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A Reasonable Facsimile

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

I’ve always said that my husband was a man ahead of his time. When I met him 35 years ago, he was wearing those short sleeved knit golf shirts with the little crown on the pocket that he got out of the “old men’s” section of the Sears catalog . This was long before Izod put a little alligator on the same pocket and
set the whole world crazy! I remember thinking that once the ring was securely on my finger, I’d change his wardrobe.
Long before organic became a buzz word, he refused to eat or drink artificial ANYTHING! I grew up on products like Tang. Remember that sickeningly sweet, artificially flavored, artificially colored faux orange drink? We didn’t have a lot of soda, but when we did it was full of cyclamates - you know the one the FDA pulled after mice started getting cancer and their babies were born with five limbs? My mother was diabetic so when we did get any soda pop it was pretty much that or nothing. I’ve never drank anything that wasn’t “diet”.
Not the husband.
Does that mean he ‘s always been a healthy eater? Noooo…
Not hardly. It just means NO FAKE GREASE for him! He loves Little Debbie because she is pure --
Yeah. Pure sugar. Plenty of sweet but no innocence!
So I figured out early on in my “dieting” days that our meals were going to be a real challenge. AND that changing my husband's diet was going to be about as easy as changing his wardrobe...
I didn’t want to be fixing two dinners. I didn’t want tempting “real” snacks in the house.
What was I going to do? Like all things in marriage -- communicate and compromise. I told him that I needed his support and, as I blogged before, he did agree to try. Just one request:
“No fake crap!”.
I readily agreed and then -- served him a Bocca Burger…
The ensuing gagging, hawking, and coughing performance was Oscar worthy, let me tell you.
When he asked what the heck THAT was I insisted:
“It is a REAL all vegetable soy protein patty and I like it!” Well, at least the first part was true…

The truth is that I, myself, love nothing more than a greasy burger dripping with cheese, hot crispy fries, and an ice cold beer.
My waistline, however, decidedly DOES NOT. Not to mention my arteries.
I tried limiting such indulgences to only when eating out, but found the calorie overload just too depressing to see in black and white when I tracked it.
So what to do? Forever give up foods I love like burgers, pizza, spaghetti? After all, over time I have learned to enjoy many new healthier foods.
But what about my husband? Watch him eat a juicy burger dripping with cheese while I spear my fork in fat free dressing while eating my garden salad without croutons?
I would try to make “lite” versions at home, but what about my husbands no fake crap rule? Therein lay my challenge.
Could I make tasty, lighter versions of some of our favorites and “sneak” them past my husband’s taste buds?
You bet!
Take a look at a few of the items:

It tracked like this side by side with a similar restaurant version:
Hamburger made with 3 oz. extra lean ground beef - 199 calories
Kraft Free American cheese - 1 slice - 31 calories
Village hearth Light Italian bun - 80 calories
Dill pickles and onions - 10 calories
Lays Kettle Cooked Reduced Fat potato chips - 140 calories
Crunchy cole slaw made with olive oil and cider vinegar - 43 calories
Michelob ULTRA beer - 95 calories
Total: 598 calories
Compare that to an Applebees cheeseburger, cole slaw, and potato chips
WITHOUT beer - 1282 calories
Needless to say it passed my husband's taste test - despite me sneaking in a few
less than "real" ingredients. I told him that I call it my "reasonable facsimile" meal.
That meal is still a calorie indulgence for me but, for the occasional yearning, it satisfies without totally breaking the calorie bank.

The other day I debuted a new lower cut shirt that I had bought and when paired with one of my Victoria's Secret floatation device bras - I changed my normal flat chested appearance to one with a little more oomph!
I gushed to my husband, "What do you think? Do I look like I have LADIES now??"

He grinned a sly grin and said "I'd call 'em a reasonable facsimile"...

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Sweet!! I love your blogs!

    2845 days ago
    I like you have learned to make facsimile recipes. I take favorite recipes and reduce fat, etc. Being lactose intolerant, I cannot have cheese darn it . My son told me to bring him some soy cheese and he would fix me a real pizza at the restaurant he works for. I like your husband gagged on the Bocca burger. I have found 100% ground white chicken or ground turkey breast a less fatty substitute for hamburger meat.
    2846 days ago
    Loved it! I like using the food/recipe tracker to figure out calories and how to reduce them without reducing flavor also!

    2846 days ago
    As usual you blog has made me smile and actually giggle!

    I guess I'm lucky, my husband will eat anything I put in front of him as long as I don't feed him chicken on the bone.

    Keep the blogs coming! You are a great writer!

    2847 days ago
    Made me smile today --- and I remember Tang, lol!

