife with liqueur and butterfat, so the idea was you peeled the cement away and ate the cake plain. Excuse me, but it ROCKED.
And here we are going away... I really like this picture because I look equal parts happy and demented, and that's...kinda accurate. We left in a vintage Rolls because I said I thought limos were tacky (I still do, to be honest), and I always feel so sorry for carriage-for-hire horses. They oftentimes have sad lives. We went to a VERY nice hotel to stay before leaving on our honeymoon the next day, and when we arrived, we found out the gay bar down the street was hosting some sort of BEACH MAN HUNKA HUNKA SHOOTERS weekend. It was an annual event of long standing, and it was HUGE! The entire hotel---lobby and bar and hallways and mezzanine --- was PACKED TO THE ROOF with cheerful, rowdy, happy-to-be-out-of-town gay men, each one drunker than the last. I suspect I was the ONLY female guest in the entire hotel.
They thought we were amusing. And the next morning, when we got up, my brother and his cronies had JUST MARRIED our car to DEATH, and the gay men were all STILL UP FROM THE NIGHT BEFORE and even DRUNKER, and we got upgraded from amusing to hysterical. They pretended to throw rice and waived and hooted us on as we ran laughing for the car and buzzed off for New Orleans, where naturally everyone was much more DECOROUS and SOBER. Because New orleans is just that sort of town, you know, an extended-pinky-finger TEA TIME sort of town. Which is, of course, why we picked it. There we attended symposiums and rousing lectures about Sarte. You know, typical honeymoon stuff.
But that was then, and this is now, and NOW is all about TWENTY DAYS OF VIRTUE. You are invited to participate, if you like! For twenty days I am REALLY limiting sugar (including adult beverages! eep!) and other simple carbohydrates. I'm a whole wheat pasta, brown rice, whole grain organic couscous kind of a girl ANYWAY usually, but those SOFT FLUFFY BREADS (And cakes! And pastries! And delightful crunchiferous crackers!) crept into my diet on tour, and now all my clothes are snug through the butt-ular area and I am irritated and displeased. SO. If you want to do this with me, PLEASE DO. FOr the next 20 days, I will give a twenty days of virtue progress report at the end of the blog. And you can report in comments, SO YOU ARE ACCOUNTABLE! COME ON. YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO.
No long term commitment! Just 20 days of solid virtue, ending in better fitting clothes, but more importantly, in better HABITS. You will retrain yourself in 20 days, see if you do not! I am making Scott do it, too, for the health of his good, big heart and because I DO NOT WISH TO SUFFER ALONE, and that is where you come in, oh my lovely internet dumplings! Let's support each other through the next hellish red-wine-and-heavy-cream free days.
Behold, the plan:
TWENTY DAYS OF VIRTUE!
Water: My goal is 64 ounces per day. A good minimum goal would be 48 ounces.
Exercise: I'm a big endophin junky and worked out at least 4 times a week while on tour, but this is not enough for me and I feel flappy and gelatinous. SO for me, the goal is a DAILY 30 minutes of cardio followed by 30 minutes of weight training. Supplemented by Tennis (read; Aim Ball) and skating as the weather allows, 2 - 3 times a week. If you are a sedentary person, I suggest a 20 minute walk every day for a starter. THis seems safe, and then you add 5 minutes every week. Of course, I am not a doctor, so do not blame me if you go 17 minutes and then suddenly drop dead.
Cup of coffee with Potentially Deadly Chemicals (instead of sugar)
WHOLE GRAIN, high fiber, low sugar cereal with fruit and 1% milk. (I like to mix Uncle Sam's and GrapeNuts and then top it off with a little Mueslix and some extra raisins or half a banana.)
Snack: 'Nother cup of coffee and either a mozzarella cheese stick or half an avocado or a small handful of nuts or FRESH spinach sauteed in olive oil with a metric ton of garlic or FRESH broc sauteed in olive oil with a few walnuts.
Lunch: A Lean Cuisine Spa Cuisine Frozen Dinner (The spa cuisine ones are whole grains---avoid any other kind.) OR make your own lunch but UGH. How many meals do you want to have to fix in a day? YISH. Plus you can take these to any work place with a microwave. EASY!
