Archive for the ‘Eat Whatever I Want Day’ Category

Protected: Day 18 HOW Question and Answer

May 19, 2011

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:


Day Two Hundred Sixty-Two

January 9, 2011

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Saturday was a long day. I got up at 5:00 AM and went to bed at 1:00 AM.

I started the day with my standard walk, then did some cleaning and shopping. Since it was my eat-whatever-I-want day, I bought one of those cheese ring cakes from Stop & Shop that I mentioned the other day. I ate most of it with plenty of tea. Later in the morning I made an omelet and had it along with some sausage and homemade bread, toasted and buttered.

For lunch I had three hot dogs with piccalilli, and in the evening Grace and I made a batch of Vanilla Refrigerator Cookies, shown above, using the recipe from Joy of Cooking. For dinner we made pizza, also shown above. It was only the second time we’ve tried making our own dough, and it was amazing. Unfortunately my timing wasn’t so amazing; we ended up getting to bed much later than we’d intended. And thus ended my long eat-whatever-I-want day.

Day Two Hundred Eight

November 14, 2010

Finally. A decent night’s sleep. Not a good night’s sleep, but even a decent night’s sleep is leagues ahead of what I’d gotten all week.

I got up, took yet another steam bath, and drank more Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold Medicine and ginger tea. Then I had the eat-whatever-I-want day breakfast I’ve been looking forward to: a three-egg omelet with sausage, a toasted, buttered bagel and a big glass of milk. Mmmmm.

I took a walk with Grace, and was actually able to take a nap in the afternoon! Lovely. Other than that, we whiled the day away with reading and DVDs: “How the Earth Was Made”, a rather overly dumbed-down geology production; “Bubba Ho-Tep”, a fun Bruce Campbell romp about Elvis fighting a mummy in a nursing home; and “The Reckoning”, an enjoyable bit of middle ages courtroom drama with Paul Bettany and Willem DaFoe.

Throughout the day I enjoyed Stop & Shop oatmeal raisin cookies — which are really quite astonishingly good — with tea. For dinner we fried burgers and baked some French fries and onion rings from the frozen food section. So I ate quite a lot, but certainly not as much as I could. Go me!

Day Two Hundred One

November 6, 2010

I slept later than I meant to this morning, but that’s understandable given the allergic reaction that prevented me from breathing well last night. I had a Zone Bar with a cup of tea for breakfast, then left Don and Amy’s apartment and took the train to Port Authority. I walked from Port Authority to Grand Central, and then when I got back to Larchmont I walked another mile and a half or so, coming home by way of the library.

Grace and I did a lot of house cleaning and walked for over three miles. At around 6:00 I did a full calisthenics routine despite my tiredness and muscle fatigue.

Aside from that morning Zone Bar, I ate two egg sandwiches, two cups of chicken and squash stew, and two and a half slices of homemade pumpkin pie with lots and lots of homemade whipped cream. That last item was my only deviation from my diet, despite this being an eat-whatever-I-want day. Go me!

I’m skipping my eat-whatever-I-want-day… or am I?

November 6, 2010

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This morning I decided not to have an eat-whatever-I-want day this weekend. After all, I’ve had all too many eat-whatever-I-want days lately, the last one as recently as Wednesday. Next weekend I’ll have one, and it will feel great because I will have earned it.

Then I remembered that I have a bag of processed squash in the fridge in addition to the two in the freezer. I needed to make pumpkin pies tonight because it’ll start to ferment before too long. So I decided to have the pie be the one eat-whatever-I-want aspect of my day.

Then I remembered the most important mental distinction I’ve come to see since I started this blog: there is a difference between eating what I want, and eating all I can. I didn’t used to see the difference. Now I do, and in that disparity lies hope. I hope that, with enough work, I can widen the gap so that someday eating what I want doesn’t even resemble eating all I can.

So today was an eat-whatever-I-want day, even though it was just like every other dieting day except for the pie. And it would still have been an eat-whatever-I-want day even if I hadn’t had the pie. I ate what I wanted, and today I wanted to stick to my diet so that, on my next eat-whatever-I-want day, I will enjoy the food to the fullest because I’ll know that I’ve earned it. This is not punishment, and it feels wonderful to know that. This is me choosing what I want so that I can be what I want.

