Saturday, December 27, 2014

Something I Ate

The calm before the crab.

For us, holidays have boiled down to being all about the food.  We shop. We cook. We eat. We clean up. Repeat. More precisely, Eric cooks. I set the table and we all clean up.
Crab craziness. 
The children are now grown and married or about to marry and such. The grandchildren have yet to arrive. Holidays can be whatever we make it and we make it about eating. It's the 27th of December.  I've been sick with a nasty cold all week and have finally given in to it. I'm in bed thinking about the last couple weeks.

We have eaten and eaten well. We had friends over for a "bring your own crab dinner". We had a nephew over for brunch. I hosted the Park School staff holiday party and 25 teachers came over one afternoon. That was easy because they brought everything and then took it all away again. Allie arrived from New York City and my brother and sister-in-law joined us for dinner one night. Eric made an excellent Spaghetti Bolognese sauce and butter lettuce salad with Green Goddess dressing. The man can cook.

In Grandpa Pat's plaid. 

Then it was Christmas. Christmas Eve crab dinner for seven. Christmas breakfast. 

Christmas breakfast. 

Standing rib roast for Christmas Dinner. It is such a luxury to be able to splurge on great food and special feasts. And no matter how you slice it, we can eat at the top of the food chain at home for a fraction of the cost of eating out. Factor in leftovers galore and you're amortizing nicely.

It's a bit ironic, because this year food has not really been my friend. Multiple bouts of major gastric distress have clouded many days. Severe abdominal pain nearly landed me in the hospital. I did end up in the doctor's office. She was flummoxed by the symptoms and put me on an extremely restrictive "Low FODMAP" regimen. If you've never heard of this dietary program, consider yourself blessed. You really don't want to know.

Counterintuitive as hell; you can eat half the fruits, but not the other half. Same with vegetables. No avocado, wheat, lactose, gum. It goes on and on. I've blocked it out, but it did work. All the symptoms disappeared while I was on it. After six weeks I couldn't stick to it and started cheating. The symptoms returned. I talked to a friend who is a nurse and she suggested I just avoid gluten, garlic and onions since they so commonly create issues.

The good news is that it worked. Garlic and cooked onions were reintroduced successfully. The bad news is, I'm obviously gluten-sensitive. I hate being someone with dietary constraints. No bread, cake, cookies! No regular pasta! I do not want to be that annoying person who has to tell their host about food restrictions. However, it appears that I am. It's really not that bad. There are so many choices out there and Eric is a sport about gluten free cooking and makes all sorts of accommodations.

I seem to find plenty to eat. Rice, corn, potatoes. I may be the only person to give up gluten and not lose weight. I'm just happy to not gain weight. I've decided that not gaining weight is a successful diet at my age. I miss cupcakes from Sweet Things and sticky buns from Beth's Kitchen, but I'm still eating pretty high on the hog. And I've got my avocados back. Now, if I can just get rid of this cold, I'll be able to taste them again. 

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and good eating to all!

Ruby admires my breakfast in bed. 


  1. I can relate to this. Various health problems recently led to a complete change of my diet. I now subscribe to the nutritional advice articulated in Grain Brain.

    It's worked well for me but, when I describe the benefits of this diet to people, I'm surprised by the negativity I get back. People don't like to be told what they should and should not be eating.

    Great blog! I always enjoy reading it. I think you are ready for the next logical step - writing a book!