Food for Thought

A person existing on a scant 1000 calories a day has to think carefully about what to eat. Sounds obvious, but it’s not what you think. No, it’s not the measuring and weighing and strict portion control that requires intellectual energy, it’s more the yearning, the fantasizing and the having to choose. It starts first at about 2:30 in the morning, when thoughts of breakfast first awaken. What to have? : The Go Lean Crunch in the tiny bowl with fat free milk? A little dish of grapes and an 80 calorie yoghurt? Or the remains of yesterday’s spinach, tomato, feta and black olive salad in an egg-white omelette?  When meals are an ‘either or’ it would be criminal to pick something less than satisfying. This morning, the Crone went mad and had a banana. She had been planning the omelette, but had forgotten to shop for eggs so she treated herself to 80 calories, courtesy of Fyffes.  Nutritionists rather frown on the banana which they allow as a good source of potassium, but otherwise consider a luxury item, allowable only on birthdays. Breakfast out of the way, ruminations on lunch can safely begin. The black bean, edamame or red pepper-spiked hummus?  200 calories worth of pulverised protein and a dozen baby carrots and of course don’t forget a big glass of water. The Crone opted for the black bean version and fought Gretel for the carrots. By mid afternoon, there were eggs in the fridge and a carton of egg whites, so the Crone eked out a yolk in lots of albumen and made the omelette. Yum. For dinner, the remains of Gretel’s turkey meatballs and a spicy stew from kidney beans, lentils, barley and split peas.  (The Crone, so often accused of being all hot air, could now give a methane masterclass.)

Now, credit to Gillian McKeith and others of her ilk–everything the Crone ate today was absolutely delicious. But, although thinking about the next meal does consume quite a bit of the day, the eating (chew, chew, chew–don’t take another bite until its all gone.) is over in a matter of moments. This means that hours the Crone used to spend in Bacchanalian bliss now hang heavy. Even with beans to soak, there’s a lot of time left over. It’s said that people who learn to conquer one addiction often develop another and, as the Crone struggles to stick to her diet, she has to acknowledge that she has developed new obsessions–one for Wordscraper on Facebook, and a second for gardening. OK, it’s not crystal meth or Texas Hold’Em or sexting, but, according to Gretel, the Crone’s passion for word games and yard work is causing her to neglect her family and the impact on homelife is negative, negative, negative. Let’s take Wordscraper: certainly the Crone craves games at a definite time daily and she will admit to a decrease in efficiency. Last night she had 14 games on the go and barely moved from laptop between 7 and 11pm (her rating shot up though…see, no decrease in ambition!). She definitely plays to build up her self-confidence and if her habit can’t be confined to the weekends, then there is every reason to fear lost time at work, and resultant pain for the Blarney bank balance. But on the plus side, she has not turned to lower companions, for the Crone shuns all invitations for games with sleazeballs whose idea of a good time is a virtual exchange of four letter words with complete strangers pretending to be sex bombs..although you’d be surprised how much of this there is about.

And as for gardening… but you’ll have to wait for that inventory. The Targ/Targe (both spellings are acceptable) of Takoma Park has just thrown down a Lexulous challenge and the Crone must away…

About Liz Barron

US Peace Corps Volunteer in Armenia. Permanent address in Washington DC. Deep roots in Northern Ireland and persistent Belfast accent. Blogger,cook, mother, grandma, Scrabble-player and enthusiastic world traveler.
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