    Happy day,
    2847 days ago
    really enjoyed this emoticon
    2849 days ago
    What a fantastic blog! I loved it. The husband issue can be challenging. I encountered the same reaction to the Boca products. By now, my DH eats what I cook. And I don't feel the need to fill him in on the details. He knows I slip in an awful lot of vegi's, and sometimes he has to look pretty hard for the meat. But he's a good trooper. I can only influence what he eats around me, but I think he is benefiting from SP as well. He just doesn't know it. Thanks for such a fun blog! Ellen emoticon
    2850 days ago
    Great blog. I love the images. You know my husband doesn't mind "fake" food at all. He had a Lunchable and a Hostess cupcake for dinner. Not much is faker than a Lunchable. I made myself an omelet with real cheese, 2 gluten free-waffles, and a pear. We both got the dinner we wanted. I always do the lean ground beef, but I have to have real cheese, and I'd rather have no chips at all than eat the reduced fat variety. So I've pretty much given up chips and fries both. I really don't miss them. Keep on blogging!
    2851 days ago
    Another great blog, they just keep coming!
    Try giving dh some "real" tvp in the form of Morningstar riblets and see if he can still pull off the gag :)

    2851 days ago
    Sounds like both of you have great senses of humor. I did have to laugh at the bra/breasts comment. I have known your sister and niece for so long, and have gone shopping with them quite a few times that I know the breast refrain by heart. emoticon
    2851 days ago
    You are such a great writer! We have had the same problem, coupled with four children (two now in their teens) I found the best book, its the "Eat this not That, cookbook, I picked it up @ Sams Club a couple of months ago and LOVE it!! I rarely rave about a cook book, but this one I do. It shows you the restaurant version of a dish and then, how you can make it at home for significant less calories and money. Everybody wins!! emoticon
    2851 days ago
  • JESSA2
    LMAO! Love It!!!! Hope all else is well! emoticon
    2851 days ago
    Lol! I also live with mister "me want dead animal on plate when I come home!" I have snuck in some things like whole wheat pasta and "reduced fat" (HA!) alfredo sauce with minimal wining. On some of his favorites (like my enchiladas), I cook just two with the carb balance wraps and fat free cheese and I stopped making a double batch so NO LEFTOVERS! I actually quit making double batches on lots of things, aside from what he took in his lunch the next day, I sat at home and finished all the left overs! Another great blog!!
    2851 days ago
    I sure love your sense of humor and got a great visual of yourself spitting, coughing and just plain wondering what the heck he was eating.

    Please keep it up, I get a lot out your blogs
    2851 days ago
    Ah Joanne, you never fail to make me chuckle. My ladies were just girls until after menopause, and then, boom! Makes me look top-heavy. About 4 years ago I read that book by Kevin Trudeau, about additives in foods and did an entire sweep of my pantry, got rid of anything artificial, all white sugar, white flour, etc. and went natural. I felt so healthy, so well. However, as we tend to do, I slipped back a wee bit, allowed white sugar and flour in the house again since I bake now and then for pot-lucks, etc., but still try to make my own stuff from scratch. I find I can actually taste the salt and additives in prepared food now. I always used to use onion soup mix in my turkey stuffing, then quit for years. But at Easter I was in a hurry and used it, instead of sauteeing my onions, etc. The taste to me was pure chemical. Thankfully nobody else noticed.

    Keep up the blogs, Jo. You are a naturally funny lady, and so honest.

    Glad you are feeling better after your surgery.
    2851 days ago
    Sure glad I read this to the end. I'm going to suggest some of this to my GLBH. LOL

    Skeeter emoticon emoticon
    2851 days ago
  • KITTYF54
    I've been all over the map when it comes to natural, low fat, vegetarian, etc. I'm on "natural" for life from now on. I've learned to late the cost of eating the fake food, and cooking with plastic and microwaves, etc. I'm was drawn to natural all my life but thought I "couldn't afford it". Now I'm learning all that stuff and wishing I'd stuck to my Late hippy tendencies way back then.
    2851 days ago
  • BIGDAD1211
    Your husband is so funny! Thanks for the post! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2851 days ago
  • MDEAL72
    What a great read! My hubby is much like yours...he can't stand "fake" crap, so I have also been challenged in finding ways to make just ONE meal for the family so that I can eat the same as them and not ruin my own efforts. It's been challenging, but fun to try and come up with new ways of making old standards...and my family has, surprisingly, been loving what I've come up with. :)
    2851 days ago
    I must say I'm rather with your husband on this one. I'm happy to eat vegetarian, but NOT "fake meat". I eat small quantities of meat, padded out with veggies. If I go for a vegetarian option, I'll choose something that doesn't pretend to have meat in it - a vegetable lasagne, or a spicy couscous; curries, risottos, salads, hotpots... Soya never really does it for me!

    Love the "ladies"! Mine took 2 children before they grew bigger than an A cup. Unfortunately, I've got the "orange in a string bag" design, so they just dangle bra-less. With a bra they now respectably fill a D. My darling mother was small - just an A all her life - but beautifully self-supporting and perky till the day she died aged 76. Takes all kinds!
    2851 days ago
    Joanne, you and your husband crack me up!
    What a day to read this. Today, I indulged in a Red Robin burger, 949 cals and fries, 390 cals. UGH!
    2851 days ago
    Hi, Joanne
    Your hubby does sound like a real sweetie!
    And, from someone who has always since they started growing dealt with overly abundant "girls", just be glad to be able to find clothing that fits so much easier. I graduated from high school with a C cup, and within 5 years had a D. And now that I have DDDs, its hard most of the time to find a fitted top that I'm not falling out of. But I am grateful that I don't have my step-grandmother's HH cup. She had to make he own bras all the time.
    Thanks for the giggle.
    p.s.: I'm so glad to see you're feeling better.
    2851 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/5/2010 1:27:38 AM
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