Snack: One of the things listed in snacks earlier, or a small bowl of air popped (or low fat microwaved) popcorn. I like to spray it with a little BUTTER FLAVORED SPRAY (just to get it sticky) and then sprinkle parmesan cheese on it. Or if you are a nasty sort of person who actually LIKES that MICROSCOPIC WEEVIL INFESTED, SOUR SMELLING, REPUGANT GOO, you could have a yogurt. Scott says Dannon Light and Fit is a good pick. But UGH. DO not come within 50 feet of me until you have brushed your teeth!
Dinner: A GIANT SALAD with meat in it. We grill steak or chicken or shrimp or salmon OR in a pinch use pouch tuna OR we skip the meat and add a ton of black beans and mozzarella cheese. No croutons. Avoid CREAMY dressings. Paul Newman makes an AWESOME Balsamic Vinagrette that is not too dear and it's paul so the profits go to charity.
Night Snack: I can't live without chocolate, so I will be having a little dessert every night. I think I am just going to get those weight watchers frozen desserts because they come in SMALL SERVINGS and if I made cookies or a cake to eat a little every night, I will just eat it until it is gone ion three days. *burp* SO. Or I will have a york peppermint patty here. Just a little 175 or so calorie DELIGHTFUL SOMETHING that lets me, you know, retain the will to live.
IF YOU WATCH YOUR PORTION SIZES (Web MD Explains Portion Sizes well!) this works out to about 1500 calories a day, plenty of veggies and good fats and good carbs, a nice amount of lean protein, and it is SIMPLE, same-same every day which would be miserable to do for 100 years but this is....twenty days. Of virtue. SO. JOIN ME! C'mon!!!!
I will put the virtue report at the bottom until the 20 days is over...This holds me accountable. IF I do all twenty days of virtue, I will ALLOW MYSELF TO BUY THESE FANTASTIC SHOES!
Except I accidentally already bought them today. OOPS! So I better not mess up.
Anne hit it dead on in comments -- the place with the fantastic grits was INDEED Highlands, and I PACKED myself with appetizers and had to take most of my fabulous duck home. There were these OYSTERS, fried oysters. The folks who had eaten aty Highlands before ordered an array of appetizers at the start, and they ordered TWO platters of these things. Between you and me, oh my best beloveds, I was unimpressed with fried oysters as a choice. Fried oysters, to me, are what my son always wanted when he was two and we took him to his FAVORITE eatery, "The Red Lopper."
I WAS A FOOL. These oysters... It was as if they were not shellfish at all, but rather supremely talented young acting students in a hard-to-get-into workshop led by a tiny little woman in a dirndle and thick glasses who had them all on the floor with their eyes closed as she chanted, "BE VELVETY! YOU MUST PERSONIFY VELVETNESS AND SILKEN FLAVORFUL BURSTING" at them, and every single oyster was doing the exercise like Kevin Spacey on a good day. Like Meryl Streep on ANY day. Each little acting oyster was a FUTURE STAR destined for Oscars and Tony Awards and Celebrity Roasts, or in this case, celebrity Deep Friers and garlic mayonnaise.
My cold had abated a little by evening so I was able to appreciate them. I was breathing on two cylinders, but I was ---and I know you will find this hard to believe ---I was the TEENIEST bit spastic. I claim "High on Echinacea." And also Theraflu Cold Formula which they say is NON-DROWSY by which they mean, "SO non-drowsy you might as well snort crank." (ASIDE: The service at Highlands was fantastic, considering I marched in buzzing on these meds and crippled half their staff by first falling off my predictably ridiculous strappy BUT SO PRETTY black sandals and landing on a waiter and then I threw open the door to the bar and the door swung A LOT MORE EASILY then I thought it would, very fast, very hard, and took out the host. *sigh* Grace in motion!)
