Happy New Year! I’m going to take a moment to share a couple of lines from a Fiddler on the Roof song:
God would like us to be joyful
Even when our hearts lie panting on the floor
May all your futures be pleasant ones
Not like our present ones
And if our good fortune never comes
Here’s to whatever comes
Drink, l’chaim, to life
Here’s to joyous occasions. I hope your holidays were full of as much joy as you could muster. Mine were a little lighter on the fried foods and a little heavier on the meats. In the past week I’ve enjoyed two standing rib roasts, a wedge of scrapple, hotdogs, kielbasa, pulled pork, breakfast sausages, hamburgers, ham sandwiches, liverwurst, pierogi, dried sausages, chicken livers, pate, donuts, cupcakes, and more.
Yesterday, I bumped into a friend who was looking for jeans at Nordstrom Rack. I could use some more jeans, but I’m not going to be trying on any pants for at least a few weeks. My shopping trip was all about socks, and I scored some great pairs.
Let me put this out there right now. This is a terrible time to make a resolution to lose weight.
Healthful eating is important. I get that. I support that. I do. Seriously. Yes, it may not look like it if you simply read the highlight reel of the foods I enjoy. But for the most part, I eat sensible meals, of reasonable portions, without leaning too heavily on processed convenience foods. The bulk of my diet is surprisingly vegetarian, with a few vegan meals included in the mix. Most of the time when I eat meat, it’s added as a flavoring to a meal in very small quantities.
My family of four still can’t eat a single roast chicken in a sitting. And invariably that last breast feeds four people, usually with leftovers.
None of these, by the way, are value judgements. They are just my choices.
But most people let themselves go a bit over the holidays. Even if you are on a restrictive diet, all of those holiday parties slowly loosen your resolve. How many passed hors d’oeuvres can you really pass up, before you have to start wolfing down mini crab cakes, and bacon wrapped scallops?
Here’s the problem. Once you get yourself on that path of heavy eating, it’s hard to turn it around. Why are good habits so hard to establish and easy to break, while bad habits are the exact opposite?
I wouldn’t quite say that I’m craving meat all the time, but late last night I got a hankering for a slice of scrapple. Fortunately, I was able to resist. But still, it was notable. Scrapple, I suppose, can do strange things to your body and mind.
Which isn’t to say, one shouldn’t try to put the brakes on the eating train. Last night, I also had a meal of largely black beans and brown rice. There were a couple ounces of pulled pork on the side.
But trying to go cold turkey at this point would be a recipe for disaster.
And let’s not forget the food events that await us in the future. Just yesterday, I heard about the wood-fired Montreal Night pop-up at Saratoga Apple on Saturday, January 14. It’s not quite poutine, but Farmer Gordon is going to have crispy potatoes, covered with cheese and gravy. And I can’t wait. Man, I love gravy.
Gravy, cheese, and potatoes, fill me with a sense of joy. They do. And that’s really the point. I think this coming year is going to be a challenge. Let’s find the joy where we can get it. Maybe at this point, a little less joy wouldn’t be the worst thing for my future blue jeans shopping trips.
Balance. I tell you. It’s hard to find.