My Kingdom for a Carb, or ‘How to Set Your House of Fire in Three Easy Steps’
Today I went solo for lunch, as Dan was stuck in a long meeting. This is rare for us, as we have been blessed to have almost every single meal together since we met almost twelve years ago. I never take that time for granted, as in our hectic life-filled schedules, sometimes together time can be at a premium. Lately I have become more of a challenge as a dining partner, as I climbed back on the Atkins low-carb wagon last week. We are finding ways for my self-proclaimed ‘Carb King’ husband to eat normally…or maybe it’s that I’ve found a way to survive the mealtime carb minefield. When I met Dan, I was slim and trim, having been eating the Atkins way and exercising a lot. The first meal my new love made for me was a carb-loaded feast to die for- the best Italian meal I had ever had, complete with pasta, crusty bread, and Tiramisu. I was doomed…but it was so very worth it. I attacked that meal like I was coming out of forty days of starvation in the desert, and I’m sure my carb-deprived body about went into anaphylactic shock. It was heaven. Over our many years together, I have been on the carb roller coaster, managing the effects better sometimes than others. While I love those carb-invested foods with a foodie’s passion, I am genetically predisposed to gain weight at the very sight of them. Mom used to tell me that Dad would often go on a low-carb diet to meet his Army weight regulations, so I guess I come by it all naturally.
I never want Dan to feel deprived while I am abstaining, and so I smile broadly as he eats bread, pasta, candy, and chips. He is a yoga god- he can eat whatever he wants with little concern about turning into Jabba the Hutt like I have the potential to do. Secretly, though, I am lusting after his decadent treats as I gnaw on my zero carb string cheese. He should be careful, as I can’t promise that I won’t one day lose control and attack him in a carb-depleted act of desperation, ripping that plate of rigatoni right out of his hands. He’s safe for now, though, as I am in an almost Zen-like trance as I enter my carbs into the Myfitnesspal app on my iPad, focused on my goal of shedding the extra holiday layer.
I knew I was obsessed today, when at work I began to think about my next meal– what I could eat, how many carbs- not to mention NET carbs- would be involved. I guard the number allowed at each meal carefully, always going for the big bang effect; what foods can I eat a lot of? What will make me not feel like I am being deprived? Surely there has to be zero carb bread somewhere, zero-carb Snickers bars? Is there no mercy in this world? Is there no God?
This evening I made a yummy-smelling pot-pie for Dan (aka, placed a pot-pie in the oven for Dan). When his dinner was ready, I decided to broil some chicken sausage, peppers, and onions in some olive oil. Easy, right? One thing Betty Crocker didn’t consider was that putting my dinner (which included too much olive oil) into a 400 degree oven just switched over to low broil was a recipe for freaking disaster. The evening was so peaceful as we sat by the fire with the dogs, Dan munching happily on his pot-pie. The timer sounded, and as I rounded the corner into the kitchen I was met by acrid smoke boiling out of the oven. Not wanting to bother Dan (okay- I was mortified that this happened under my watch and praying that the smoke detector wouldn’t go off), I quickly snatched my dinner from the jaws of doom, and opened as many windows as I could, willing the smoke cloud to dissipate before Dan noticed.
No such luck, as the smoke had become an entity, filling our happy home with noxious gases and a thick layer of haze. Dan sprang to action, opening more windows, going all around the house with incense, turning on ceiling fans, lecturing me in the fine nuances of broiling food without catching the house on fire. The dogs got into the spirit of it all, excitedly following him around, as I sat dejectedly on the couch, crunching on my black onions and crunchy chicken sausage. At that moment, I gave up any and all dreams of being considered a culinary goddess. It was over….oh, the humanity.
I knew I was no great cook, but this latest gaffe was the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back. I won’t let it defeat me in my mission to eat a low carb diet, but from now on I’ll let Dan do the cooking. I’ll stick to the clarinet. At least when I goof there, nothing goes up in flames.