Food for Thought
Stick a fork in the holidays. They’re done. And now begins the battle to shed the extra pounds we all put on while partying our heads off. And eating out with our 81-year-old fathers who only like burgers and Tex-Mex.
With all regards to CultureMap health columnist Marci Gilbert, I am not banning the diet. I am going on one.
The question is, what kind of diet?
I’ve never really tried to diet before. Well, that’s not true.
When I was a teenager I went to visit my older sister once and she had this wacky diet we tried. It had to do with hard-boiled eggs, a steak and a bottle of white wine. You ate one hard-boiled egg for breakfast, two for lunch with a glass of wine and then a small steak and the rest of the wine for dinner. I don’t know where on earth she got this idea and I don’t remember if we lost any weight but I do remember we had a heck of a time drinking a bottle of wine a day.
Then there was the Atkins Diet craze of the '70s. The no-carb-is-a-good-carb-diet. Years ago, the fajita plate at the original Berryhill’s was actually called the Adkins Plate. Chicken, cheese, grilled peppers. That was all good. But, uh, Berryhill is a Baja-Mex joint. As in tortillas and endless baskets of warm chips. And while I’m not a licensed nutritionist, I do believe that tortillas and the chips made by frying them count as carbs.
And while I can dial it back some on my carb intake, you’re not getting my chili con queso slathered tortilla chips until you pry them from my cold, dead hand.
So, OK. I decided to start the New Year with a light lunch at Haven, due mostly to a Facebook photo of a $5 bloody Mary they posted. It was in a jelly jar with a small salad floating in it. Now that sounds healthy, right?
Maybe I’d just order some deviled yard eggs to go with it.
But, as I found out, you couldn’t order a la carte on New Year’s Day. They had a special three-course brunch thing going on that was more food than a sumo wrestler could eat in a week.
And, of course, it all started with chef Randy Evans’ warm pull-apart rolls (you can’t eat just one) so the no-carb thing went right out the window. Then the appetizer came. Four fried chicken livers atop tiny pillows of dough all covered in gravy. I ate one. Just one, I swear. I did, however, take the rest home.
Then came the main course. Sautéed Gulf fish with lump crab meat on a bed of black-eyed peas. Not bad diet wise, but still too much food. And then there was a dessert, which I still don’t know what it was since I had it boxed to go and it’s still sitting there in the box in the fridge. See, sweets aren’t my problem. Carbs are.
Oh, and before leaving, we all stood around and admired each other’s cowboy boots. Dad got me some awesome Old Gringo knee-highs, Katherine had on some rockin’ vintage Dan Posts and chef had on his square-toed Luccheses. Yeah, he cooks in cowboy boots, no sissy clogs for him.
And yes, I digress here but let’s face it, when you’re battling those extra pounds footwear is where it’s at ‘cause feet don’t get fat like waistlines do.
OK. Day one not so good. But I swear I’m going to stick to this. I’ve already upped my workout routine from two miles to almost three of treadmill power walking. And by almost three miles I mean two point one miles.
And I’ve stocked up on Greek yogurt, soy milk, fresh fruits and organic oatmeal. I’ve got the grilled chicken and fish thing down; I can cook those in my sleep. I’ll just have to lay off making pasta and put my dad on notice that our regular lunches of burgers and Tex-Mex are to be replaced with meals of mesquite grilled shrimp, which is the only seafood he’ll eat. Unless I can get him into sushi, which is highly doubtful. Yeah, that’s not happening.
And I don’t see cutting back on restaurant tastings, since I write about food for work. I’m just going to eat less. I swear I am.
In fact, I am going to go on a fast to kick off my new diet. A one-day, clear liquid only fast. Vodka’s a clear liquid, right?
Oh, wait, that might be part of the problem, too.