Pan-fried Potatoes, Banana Dogs and Apple Juice

Banana_dogsThe last time I actually ate was Sunday night. Since then I’ve only sipped on apple juice, which I simmered with chunks of fresh ginger in an attempt to settle my stomach, and which was dramatically sent back, reminding me why W doesn’t have any brothers and sisters (yet). I had written a few paragraphs here Sunday night before getting slammed by the stomach flu, and so exercised my new-found freedom to backburner it until such time when I wasn’t sitting on the floor at the base of the toilet.

So this is how it began:

There aren’t many evenings more depressing than the last of the holiday season – the Sunday night after Christmas and New Year’s eve/day, the night before everyone really, truly gets back to it, when you can no longer slough off emails and voice mails and deadlines under the premise that you’re maybe off for the holidays, and you have to pick up all the messes and revisit the stresses you left undone as it got close to Christmas. It’s like the grandmother of all Sunday nights. In my mind I started January rested and rejuvenated, my office and basement and front hall organized, kitchen clean, laundry done and to-do list for 2009 written, prioritized and marked in the new daytimer. I even had a couple stints at the gym out of the way.

Or the opposite of that. Instead I’m up far later than I planned to be, sitting on the couch in a men’s XL red/yellow/green plaid flannel LL Bean nightshirt paired with pink polka-dot flannel pants and brown and orange socks – my outfit of choice for the past week or so – that screams I’VE LET MYSELF GO. (The hundred or so red and green foil Hershey’s Kiss wrappers rolled into teeny balls and scattered over the couch and floor are further evidence of this.) I look like a female George Costanza that got stung by a bee and swelled.

Not only did Santa not bring me that Mac I wanted (the elves are working on it; apparently they need my help and I haven’t brought myself to set foot in a workshop during Boxing week) he didn’t bring me those time management skills I keep asking for. And far too much of what he did bring was edible. Speaking of – dinner was the last of the leftover baked potatoes, turned into pan fries (chop them roughly and cook in a slick of oil and a dab of butter, sprinkled with curry powder, chili powder and salt), with eggs fried in the pan alongside, toast and the last of the junk we’re trying to purge from the kitchen: ripple chips with French onion dip, chocolate and cookies.

So it will come as no surprise that I managed to acquire a full extra 10 pounds since Christmas in November. (Maybe I should start measuring in stone – one stone – about 14 lbs, I think – doesn’t sound like as big a deal, hey? Just a few pebbles, really.) I’ve needed to do something about this for a long time, but I suppose not wanted to badly enough – I think I was too tired, or overwhelmed, or lazy. I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions for the sake of it being January 1st – I generally make a point out of having a good and buttery breakfast on the first morning of the new year just to get that out of the way – but it’s as good a time as any to wean myself off of the overindulgences of the season and really start making myself feel better. Plus I think I’m all chocolated out.

So to give you fair warning, I will likely be preoccupied with eating healthier over the next months. Not all the time, mind you – that’s not how live works – but I have to really throw myself into it to see results, and so there will likely be a bit of a spillover here. I’ve started by culling the index for healthy meals I particularly liked last year – and I know that most of the yogurt containers in the freezer contain soup and chili and spaghetti sauce, so that’s a start.

Some of you know I’ve gone this route before. Friends and family members shrug and say “you’ve done it before, you can just do it again”. Which makes sense, but knowing the path and walking it are two very different things. We all know what we need to do to lose weight or get in shape. The hard part is actually doing it.

{Insert stomach flu here.}

Fast-forward to dinnertime Monday night, when I haven’t even checked my emails let alone gone to the gym. I suppose if I were to look for a silver lining, this not eating has probably gone a long way toward weaning me off of the quantities of food I got used to over the holidays. W, who barfed a bit at about 4:30 am but has been fine since then, asked for a picnic dinner in front of Wall-E. Done. I spread a whole wheat hot dog bun from the freezer with peanut butter and stuffed in a banana (a banana-dog), and he didn’t even need utensils. Mike is starting to curl up in the corner, and I’m sipping on a bit of Coke. I’ll let you know how that goes.

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24 comments on “Pan-fried Potatoes, Banana Dogs and Apple Juice

  1. sandy
    January 5, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    Julie, I have enjoyed your website since I found reference of it in an edmonton Journal article many months ago. Reading it was a part of my nightly winding down. I love your writing style as well as your tasty recipes with easy to find ingredients. I could so relate to your hectic routine and also the weight gain that comes from being just too tired to have the control needed to eat properly. I have cooked many of the recipes with my MAC on the counter beside me. It truly is amazing that you managed to blog every single day for a year, and I thank you for it. Well done. Glad to know that your website will remain and that I will continue to have access to your recipes without having to print or write them out.

  2. Ricki
    January 5, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    I can so relate to what you’re writing here! I’ve been experiencing pretty much the same weight gain and same stunned feeling that, “Wait! Holidays are over–why aren’t I totally organized yet??” I’m also on a quest to eat more cleanly over the next while. Will look forward to seeing what you’re up to in the kitchen as well!

  3. Amanda
    January 5, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    I’m chocolated out too! And I love the George Costanza reference 🙂

  4. Cheryl
    January 5, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    Feel better soon.
    I started my new year out with a brisk walk today. Hey, it wasn’t the gym and I’ve managed to keep my hands out of the chocolate chips…

  5. sue.d
    January 5, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    Nothing worse than spending time on the floor of the bathroom.

    I sometimes like cold weak green tea, with maybe just a smidge of honey when my stomach acts up. In any case, hope you’re better soon.

