Why I Am Thankful

by Anne Bennett on November 27, 2014


Norman Rockwell’s 1943 Saturday Evening Post portrait, “Freedom from Want.” Notice the wartime sparsity at the Thanksgiving table: a turkey, glasses of water and little else, but smiles all around.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Hungry Poodle has been offline this last month because, well, I’ve had a headache. No kidding. I’ve had a headache since I clobbered my head (really hard) on the concrete floor of our garage. It literally hurts to think.

But let’s get to the important stuff — carbs. Not complex, fiber-filled carbohydrates, but simple, sugar-laden, easy to chew and swallow (and thus eat in greater quantities) carbs. Here’s one thing I’ve learned (or perhaps re-learned) in the last month: when you don’t feel well, protein sinks to the bottom of the menu. I have no appetite for lean, juicy turkey. The thought of it makes me nauseated.

Mashed potatoes and sweet potato casserole (where the sweet potatoes are cooked and mashed to a delicious pulp), now there’s something I can sink my teeth into on this Thanksgiving day.

At Weight Watchers we talk a lot about the dangers of eating too many simple carbs. Why is it that we crave them when we’re stressed, angry or ill? You know why — they’re an emotional elixir. Remember the lady in the Calgon bath ad? She sinks into a tubful of Calgon bubbles and all of her problems just…melt away.

I’m here on Thanksgiving day to tell you that there’s hope. (You can thank me later.) Despite the fact that I’ve been subsisting on McVitie’s Digestives (the British version of graham crackers that you have to buy at Better Cheddar or at the Brits store in Lawrence, Kansas), both plain and chocolate coated, I’ve been moderate in my consumption.  In short, I haven’t let the McVities get to me.

When you have a head injury everything slows down, including eating. This is one of the few good things about such a calamity. It’s also a reminder that you can, indeed, teach an old dog new tricks. Eating a cookie slowly, one bite at a time interspersed with sips of tea, makes it last longer and enhances your eating enjoyment. Sounds like a public service announcement for the USDA, doesn’t it?

But it is nonetheless true: we could all slow down a bit in everything we do (including walking through the garage). Today, for instance, will a piece of pumpkin pie make you fat? Of course not. Will noshing all day long on everything that comes into view? If you make a habit of it, perhaps.

The not-so-subtle reminder?  There is room for just about everything if you consciously plan for it and mindfully eat it.

There are a myriad of ways to state it: Think before you eat. Don’t eat something just because it’s there. Eat only what you truly love but remember, you’re an adult — make sure that some of your food is actually good for you. Case in point: we’ve had at least one green vegetable every night with dinner. One night it was frozen peas because I am currently not allowed to drive and that’s all there was.  Did you know that peas were Thomas Jefferson’s favorite vegetable?

Champ gave me a shiny new food processor for our 33rd anniversary last week. I haven’t pressed it into use yet but when my normal appetite returns, hungry poodle will again be awash with healthy recipes that also happen to taste good.

In the meantime, a myriad of people have expressed to me their good wishes, and for that I am utterly thankful. According to the relentless, 24-hour news, there is a tremendous amount of discord and suffering in the world and while I am not exactly a Pollyanna by nature, I nonetheless stand by what Anne Frank wrote in her diary shortly before she died at the age of 15: “In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.”

Believe it, because it’s true.


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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Gayle November 27, 2014 at 10:42 am

Oh Anne, as always, I am thankful for my friends in the KC area, especially my WW friends! My thoughts are with you and your family! Please take it easy and get well soon! Enjoy today and everyday with your family!

Maggie November 28, 2014 at 11:10 am

Anne, so good to hear from you and to know you are feeling somewhat better. We have missed you on Tuesday and while your substitutes have been great, they aren’t YOU! Take it easy and know you are being thought of most admirably! Hope to see you soon.

Laurie November 28, 2014 at 5:24 pm

Hey Anne, Glad to see you are communicating again. Maggie is so right. We all miss you and wish for your fill and speedy recovery. Good luck with your next checkup and try to enjoy the leisurely time off in the meantime.

Susan Ellis November 28, 2014 at 9:52 pm

Hi Anne, Just got back to KC from Florida and am so sorry to hear about your accident. I had a similar meeting with a marble bathroom floor about 18 mo ago and it was not pleasant. I had a shiner the size of Dallas and a swollen shut eye for several weeks. Hope you are well on your way to recovery. I’ll be back at WW next Tues. Hope to see you there soon. Susan Ellis.

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