Archive for the 'Why I'll Never Be Skinny' Category

Double Layer Jeans

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

I am constantly getting emails for all kinds of coupon deals and I never have the heart to unsubscribe. They give me the illusion of popularity when I see that I have fifteen new messages in my inbox. Never mind that they are usually for discount dinners and cheap laser hair removal. I love a deal and have often succumbed to these temptations although they have at times led me to sketchy massage establishments and mani pedi places that look like toenail fungi labs.

Today’s discounted offering was for Double Layer Jeans built to keep a girl warm yet stylish for a mere $29. The biting cold is setting in, the house has zero insulation and it feels like I am living in a meat packing plant. The Double Layer Jeans promise to “accentuate the shape of my legs” while keeping me warm and cozy. I have my suspicions. How do these denim purveyors know that I want to accentuate my legs that at best resemble two generous loaves of challah bread.

These days, I am struggling to pull up my single layer jeans, breaking a sweat despite the frigid temperatures in my drafty bedroom. I am finding my own method for dealing with the cold. I am self medicating with a lot of carbs. There’s a winter double layer for you.

Gwyneth Paltrow is a Fraud

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

In an attempt to improve my achy joints I decided try to go wheat free for a month. Trying to improve one’s bad joints is a noble pursuit to be sure, but a girl still needs to eat. Specifically, a girl still needs brownies.

In desperate need of a chocolate fix I decided to try Gwyneth Paltrow’s spelt brownie recipe. A friend gave me her cookbook last year, qualifying the gift by saying, “I know you find her annoying and she is a smug bitch but I have to admit that her recipes are really good.” Not one to turn away a cookbook, even one penned by a smug celebrity, I kept the book and have enjoyed some of her offerings. Regarding her brownies Gwyneth claims that, “These are about as healthy as brownies can get, with no flavor sacrifice.”

I have to disagree. Flavour was sacrificed. I noticed. Maybe someone who hasn’t eaten a brownie in a really, really long time (and I suspect Ms Paltrow may be one of those) may not notice, the same way I sometimes panic mid-bite into a veggie burger because I worry that I was given a beef burger instead. I’ll thrust it at The Sweetie, asking him to test it. He’ll take one bite, do a fake cough and say,”That is definitely veggie, it’s just been so long that you have forgotten what a real burger actually tastes like.”

Having enjoyed a batch of regular brownies a mere week ago, I know what a flavourful brownie tastes like and the concoction I made last night was sorely disappointing. They weren’t terrible, I’ll give them that, The Sweetie even commented, “They aren’t bad, kind of similar to yours but with a lot of sawdust thrown in.” But let’s be real. If you bake with spelt flour, agave nectar and maple syrup instead of eggs, sugar and butter, flavour will be sacrificed. There is no need to fib.

Maybe I shouldn’t be taking cooking advice from a celebrity, even an Oscar winner who hangs out with renowned chef Mario Batali and splits her time between London and New York, as she is quick to point out on the dust cover. Maybe I should be a little more suspicious of someone who can look this intense sniffing a box of cherry tomatoes.

I enjoy tomatoes as much as the next person but you won’t catch me looking this soulful around a pint of produce. Maybe I just don’t feel as much. It could be that all the white flour and non-organic produce I have been eating has clouded my emotions. I guess the point of this no wheat experiment should focus more on healthy choices and less on finding brownie alternatives. In the meantime, however, as I am missing loaves of bread and steaming bowls of pasta, I would appreciate it if people kept the lies to a minimum.

Saving Thanksgiving

Friday, October 5th, 2012

It is common knowledge in my family that I ruined Thanksgiving when I became a vegetarian. It was pointless to make a turkey if I wasn’t partaking. I do admit that I have the heartiest appetite in my clan, eliminating any fear of having leftovers for weeks on end, yet canceling the feast on my account is a tad extreme. I suspect it is meant to make me acutely aware that I am responsible for sullying the holiday for everyone.

“Why don’t I make a squash galette?” I’ll suggest in the hopes that I can somehow salvage the day. “It’s festive and autumnal.”

“Spare us,” My dad will mutter, his eyes raised to the heavens.

“How about a hearty bean stew? That’s filling. It’ll be like we stuffed ourselves on turkey we’ll be so full.”

“I hate beans.” My mom will sniff.

I wouldn’t dare risk dinner-table suicide by suggesting a Tofurkey.

It looked like another Thanksgiving would be destroyed until I discovered that Baskin Robbins has an ice cream turkey cake, complete with a sweet glaze, just like a beloved holiday ham.

Is there anything more festive than an ice cream cake? Cart out an ice cream cake and everyone knows the party has started. About to have a dispute with your extended family? Save it! It’s time to carve the ice cream cake! Someone is in a snit? Put it aside, dinner is melting! Raised eyebrows because someone has enjoyed a little too much wine? Turn those frowns upside down and fight over who gets the sugar cone leg instead. The holiday is saved.

Thank God I am not a vegan.

Taxes are Making Me Fat

Monday, April 16th, 2012

family meal south side burger

Tax time is not a good time for me. I am disorganized, I am panic stricken and I always have a meltdown surrounded by crumpled up receipts dug up from various shoe boxes and cracker tins. Every year I vow that I will change but inevitably I find myself in the same situation again, lamenting my fate, my lack of funds and career choices. I need to get out of my line of work but do not have a plan B in place. Nor do I have any skills. Nor do I know wealthy strangers who want to hand me thick envelopes of money to sit around in my bathrobe eating snacks and watching television.

Eventually the combination of too much time with a calculator and too much dark chocolate had me feeling anxious. I concluded that The Sweetie and I needed sustenance to prevent my head from exploding. Greasy burgers and fries would do the trick.