Day One Hundred Fifty-Two

September 18, 2010
From Reddening Leaves on Colonial Greenway – September 18, 2010
From Reddening Leaves on Colonial Greenway – September 18, 2010
From Reddening Leaves on Colonial Greenway – September 18, 2010

When the alarm went off at 5:30 I gave the internal animalistic grunt equivalent of “No way.” and went back to bed for a few hours. I was vastly more hung over than I’d anticipated; it was obvious just how far I’d pushed my body during the week, because the beers I drank last night hit me like sledgehammer.

I got up sometime after 8:00, had my breakfast, brewed my thermos-full of tea, loaded my backpack, and set out for the Colonial Greenway at 9:11. I was not happy. I still felt headachy, exhausted and sick, but I was determined to work off the hangover along with some of the beer.

Last night I asked Don to get me a piece of baklava and two macaroons when he went to Kashkaval for our dinner. My idea was to save them for my eat-whatever-I-want day today. This violated my “No hoarding” rule, but in this case I’m glad I did. Having some extra treats helped me make it through that twelve-and-a-half mile hike.

After about an hour and fifteen minutes I performed my first eating ritual: a Zone Bar with tea on the bench next to the lake at New Rochelle High School. Then, after passing through the suburbs and back into the woods, I drank more tea and ate the macaroons on a favorite rocky knoll near the reservoir.

I continued on past Reservoir Number Two, where for the first time in recent memory I did not see the swan family. But I did get a lovely photo opportunity in the form of a shrub putting on its most brilliant red for fall.

Several hours of hiking hadn’t gotten rid of my hangover or made me feel any more energetic. The walk from the reservoir along the Hutchinson Parkway to Weinberg Nature Center seemed to take about twice as long as it ever has. But the baklava I had for dessert, after my Zone Bar with tea ritual, perked me up a bit.

And yet my pace was still disappointingly slow as I made my way through Saxon Woods. Eventually I completed my loop around the greenway, then headed into downtown Larchmont to get my car. I got there a little after 3:00, which makes that the longest I’ve ever taken to hike one loop.

Eventually I got my car, grabbed the indispensable bagel at Stop & Shop, and went home for my post-hike feast: a three-egg omelet with lots of extra-sharp cheddar, bacon, and the bagel toasted and buttered. Then I zipped over to Longford’s for a large waffle cone with one scoop of Chocolate Caramel Crackle and one of Creme Caramel. I can’t think of a more satisfying dessert.

In the evening I joined Grace for the Break-Fast Dinner that I detailed in the previous post. That was quite a cap to my eat-whatever-I-want day.

Break-Fast Dinner

September 18, 2010
Israeli wine at Break-Fast Dinner

Israeli wine at Break-Fast Dinner

I would have loved to have gotten pictures of all the lovely people and delicious food at Rabbi Jacobs’s house, but I’m not crass enough to whip out my camera at a dinner at a private home. I settled for getting the one shot I had an excuse for: the fascinatingly smoky Israeli wine that Rabbi Jacobs introduced me to, and which I wanted to remember.

Aside from the wine, there were bagels. Yummy, yummy bagels, and cream cheese with chives, and the first lox I’ve had since this same event last year. There was tuna fish and… um, some other kind of fish… and pasta salad. There was good conversation.

And then… dessert came!

There was chocolate cake and cherry pie and some of the best fruit salad I’ve ever had. And there were macaroons. Oh my gosh were there macaroons. They were twice as rich as any other macaroons I’ve had. I think I had three of them altogether, and they composed a meal in themselves — or at least the sugar and fat content.

The benefits of having a professional singer as a spouse are not just aesthetic. On occasions like this they extend far into the gustatory.

Camp cookout

September 11, 2010
From Bushwhacking south of Uncas and Climbing Black Bear Mountain – September 11, 2010

As soon as we got back from our hike I started a campfire. I felt like having a nice big bonfire, so I loaded on a lot of the big branches and logs that I’d gathered from around the property. The evening was just cold enough to make a big, hot fire seem like a cozy prospect. Grace stopped at two hot dogs, but I’d worked up enough of a hunger on that hike to down four of them with no pause, and then, after long consideration, have myself a fifth.