ANYWAY like I said, I was a little buzzy-quick-like-a-bunny on my over-counter-cold-crank, and there were these Warner Tote bags at everyone's chair with a copy of the book and a little bottle of Jack (because Jack Daniel's IS undisputably one of the gods in Alabama, and also if you challenged my narrator to an old fashioned duel---and in such cases the challenged gentleperson has the choice of weapon and other details---she would undoubtably pick 'liquor bottles at midnight") AND also a copy of the BOOKPAGE MAGAZINE that contains the FABULOUS interview and review of gods that Jay MacDonald (who is a very good writer in his own right) wrote. (Hey it's a very funny, smart article. If you want to read it, Books-A-Million has it up in the EDITOREAL REVIEW section on the gods in Alabama page I would link to it if I could get links to work. GRRR. But THERE IS A LINK TO IT RIGHT HERE ON THIS PAGE! All you have to do is hit that link to Books-A-Million that is to your left, under the teeny little cover image.)
LORD BUT I AM GOING TO DIGRESS US ALL TO AN EARLY GRAVE WITH THE CEASELESS DEATH MARCH OF PARENTHETICAL ASIDES.
The point being, I was VERY excited to see the paper copy of that review (my Mom REALLY wanted a copy. Um yeah. My mom. That's my story and I am sticking with it) so I...I hesitate to say "SQUEALED," not because it isn't true (because, LORD HELP ME I DID, I SQUEALED) but I hesitate to say so because every now and again I get the urge to try to retain a teeny scraplike, lacy, besmirched tatter of personal dignity, but, okay well, if we consider that a lost cause, then the ugly, plucked bald, pink truth is... I squealed. Like a delighted piglet. And everyone kinda LOOKED AT ME for a second and the echinacea granted me the power of MIND READING and I saw some variation of the exact same thought in every brain: "Ooooooooooooookay. She must have REALLY been jonesing for a FREE TOTE BAG."
So I explained the squeal, the magazine, the review blah blah, and then the tote bag sort of became a joke and I had a great time. REALLY a great time. I had such a good time that even if the oysters had not been there to act as a life-altering religious experience, I STILL would have given the whole evening two thumbs up. YAY.
By the way, for those keeping score? T minus 13 days. I'm just saying.
Thanks to the BIG CRAPULANCE that is squatting on my house, I am having conflicting desires.
1) I desire to eat BEAUTIFUL COMFORTING SUGAR. I would like to walk around lapping up great granulated mouthfuls of the stuff, straight. I could put it in a nosebag and attach it to my face.
2) I desire to drop 5 - 7 pounds over the next six weeks in preparation for the Holiday Food Orgy that is fast approaching.
There has to be a happy medium between EATING ALL THE COOKIES THAT CURRENTLY EXIST IN NORTH AMERICA and not having cookies at all. But if I MAKE or BUY cookies. I will eat them all. Immediately.
Solution? Make TERRIBLE cookies. Make AWFUL gritty disgusting cookies chock full of VIRTUE and NUTRITION. Then when desperate I can choke a couple down. SO! I had a mission!
I went to Publix and started looking for possible ingredients that
a) Sound/smell/look like nothing a human would want to ingest
b) Are so fibrous they say “ONE TABLESPOON KEEPS YOU REGULAR! FOREVER!” on the label
c) Can even so probably be made into cookies. Preferably somewhat edible cookies.
AND I WON! I found my key ingredient! I came home VERY pleased and prepped for an experimental Bake-A-Thon while my husband skeptically watched me unpack my wholesome groceries.
Me: Publix is carrying Flaxseed meal now!
Him: And Birkenstocks? One assumes?
Me: Shut up! I am going to INVENT HEALTHY COOKIES!
Him: And grow out your leg hair?
I hit the web and found a SHOCKING number of cookie recipes with flaxseed meal in them. And not just COOKIES! People are VOLUNTARILY putting this crap in EVERYTHING! I found recipes for TUNA NOODLE FLAXSEED CASSEROLE. Fancy!