  6. Erica B.
    January 5, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    Oh my word, the stomach flu isn’t how anyone should ring in the new year. Fwiw Gatorade(Pedialyte for the under 5 set) is the “food” of choice around here til we’re 18+hrs barf free…seems to work for us anyway.

    I remember the 02/20/08 post on It Must Have Been Something I Ate; I’m pretty sure that was when I found DwJ.

    Well, here we are 10+ months later and I’m still a 1x. I spent the holidays blissfully ignoring the scale and well, thanks to a bout with strep over the last week I didn’t do TOO much damage… but had I committed rather than coasting on the first -50lbs I’d be d-o-n-e by now! Bring on the healthy recipes! 😀

    I hope everyone in the house feels better soon!

  7. robyn
    January 5, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    Poor you! But think of the abdominal workout with all that barfing! You’ve started the new year like most people – reducing your food consumption and doing ab exercises……silver lining, right?

  8. Lauren
    January 6, 2009 at 4:43 am

    Go ahead and be healthier than usual…I’ll love it. 🙂 I can’t wait to see what kind of recipes will come out of this!

  9. Dana
    January 6, 2009 at 6:17 am

    COunt me in as a plump bump,too. I’ve also gained about 10 pounds since you saw me last. : (

    Back to choosing salads for me!

  10. Melanie
    January 6, 2009 at 6:50 am

    I always think the stomach flu is a nice way to start a bit of appetite curbing! I think it has hit our house as well. Only a momma would catch, in her open hands, the regurged breakfast of her two year old (when there was a perfectly good high chair tray right there to do it for her…)
    Thanks for the posting!

  11. Sandra
    January 6, 2009 at 9:40 am

    Whats with the magic number of 10 lbs… its the holdiay gain for me too.But mine seems to be each and every year that just happens to stay put.
    Sooooo with you as a our leader and mentor.. can we
    together as your blog readers try and lose the unwanted pounds, with your great recipes, good humor and wonderful writing style…
    looking forward to more posts

  12. Sue (London)
    January 6, 2009 at 9:50 am

    Aw Julie. I’m so sorry you’ve been feeling lousy. I can totally relate to the over-eating thing. My STRETCHY jeans are almost un-wearable. I think I have a food hangover. Its almost good to be back to work, eating like a normal person and trying to get back on track.
    I hope you’re all feeling better soon.

  13. Heidi
    January 6, 2009 at 10:50 am

    Feel better soon, Julie.
    Have you tried a tea of fresh ginger steeped in a cup of boiling water? My mom’s cure for pukeyness was 3 or 4 drops of pure mint extract on a teaspoon of sugar.
    I’ve managed to budge a few pounds with a lactose-free diet. The soy alternatives have less fat and cholesterol as well. Can we see a few recipes without any dairy, please?
    So, so, so happy to still read you!

  14. Heidi
    January 6, 2009 at 10:55 am

    I forgot to mention to take it easy with the peppermint extract; no more than a few drops!

  15. piccola
    January 6, 2009 at 11:21 am

    Hey Julie, I feel for you! I had the same stomach bug during the holidays (and before you ask, no, it wasn’t food poisoning since no one else who ate with me got sick).

    The only things that stayed down were bananas and dry cereal (Spoon-Size Shredded Wheat and Nature’s Path Heritage O’s, to be precise).

    Hope it passes soon!

  16. dl
    January 6, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    wow and all this time Id think-that Julie eats all this wonderful food and still is so thin and gorgeous! I had NO idea. WOW congratulations to you on that great accomplishment of losing the weight and keeping it off. That is spectacular.
    Get better soon!

  17. margo
    January 6, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    You should read Dr. Yoni Freedhoff’s post today on his blog, Weighty Matters. We have to remember that there are seasons of rich eating, followed (if we’re wise!) by leaner seasons. But seriously, with all that amazing cooking you were constantly doing over the holiday season, how could you not gain a bit? We all are obviously ready for some equally delicious, but not-so-rich recipes to guide us back into a healthier lifestyle and maybe even our 100% cotton jeans! It is definitely within reach. Also: slow and steady wins the race. Small changes add up over time (and are sustainable).

  18. margo
    January 6, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    Also Julie, don’t expect too much of yourself in these next few days; the Norwalk type virus hit our house Christmas week and although “the symptoms” (ie. the intense ones) lasted only about 8-12 hours, the tiredness lasted almost a week after. I think you need to hear this: you have permission to r-e-s-t. 🙂

  19. JulieVR
    January 6, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    I agree 100%! Love Yoni’s blog – I read it every day. And he’s right. I did, however, indulge a little more than I needed to for a little longer than I needed to…

    I’ve always said the ability to truly enjoy your food without berating yourself (on any level) is essential to gaining control over your food intake and to weight loss success. Guilt is a terrible motivator.

  20. Ann
    January 6, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    I’m sorry you had stomach flu! No fun at all. Hope you’re feeling better soon.

    I look forward to the eating healthier theme. Like many others, I overindulged a bit myself and am actually looking forward to cutting back a bit and laying off the rich food.

    Thanks again for keeping your blog going!

  21. Natalie
    January 6, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    Hope you feel better soon!!!
    Just wanted to add to the others how much I enjoy your blog. I just traveled 11 hours home from the holidays (16 days – no less)…. tired, cranky … but I still had to catch up on the days I missed of dwJ. I have 10 lbs to lose too…. I am saying it is baby fat from daughter born 7 mo. ago…. more likely the chocolate and pasta…….
    Thanks again.

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