We all know it’s rude to comment on what people eat on the holidays. Right up there with asking when someone’s getting married, when they’re having babies, why they did lousy in school, why they lost their job, what they’re doing that’s meaningful with their lives, and why they don’t look so good.
Spoils the whole experience of fun, relaxation and letting go -- hallmarks of the beautiful, gratifying, enveloping experience of coming together with the people you love and need, even if they make you drown yourself in food and drink.
But that’s over!
Thanksgiving is done, the other calorie-busting holidays are on the horizon, and we have to admit when it comes to indulging there’s good wisdom in taking breaks between these “pour me another/cut me another” festivities.
We’re not talking about a diet here, let’s be grateful for that. That, we know, waits until our New Year’s resolutions roll around.
“We’re talking about a mini-break from being maxi-stuffed,” I announce to my husband.
“Why are you bothering me?” he replies, when I remind him we’re entering the sacred days of recuperation, his no-booze-no-pie nightmare.
“I’m protecting you,” I say. ‘”If it wasn’t for me you’d be unable to stand up straight or crawl into your cave for the rest of the winter.”
“Just look on the fridge,” I remind him.
And I point to my favorite cartoon pinned there which states, “Irma thought a large bowl of asparagus would somehow counteract the six donuts and two milkshakes she had just eaten.”
“What does she know,” he says, “she lives on a refrigerator.”
“Well look what Napoleon said,” I add, grabbing my handy Book of Positive Quotations: “The strong man is the one who is able to intercept at will the communication between the senses and the mind.”
“Napoleon lost at Waterloo,” he counters.
“But at least he tried,” I say. “C’mon. We only have a couple of weeks before the next feast. Get out the lettuce.”
In my case, it’s both a blessing and a curse that I know the calorie count of everything I eat. A serving of oatmeal, 150; a banana, 100; a loaded Ruby Tuesday baked potato, 562. Don’t eat that now!
It’s the old teenage girl’s obsession with weight that got me, early on, to memorize which things would make me need a new pair of jeans and which would get me out the door in the old ones.
I’m not suggesting you count calories. We all know what plumps us up -- like a 4,000 calorie Thanksgiving meal, the devastating average.
The question is do we follow what we know. Sort of like the impeachment case. All the evidence might be there but does anyone care?
“I’d like to suggest,” I say to my husband who’s wandered off, “that we listen to that other would-be king, Napoleon, and put a little air between what we crave and what we chomp.”
“I’d like us all”-- where did my husband go? --“to make a few adjustments to minimize our ultimate suffering.”
For example, grab an apple (100 calories) to soothe the transition from apple pie (300 calories a slice); replace the left-over mushroom stuffing (350 calories a cup) with some French champignons sans rien Napoleon would like (yes, plain mushrooms, 16 calories a cup); fill your water glasses high and your wine glasses low, in fact lock them away; and don’t ignore the sacred days of recuperation so you can fit into your jeans. It’ll make you happier all the holidays through.
Asparagus? 40 calories a cup. Irma says they go great with mushrooms.