After a few DREADFUL FAILED PROBLEMS, I came up with a combination of about three existing flaxseed meal cookie recipes and threw in a few ideas of my own to up the FIBER count further. And INVENTED WORKING COOKIES. I was going to name them "Virtue Cookies," or possibly "Certifiable Loon Cookies" but then I called my friend Lily to tell HER about them and together we came up with a MUCH better name for when we market our entire product line of WING-NUTTY FOODS (now with Horse Medicine!) and become Billionaires. So, I proudly present to you:
Mrs. Colon’s Butterscotch Scrubber-Dubbers
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/3 c. granulated sugar
1 vegetarian free-range Omega-3 Boosted hen egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. flour
½ c. whole wheat flour
3/4 cup old fashioned oats (NOT quick cooking or instant, Use REAL oats!)
2/3 c. flaxseed meal
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ c. skim milk
1 c. Butterscotch Chips (optional, but you are on crack if you do not put these in. These are the GOOD part.)
Walnuts with or raisins instead of Butterscotch chips might not go amiss, if you like that sort of thing.
Preheat oven to 350
In bowl 1, Cream butter, refined sugar, and brown sugar. Beat the egg and vanilla into the mixture. In bowl 2, Mix flour, wheat flour, oats, flaxseed meal and baking soda together.
Combine contents of both bowls, add milk and stir 'till soft dough forms. Mix in Butterscotch chips and/or walnuts.
Drop by level tablespoons, 2" apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Makes about 3 1/2 dozen, unless you eat a bunch of dough and get salmonella from the raw egg.
Bake for 4 - 5 minutes on the top rack of the oven, then move the pan to the bottom rack and cook for 4 - 5 more minutes. IF YOU DO NOT DO IT THIS WAY THEY WILL BURN UP AND BE GROSSER THAN THEY ALREADY ARE FROM HAVING FLAXSEED MEAL IN THEM. Let them cool and then eat them. No, really. Eat them. Do not be afraid! They keep you regular! And they ALMOST TASTE GOOD!
No, no, they DO taste good. SCOTT ate them. Of course, he had to march around the house singing “She can bring home the Country Morning bacon-shaped soy strips, fry them up in a pan…” etc etc, while he did it. And he calls them “Digestive Biscuits.” BUT HE IS EATING MORE OF THEM EVEN AS I TYPE.
If you do not trust his jaded palate (and the man has after all been married to me for ten years and has therefore endured QUITE A FEW culinary shenanigans), consider THIS:
My KIDS ate them. AND the neighborhood kids ate them. ALL OF THEM asked for more and MANY of them recognized the objects they were hoovering up as cookies.
ALL THREE THINGS that needed to come to fruition have magically, amazingly, astoundingly fruitted. In other words *DRUMROLL* We are under contract to sell our baby house on the 27th of August and on the 30th of August we shall go to live forever in THE DREAM HOUSE. Due no doubt to fervent prayer and Tiff's good juju.
So everything here is fabulous except the bacon.
See, I have to make Fat Casserole to take over to a pot luck supper at my friend Theresa's house tonight. Fat Casserole is VERY VERY VERY GREAT. As my son used to say "It's nice to eat it in your mouth." I would say "As opposed to....?" and he would look blankly at me because he was three and did not know what "As opposed to?" meant. BUT I DIGRESS.
Fat Casserole has half a pound of butter in it, a pound of cheese, 3 cups of crumbled lard patties (aka Ritz Crackers) a pound of bacon, and a buncha eggs to make it all stick together. After you get all that in there, if there is room left in your mixing bowl, you can sprinkle in a little squash and maybe some onion. And that is what we in the south call "a vegetable."
BUT. I accidentally bought LOWER SODIUM BACON.
Lower Sodium Bacon means "Has less sodium than a block of pure sodium, but still more sodium than all of Guam, and PS doesn't taste as good."
See also: turkey bacon
I mean "doesn't taste as good as real bacon"
Not "doesn't taste as good as Guam"
I quite frankly have never tasted Guam.
It's not that my mother did not try ("Oh come on, Baby, just give Guam a little lick!") it is more that I was picky.
