I’m a single mom who works outside the home full-time. Sometimes I don’t eat on weeknights. Not because I’m not hungry. Not because there’s no food. Just because I… don’t. I get my kids home in the evenings and they are clamoring for mac & cheese (hey, it’s organic) or chicken fries (hey, they’re not, but there are a few grams of protein in there somewhere). I’m lucky to get some slices of pear, or carrot sticks, or maybe a couple of green beans into them. And at 8:30 p.m. I realize that all I’ve had since an afternoon snack at work was multiple cups of coffee. Large ones. This must change.
The nagging feeling of a need for change is often swiftly beheaded by my trusty Pessimist’s Dark Sword of No. I have tried many ways to get rid of the Dark Sword of No, including putting it up for sale (ethical difficulties); offering to donate it to a pessimist worse off than myself (bigger ethical difficulties); and driving far out into the country and flinging it into a field, departing with tires squealing. I shouldn’t have squealed the tires because the sound drew it back. I opened the trunk when I got back home and it was right in there with the groceries.
Because of all this, and so much more, I have joined this food-focused tribe. I’m hoping that the Dark Sword will dull and eventually morph into just another plastic toy hanging out in my household’s version of a weapons locker. What better way to dull a sharp object than to use it to slice up food and perhaps open up a few cans to speed the process? Before the metaphor begins to stretch too far (like taffy… oooh… candy…), I give to you my week in review.
New Year’s Day: 2014 had not released its hold on me. My dinner was something of which I am not proud in any way but that it felt good in my mouth. It was purely comfort, it was all ‘junk,’ and I needed it like an addict needs one last fix. I went to my local drive-in. I bought a six-piece order of mozzarella sticks, a mini Fritos chili cheese thingy, and a small coconut cream pie milkshake. I ate these items in front of a rerun on TV. It was glorious and I felt horrible.
January 2: On my way home from work, I picked up a steak. I roasted potatoes and onions and put some honey-glazed carrots on the side. I topped it off with a homebrewing friend’s most excellent stout. I felt like a grownup. It was incredible.
January 3: Forgot to eat dinner. Had a turkey sub for a late lunch and was still full at bedtime.
January 4: I realized after a lovely lunch with a friend and a productive afternoon that my children would be home after having spent several days with their father. In panic mode, I blew through a local drive-through at 7 p.m. and barely remember consuming four spicy chicken nuggets and a small chocolate shake. I would like to have made my lunch count for dinner, but it didn’t.
January 5: Ate thawed-out sloppy joes (2) with American cheese. One kid wanted mac & cheese. The other wanted chicken fries. We had three dinners except for the green beans. School has started up again and evenings seem hurried.
January 6: Sloppy joes again. Both kids had chicken fries and slices of pear. Down to two dinners. Progress.
January 7: All of us ate the same thing. Rotini with sauce. Today was not progress, it was luck. But I’ll take it. Reflecting on the week has given me a few ideas. Time to at least put a tarnish on that sword.