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.