Can you tell I am beyond giddy over this house thing? THE DREAM HOUSE has an OFFICE. The OFFICE has doors on it. Speaking as a person who is currently trying to write a novel to deadline in the middle of a completely open floor plan in a house with 1380 square feet of living space and TWO OF THE LOUDEST HUMAN CHILDREN ON THE PLANET who are apparently ON A MISSION FROM GOD to perfectly approximate the shrieks of the damned any time they both want the same toy which is EVERY MINUTE THEY HAVE BREATH IN THEIR TINY BODIES, allow me to say LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LALALALALALALA!LA!LA!LA!
Oh lovely August 30th, come soon! La!
I don't have a clue. It's VERY CREEPY to feed a hen on milk. It is on some basic level SO bizarre that it makes the tiny hairs on the back of my neck stand up, and I have those hairs beause I am a mammal, and speaking as a mammal, one who has spent almost 3 years of my life PERSONALLY LACTATING, I have to say that NON-MAMMALS should NOT be fed on milk. It's creepy as ALL GET OUT and if you don't bear live young and have a four chambered heart you should just stick to like, CORN or MEAT or GRASS or BUGS. SILLY REPTILES, MILK IS FOR MAMMALS.
Also, I bet it is CRUEL. I bet it is CRUEL in a veal-in-a-box way -- In my head I see all these hapless hens lined up in crates with milk tubes going down their nose-holes as they cluck to each other saying UGH WHAT IS THIS FOREIGN UNNATURAL CRAP BEING PUMPED INTO OUR NON-MAMMAL CRAWS AND GULLETS?
While in NYC we went to eat at BLUE HILL, this fantastic place in the village. Everything looked so great we said OH SOD IT and just ordered the tasting menu, 5 small courses served with matching wines. Imagine my distress when the fowl course came and the waiter set it down in front of us and said, "Your milk-fed hen medallions." Scott and I kinda panicked. Our eyes got big and we had a silent conversation via psychic-married-people-brain-waves.
Him: DID THAT MAN JUST SAY MILK FED HEN.
Me: Surely NOT.
Him: YES BUT HE DID THOUGH!
Me: OH NO! THAT IS SICK AND WRONG!
Him: YES! YES! WRONG AND SICK!
Then we put bites in.
I do not care that it is sick and wrong. I do not care that it is probably veal-level abbatoir cruel. If you ever get a chance to eat milk-fed hen, thrust from you all human morals and embrace your sybaritic gluttonous amoral sensual beast. Seriously. It's like buttered love in your mouth, especially if it comes with Spaetzle.
I have converted to the south beach diet in an evangelical wild-eyed rabid fanatical way. I seriously want to print reams of poorly drawn tracts filled with bad grammar and threats of hell aimed at anyone who doesn't eat exactly like the SBD tells you to eat for the REST OF THEIR LIVES. I want to go door to door and pass these tracts out, preferably taped to the top of big grilled chicken breast salads coated in balsamic vinagrette. I THINK NOT EATING ENOUGH SALMON BROILED IN PESTO SHOULD BE A HANGING OFFENSE.
I was having dizziness probably associated with hypoglycemia probably associated with living on fat-free sugar with sugar sauce with a side of sugarysugarsugar. NOW I AM MIGHTY.
Phase one is a BAD PHASE that causes 200- 250 dollar a week grocery bills YIKES, and also it's a little too "LOW CARBY" to be terribly healthy I think. I say avoid it like plague. But phase 2 is FINE, it's WONDERFUL, it is all about whole grains and leans meats and olive oil, it won't even feel like a diet, and phase three is just -- living. and I FEEL so good. And my body looks great and does what I tell it to do. And my skin is more resiliant and luminous AND MY HAIR IS MORE GLOSSY AND VIBRANT. AND ALL I DO ALL DAY LONG IS LIE AROUND EATING SALMON IN PESTO AND HAVING SEX WITH HOTHOTHOT OILED CABANA BOYS WHO PEEL ME GRAPES BECAUSE THIS IS WHAT SBD IS ALL ABOUT AND IF YOU DO NOT GO ON SOUTH BEACH RIGHT NOW FOREVER YOUR TEETH WILL FALL OUT AND YOU WILL DIE TOOTHLESS AND WEEPING IN THE STREET WITH NO CABANA BOYS! NO CABANA BOYS EVER. *pantpant*