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Day 16 of the Hostage Situation

JoJo and I resolved to eat healthier, get healthier, and feel better, about a month ago.  And we set April 1st as our start date.  No.  It wasn’t meant as an April Fool’s joke towards each other, either.  We seriously planned out eating better for the sake of our health and waistlines (there’s one in there somewhere, I swear).  We decided that since I’m the cook in the family, I’d do meal prep for us, prepare snacks, and have everything ready so that we could eat daily and not have to think about it too much.  If we thought too much, we’d end up eating Little Debbie snack cakes like they were carrot sticks.  “oh, fuck it” and “I don’t have time for this” are phrases many-a dieter has uttered before.

And…so far, so good.  I mean, one night we did order pizza as a treat, but we ate way less than half of what we normally would.  Which is a huge improvement for us.  And when we went to book club last week at Panera, we ate salads for dinner instead of sandwiches, chips, and massive amounts of cookies.  As long as we’re doing mostly good and taking steps in the right direction, we’ve promised to not be too hard on ourselves.  As long as we’re moving forward, well, fuck it.

In the first two weeks, JoJo lost 11 pounds and I lost 16 pounds.  Not the most weight I’ve lost in a two week period, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  When I was on the “Eat to Live” diet endorsed by Dr. Oz, I lost over 30 pounds in two weeks.  But then again, Dr. Oz has had a heart attack, and I haven’t, so….

For the most part, we eat the things we like, but in healthier portions and prepared with less salt, fat, etc.  For example, this week we’re eating small portions of Quick(er) Chicken Cobbler with lots of good veggies on the side.  For another meal of the day, we’re eating Baked Basil Chicken Breasts, mashed potatoes (very small portion), and lots of veggies.  For breakfast, we both enjoy having a couple pieces of whole-grain toast/bread with a light amount of peanut butter, a banana, and a cup of coffee with a touch of milk and Truvia.  It’s not too bad, actually.  But snacks…well, snacks have been a little tough this week, to say the least.

The first week of our diet, our snack was 1 Babybel and a pickle.  We know that pickles are high in sodium (that’s why just the one), but they’re also crazy low in calories.  So, we had our pickle and cheese, and it was nice.  Mostly satisfying, though not quite a chicken fried steak.

However, this week, we had the brilliant idea to buy an economy size jar of pickles–since we knew we’d be eating them once a day for the foreseeable future.  It would save money, after all.  During our weekly grocery shopping, I noticed at Walmart that Best Made Sour Pickles had a plastic gallon container for less than 6 bucks.  Score!  I scooped up two of those bad boys, and we finished shopping, paid, and went home.  We were even eco-friendly, responsible humans, and used the self check-out and used reusable canvas bags.  Go Team Fatass!

It wasn’t until the next day that I noticed that the jar said “Sour Pickles”.  In all-caps bold white letters against a red backdrop.  Don’t know how I missed it.  But how sour could they be?  I mean, all pickles are kinda sour….so, fuck it.  Didn’t worry about it too much until it was time to eat one for a snack, and…holy shit.

These pickles made me pucker up, squint my eyes, and I immediately felt the need to tell JoJo, “Oh, my God.  You have to try these.”  I was hoping that she wouldn’t question me, go straight to the jar, grab a pickle, take a bite, and then curse the day I was born.  However, the pucker on my face was all she needed to tell me to go fuck myself.  Regardless, she still said I could pack one in her lunch with some cheese for her snack at work the next day.

Cut to the next day, and I get a text from JoJo.  It was a video a coworker of hers took of her taking a test bite of the pickle.  Vomiting almost ensued as she fell back in her office chair, despair and laughter mingling.  I won’t share the video and cause her more embarrassment–but obviously she was no longer on board with these particular pickles.

I, on the other hand, wasn’t about to give up.  Well, not that quickly.  Experimenting with any idea I could come up with, I tried rinsing them thoroughly.  Still sour as hell.  Then I tried cutting off the ends and squeezing out as much juice as possible.  A little better…but not enough.

Side note: “Drain the Pickle” in this household has a culinary meaning now.

Ultimately, I’ve decided that these pickles just aren’t edible unless you’re a crazy fuck.  So….if you are familiar with these pickles, and you actually enjoy them, I have more than a gallon-and-a-half.  Free to any home.

Oh. Buy my book.

And don’t forget…in one week, The Great Book Giveaway 2018 beings!

Until next time…

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Allen T. St. Clair is an author, blogger, amateur cook, and all-around smartass, hustling to get his books and other projects noticed.

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