All salad dressings and sauces go on the side, and wait persons are
summarily drilled about how her chosen source of protein is prepared.
Regardless of the menu offerings, she usually ends up with steamed
vegetables, salad with one-half lemon on the side and some variety of
On the other side of the table, I automatically order something
from the daily specialties, some intoxicatingly exotic choice I
haven't tasted before. Dishes that incorporate an unusual mix of
ingredients -- no matter what they are -- are my favorites. Naked
salad and dry vegetables are not my idea of a night out -- I wouldn't
even eat them at home. And I wouldn't invite Judy over for dinner.
Judy is slim and petite and I'm not. My large frame lets me carry
around a few extra pounds, right? But as the jeans became harder to
close and buttons began to pop, the dreaded d-word began creeping
into conversations around the dinner table. Not ready to suffer
deprivation alone, I convinced my husband to join me on one of those
popular low-carb diets.
With pocket Carbohydrate Counter in hand, the next trip to the
market took a lot longer than usual. Food is to savor and enjoy, to
supply some bit of pleasure in a world that becomes increasingly hard
to control or predict. Thinking of it in terms of grams instead of
taste and texture required a leap of faith and a lot of creativity.
Pureed cauliflower, with a little heavy cream and sweet butter
quickly became a substitute for potatoes to accompany a thick juicy
steak. Chopped salads with hard Italian salami, grilled chicken, feta
cheese and thick homemade dressings would do for lunch. The half
bagel for breakfast wasn't so bad, slathered with regular cream
cheese topped with sliced tomatoes and red onion.
Unfortunately, we weren't able to stay on the diet long enough to
see any results.
Two days after the boxes of cereal, crackers and pasta were purged
from the cupboard, some bad news appeared. It now seems that my blood
pressure and cholesterol are reaching elevated levels, not dangerous
but higher than they should be. The good doctor was very gentle with