Day 3: The Never-ending Quest for Health

It’s not so hard to dig out grated cheese from a field of lettuce. Our favorite Mexican Food restaurant serves a wonderful Pollo Asado Salad. The Virgin Diet is dairy-free for the first 21 days, so I had remembered on our visit today to ask for salsa instead of their wonderful avocado dressing. It wasn’t the avocado that was offensive – it was the sour cream that hides behind the other flavors. But I had forgotten the cheese sprinkles that come on top. So I pulled them off. No big deal. One by one. Even the little hidden squigglies under the lettuce. No big deal. Really.

The big deal was not being able to begin the meal with the best tortilla chips known to man. I thought that being without pretzels was going to be the most difficult part of this diet venture, but there the chips lay, right in front of me, reminding me of the great texture and perfect taste. The salsa sitting beside the chips, I could eat, but how was I going to get the salsa into my mouth without the chip?

Stanley was no help. He grabbed the entire bowl over to his side of the table and moaned with delight at each crunch.

At least the day provided one brilliant discovery:

Sparklingly wonderful
Sparklingly wonderful

I drink a lot of clear tea, but not a lot of water. So, for at least these 21 days, I had to find a way to drink more water. Perrier with lime to the rescue!


Day 2: The never-ending quest for health

Not just red meat, but coconut milk and coconut oil: Things I had thought were really bad things are now on my list of acceptable foods.

Of course, so are all the usual vegetables, and in quantity. I had decided that the beef could wait until Thursday’s farmers’ market, when I can buy grass-fed beef from a local rancher. I’ve bought it before for Stanley, who gave it a thumb’s up. But I found some at Trader Joe’s and decided to surprise Stanley with beef hamburger in his tacos.

Maybe it took me some time to remember how to prepare beef hamburger,

Not what you do with beef
Not what you do with beef

but I thought that the result was pretty good.

“What’s wrong with the hamburger?” he said as soon as he saw it, cooked with farmers’ market peppers and onions, and waiting on the stove.

I didn’t know what to say to someone who could immediately see the difference between grass-fed and old-style hamburger. We ate, and there was nothing wrong with the hamburger. But I must say, my first foray into red meat after so long was dwarfed in significance next to the realization that my husband of more than 30 years had a talent I’d never realized: hawk-eyed red meat know-it-all.

But the diet is just fine.

Day 1: The never-ending quest for health

I am in good health. Maybe I should just be thankful and go about my merry way, doing all the basically good things I have been doing all along. I love veggies, don’t eat red meat, get lots of exercise. I sleep well. I am as happy as the world will let me be. But we all have some things that might could use some fixin’. Me, too.
Enter the book that my aunt recommended.

recommended reading
recommended reading

It is written as if the author is giving a sales pitch. I’d already bought the book, so she really didn’t have to keep up the spiel. ‘Drop 7 foods, lose 7 pounds, just seven days,’ she kept on saying. I kept thinking about my pretzels. But a promise is a promise, and I had told myself I would give this a try.
It started out with almond milk, instead of soy, in my coffee.

liquid almonds?
liquid almonds?

No big deal. In fact, I have such great coffee, maybe I should just drink it plain.

All day long, I stayed away from bread, dairy, sugar, and soy. All day long, I stayed away from the pretzel jug.

And the day ended with a bowl of freshly-made applesauce topped with chopped nuts and cloves. Really, truly, this day was not all that different from most of my days.

But tomorrow… tomorrow I have to figure out how to begin to include red meat into my diet after several decades of abstinence. Red meat??? In a diet that proclaims itself healthy? We’ll see.
But Stanley will be very pleased.

Day 0 – The never-ending quest for health

Today is the day before the first day of my attempt to become younger, better, happier. All this home renovation has left me with a real need to get ahold of my health before it disappears forever. During this remodel, I’ve been neglecting good eating habits. There’ve been too many strokes with a paintbrush, too many bags of rocks to carry, too many long days that lead to short-meal-prep-time. We haven’t been eating ‘fast’ food, but we haven’t been eating slow food, either. Let’s call it going nine miles above the speed limit – you won’t get pulled over, but you’re way off the limit. I haven’t noticed weight gain so much as I’ve noticed a crumby disposition. Several family members have tried a particular ‘diet’, with some good results. Stanley, the human humingbird, eats whatever he wants whenever he wants and never pays any consequences. So this 21-day health challenge isn’t for him. It’s for me, Marsha. Maybe I’ll find out what’s ailing me.

I’d been wondering for awhile whether I had a wheat intolerance. Since my daily dose of these

love at first sight
love at first sight

is massive and brings me great happiness, having to do without wheat may be a life-changer. Still, good health is a good thing, even if it means life without pretzels. … Did I really just say that?????

And maybe it wasn’t wise, but I spent this Day 0 doing things I won’t be able to do for three weeks.

I had this

How can honey be bad?
How can honey be bad?

as I do every day. It’s not the honey that is bad, but the quantities I consume. Two cups a week can be a problem, I’m told.

I also had this

cheese, glorious cheese
cheese, glorious cheese

And this morning, in my coffee, for the last time this month, I poured something I never thought might be bad

soy, soy bad for you
soy, soy bad for you

We’ll see how it goes. I’m willing to do some things for health, but give up pretzels??? Maybe that’s going too far.

Left-over Madness

always better the second time around

Whether yours is a large or small celebration, you’re likely to have dealt with extra food this past week. Much as I like cooking, and much as I enjoy gathering around a table, I have a better time when I’ve cooked the turkey twice.

This past weekend, Stanley suggested turkey gravy over mashed potatoes. The homemade cranberry sauce had disappeared. The bread for sandwiches had all been accounted for – in various sandwiches over the first 24 hours after the feast. Yet there was still enough turkey for Stanley’s request.

Being frugal, I relish leftovers, but I have a rule about them. Reheat once, then toss. Roasted turkey, though, used again in a completely different dish rests somewhere in-between new and not old. Our turkey gravy over mashed red potatoes was so good I classified it new and stashed the left-over for another meal sometime.

Probably today.