Tag Archives: food

The Cleanse

There’s nothing more annoying than a person on a cleanse. Or even just a person who wants to talk about their diet: what they’re eating, what they’re not eating, what they have eaten but are not likely to eat again. A recent conversation with a man who was in the middle of a month of eating nothing but soup made me take tiny, imperceptible steps backwards until I was forced to fake an injury. Yet in the spirit of “I’m destined to do everything I said I’d never do,” here I am, eager to report on my cleanse. (I wont be offended if you click delete or go back to Facebook scrolling. In fact, I’ll respect you more for having done so.)

It probably started with the ice cream sandwiches. Friends invited Tom and me for dinner and I brought homemade oatmeal chocolate chip cookies with vanilla Haagen Daaz sandwiched between. They were delicious, so delicious in fact that when I woke up the next morning I’d been transformed into a different person. This person was slow moving, cranky and headed dangerously toward a pregnancy weight. Okay, to be honest, it might have started before the ice cream sandwiches.

So in a rock bottom moment I convinced Tom that we should start the Whole 30 – thirty days without grains, dairy, sugar or alcohol. Yes, we could have coffee. I’m not insane.

Week 1 was shameful. I was in agony over the amount of creative food prep it takes to make a delicious meal without anything delicious in it. It was seven full days with no easy outs like pizza delivery or Chinese food, while trying to convince people that there’s anything rice-like about cauliflower rice.

But mostly it was the wine. I had been having a glass of wine every night for at least a decade. Its absence made me really look at its purpose. That glass of wine marked the end of the workday, which I would argue is particularly critical when you work from home. That glass of wine was there to spice up the evening routine, to make quizzing my middle schooler for his social studies test feel like a party. I began to brave the hours between 6 and 8pm with a glass of seltzer water instead, and let me just say: it’s not the same.

During that week, one of my favorite students noted that I was kind of cranky. “Am I?” I replied with a steady smile. I hate you, I thought.

On the first day of Week 2, everything changed. I opened my eyes and leapt out of bed before my alarm went off. I drank my delicious and Whole 30 sanctioned black coffee and wrote something. I loved this thing I wrote. I loved it so dearly, this product of my clear mind, that I sent it to the New York Times. Of course I should be writing for the New York Times, I thought, I’m Super Me! Interestingly, the New York Times did not pick up my article. It makes me think they’re all sitting around eating chips and drinking beer, obviously not seeing things as clearly as I do.

My irrational exuberance and delusions of grandeur lasted the rest of the week, while my body rebelled. I got sick in multiple ways, as my body begged me to re-tox. I was was wiped out yet found the energy to Google “are there people who need wine and tortilla chips to survive?”

Week 3 was the week that I realized my home was suddenly the place where fun goes to die. All conversation centered around food, which I happen to think is the most boring topic in the world besides leaf blowers. Specifically, we debated what foods were Whole 30 sanctioned and conducted extensive research on bacon that is prepared without nitrates, sulfites or sugar. We concluded that that particular bacon is called “sliced turkey.” Don’t bother.

At this printing I will be done, and the promise of miraculous results will manifest. I actually have no clue what those things are. But as I round out Week 4, I’ve come to understand why it’s impossible to quit something for 30 days but possible to quit something for one day, thirty days in a row. I’ve sort of lost my taste for cheese and crackers, but I’m looking forward to a glass of red wine. That, and talking about something else.

The Untold History of Thanksgiving

It’s important to remember the genesis of Thanksgiving, lest we all just start to see it as a stomach-stretching warm up for the actual holidays. The first Thanksgiving was a shared meal between the pilgrims and the Native Americans, one where they gave thanks for all they had and set the tone for who we… Continue Reading

Death, Taxes and Dinner

As Published in The Rye Record on February 6, 2015 Much is made of death and taxes. Their unavoidability, the fact that they are always hanging, ominously, just over our shoulders. But death comes about only once in a lifetime, and tax season’s just once a year. Dinner, on the other hand, happens every day.… Continue Reading

I Want to Pull Back the Curtain on the Food Network

As published in The Week on November 21, 2013 Because I lost control of the clicker about a decade ago, I spend November watching a lot of football and a lot of the Food Network. My husband flips back and forth between the NFL and home-style cornbread stuffing, mesmerized by the way these TV chefs… Continue Reading

Extreme Makeover: Grocery Addition

As published in The Rye Record on October 11, 2013 Remember how you felt that time you went to the office Christmas party and met the attractive young woman that just started working with your husband? And remember how you noticed for the first time that your cocktail dress, circa 1998, was somehow too long,… Continue Reading

Long Live Farro!

As published in The Rye Record on September 22, 2012 My sister had an electrician working in her home, and, after a long day’s work, she said to him, “Would you like some farro and chard?” He replied, to my delight, “I don’t know what any of those things are.” She had obviously hired an… Continue Reading

The Golden Ticket

As published in The Rye Record on Nobember 18, 2012 There are times in life when fate smiles on you in an unexpected way, and you wonder if you’ve done something wonderful to deserve it or if it’s just good luck.  Maybe you find yourself upgraded on a long flight or your child becomes a… Continue Reading

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