“Don’t you want to split onion rings?” I muttered as we got closer to the counter.

“I’m not that crazy about onion rings.” The Sweetie demurred.

“How can you say that?” I cried, almost stomping on his foot.

“If you want onion rings go ahead and order them,” he responded, as if that was the proper answer.

“But then I’ll be jealous of your French fries,” I reasoned.

“So I’ll give you a few.”

I could feel myself getting stressed again.

A friend of mine believes that I was a starving chihuahua in a past life because of my food anxiety. I always worry that I won’t have enough. Often my concerns are justified as I can out-eat most people I know.

“Don’t you think after facing all those receipts we deserve to stuff ourselves? Once we have to start paying off our taxes we may not be able to afford to eat anymore.”

The Sweetie sighed and tried to ignore me as I tugged on his arm. Then I saw a family combo listed on the board. Two burgers, two mini burgers, large fries, large onion rings and four drinks. Now that is a worthy dinner.

“We should get the family combo!” I exclaimed. ”It’s almost cheaper than getting two regular combos!”

“That’s disgusting.” The Sweetie chided. ”That is pure gluttony.”

“Gluttony shmuttony! We can do it!” I said enthusiastically. ”I know we can. I believe in us!”

The Sweetie continued to ignore me.

I could hear my voice rising. ”It’s not a real family combo. You split that in four and you are barely getting a meal. There aren’t enough fries and onion rings to be divided in four. And who’s getting the mini burger? The kids? How old are they? Because if they are older than toddlers they are not going to be satisfied with a paltry sprinkling of fries and a mini burger I’ll tell you that right now.”

“Not everyone eats like you.” The Sweetie said.

“We can do it I tell you!” I was nearly shouting.”Why aren’t you listening to me?”

Not wanting a scene The Sweetie finally succumbed and I nearly skipped home clutching the bulging food sack to my chest.

As we spread our bounty before us, my tax receipts tucked away for another day, I realized I could take a deep breath again. Amazing how a food reward can instantly change my mood. I was a dog in a past life.

Comfort Food

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Back in the fall when I was growing a Buddha belly I decided to go on a diet. I managed to lose ten pounds and then December happened, the season of shortbread, wine and chocolate. It comes but once a year, I rationalized to myself and ate with abandon: cookies for breakfast, cheese at every opportunity and bonbons on an hourly basis. I told myself that I would be sick of all the indulgences by the time January rolled around and vowed that as soon as I finished feasting at the annual New Year’s Day Dim Sum blow out I would eat salads again. Then January arrived, that awful month when I am running on empty in the serotonin department and find myself crying under the covers with a pie. I was all over the pasta, loaves of bread and every sugary item I could shove down my gullet to muffle my irrational sobbing. Now it is February, and like those pets who disappear in a hurricane and somehow limp back to their owners months later, the pounds have returned.

Today I am debating whether to go to the gym or bake The Sweetie his favourite oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. When I bake a batch he always reaches for a cookie when they are still too hot, then grunts like a caveman and pretends that his hand is burned. It makes baking them all worthwhile. I have tried to expand my cookie repertoire but The Sweetie always complains that they are not like his favourites. This morning he had a nerve root injection into his spine at the hospital. He was a brave little soldier and what kind of wife would I be if I opted for the elliptical machine instead of baking him a tray of cookie medicine? Obviously I have to do the right thing and keep that sports bra balled up in the back of a drawer for a little longer.

The Sweetie’s favourite Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies:

  • Cream together 2/3 cup butter with 1 cup brown sugar
  • Add 1 egg and 2 tsp vanilla
  • Mix in 1 cup flour, 11/2 cup rolled oats, 1 tsp each baking soda and baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt
  • Stir in 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips and 3/4 cup toasted walnuts
  • Bake in 375 degree oven for around 10-12 minutes
  • Leave tray on top of oven and wait for a caveman impersonation as your unwitting victims get overly eager and reach too soon for a hot cookie. Snicker.

Carbfest 2012

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

It is always around this time of year that my serotonin reserve is utterly depleted. While other people are still excited about their New Year’s resolutions and facing fresh goals I am trying to figure out how I will achieve the Herculean feat of getting out of my bathrobe. These episodes are interspersed with heavy infusions of carbs. Yesterday I enjoyed a big bowl of leftover spaghetti topped with fried potatoes. Carb on carb meals may not be for the faint hearted or for those hoping to fit into their pants when spring comes, but they feel therapeutic. Naturally I followed my starch plate with chocolate cookies, a handful of vitamins and and my happy herbs from the acupuncturist. I have no idea what is in my little herbal pearls but I don’t care. Perhaps it is odd that I am highly suspicious of my doctor when she recommends any type of conventional medication but when my acupuncturist passes me a new bottle of pills I happily pop them, no questions asked. She also is convinced that my salvation lies with giving up dairy. When she first mentioned this I paused and said, “Does that include cheese?”

“Yes. No cheese.”

“I thought you were supposed to make me feel better. I love my cheese. You can’t take my cheese away.”

She looked at me gently and then tapped me on the nose like a misbehaving puppy.

After my appointment I immediately went to my favourite cheese shop where they give out free samples. With my mouth full of cheese I told the counter guy about my acupuncturist’s recommendations for me, including the shunning of cheese.

“I think you need to find a new health care provider,” he said and handed me my purchase.

I guess I could do more to get through the winter. I could give up cheese and alcohol and eat a hard boiled egg every morning. The acupuncturist seems to think an egg a day will save me too. Maybe I should stop self medicating with carbs and go to the gym instead. I could do a lot of things but really all I want to do is sit under a blanket next to a calendar and cross off the days until I feel like a semi-normal person again. Ideally with a vat of macaroni and cheese and a chocolate fetching dog by my side.