After the hot dogs, it was time for s’mores. I’d stockpiled several partially-used bags of marshmallows, and more than one box of unused Hershey bars. Unfortunately the Hershey bar I had turned out to be quite old; it was a whitish cocoa color, and the flavor had mostly left it. So, although I had about four s’mores, it wasn’t terribly satisfying. But hey, even a bad s’more is pretty amazing. And of course, it’s the satisfaction of the ritual that counts.

Day One Hundred Forty-Five

September 11, 2010

I had spent a lot of time psyching myself up to take it easy today so as not to turn my eat-whatever-I-want day into an eat-everything-I-can day. So when I went to Mary’s, I made sure not to buy myself anything that I wouldn’t eat within a few hours. This was vital, because I love the baked goods from Mary’s so much that I almost inevitably load up with enough to last until the next day. This leaves me with a choice: extend my eat-whatever-I-want day into the next day; eat it all before bed regardless of whether I actually have room for it; or throw it away.

So I returned to camp with one plain doughnut and a big eclair for Grace, and two cinnamon doughnuts and two pillow cookies for me. After eating two donuts and one pillow cookie, and blogging for an hour or two, I finally grabbed a little more sleep. Notice I say “little”. My heart was racing out of all proportion to the amount of anxiety in my head, which itself was nontrivial. Since I’m not at all consciously preoccupied with leaving my job yesterday, I believe that I’m having a subconscious reaction to it.

We woke up sometime around noon and I ate my last pillow cookie. I talked to Grace about how I wanted to make sure not to overdo my eating today, emphasizing behavior that’s gotten me into trouble in the past. One no-no is trying to pack in three big camp meals in addition to the ice cream in Old Forge and baked goods from Mary’s. With all the extras, two main meals would be plenty, especially since it was already after noon.

I went to the grocery store in Eagle Bay to buy food. It is worth noting that I returned with what I’d intended to buy, and not with any of the Ommegang or Saranac beer on the shelves.

Back at camp, I started a fire and cooked myself a three-egg scramble with sausage and cheese. I lustily consumed it with three toasted, buttered English muffins, milk and tea. Damn, camp breakfasts rock my world.

I loaded up my pack with plenty of camping gear that was unnecessary for today’s hike, but useful for continuing to condition my body. We had a great time bushwhacking south and a bit west to the Black Bear Mountain trail, then climbed up and over the mountain. We returned to camp just before sundown, right on schedule.

During the evening cookout I ate five hot dogs, a Margarita, two cans of Pepsi, and about four s’mores. While catching up with my blogging later at night, I finished off the pack of graham crackers and ate one more Hershey bar.

I ate a lot of food today, and toward the end I scarfed a few things just for the sake of packing them in before the day ended. It wasn’t perfect. But it was much more reasonable than any previouseat-whetever-I-want day spent at camp. Let’s look at all the things I *didn’t* do.

I didn’t buy more doughnuts and cookies at Mary’s than I would finish before the next meal.

I didn’t try to pack in three meals in addition to all the local extras.

I didn’t buy any beer.

I didn’t buy any French fries at Screamen Eagle.

I didn’t allow myself both ice cream and s’mores. Instead, I chose between them.

Today would not have been so successful if I hadn’t planned it and talked about it. I’m proud that I negotiated an eat-whatever-I-want day that was satisfying without leaving me disgusted with myself.

Camp breakfast. Yay!

September 11, 2010

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I looooooove camp breakfasts. Love ’em. Get that fire roaring, spear the ground with those delightfully low-tech zigzag posts, set up the grill, plunk down that enormous cast iron skillet, cook up some sausage, and toss a bunch of eggs and cheese into the grease. Turn it about with a big spatula, and pile it all on a plate. Meanwhile, of course, you’ll have had some English muffins toasting. Or maybe you prefer some other bread toasted in butter right on the skillet. Either way, what you get is heaven.

I felt like I cheated a bit by using the toaster for the English muffins, but they’re too full of those nooks and crannies that the advertising execs spent big bucks filming to toast well on a flat metal surface, and toasting them over the fire would have been more of a pain than I was ready for at the time.

Read that last paragraph again. It contains everything you ever need to know about my obsession with food. I ritualize things to the point of worrying about having used a toaster. Yeesh.