Monday, September 20, 2010
Ok, so in my neck of the woods, the days are getting shorter and nights are getting cooler. The scenery is turning from a luscious green to the vibrant colours of fall. Kids have returned to school, with their days filled with the usual activities that involve their friends and education. And just like the kids, I find my days returning to a semblance of order and routine. And not a minute too soon for me!
During the long days of summer I never seemed to find enough time to sit down and make a daily, let alone weekly, menu plan. My husband and I often found ourselves at the mercy of fast food restaurants, and I cringe to admit it, but we also found lots of time to visit all the ice-cream parlors in the district. You would think that I would have been able to squeeze some menu planning in there and even some cooking, but there it is. It was more fun to plan the drive to Rockin’ Rhonda’s for one of her memorable ice cream cones! We made it our mission in life, at least for the summer, to attempt to sample each and every one of the flavours offered.
The last week in August I had the pleasure of meeting with our family physician for my yearly checkup. Just as I thought I was going to escape out the door, he mentioned jumping on the scale. I have to admit I hadn’t weighed myself in 9 months and really wasn’t too keen on what the scale would tell me or him. But with him shrewdly looking on, I couldn’t do much else than comply. I knew before even stepping up on the thing that I wasn’t going to be able to hide from the ugly truth for much longer. To my dismay, not only had I not lost the 10 pounds I had promised to lose last fall, but I had added an additional twelve to it.
On my drive home, I resolved to get back at it. I knew how to lose the weight – I’d lost over forty pounds five years ago. Its not that complicated, at least not for me. Cut out the chips and the pop, add healthy portions of vegetables and fruit, drink the water, spend less time in front of the TV and more time outdoors walking, biking, hiking. And the pounds start to drop off. And with the advent of fall and my return to a day filled with routine and schedules I knew it wouldn’t be that difficult to plan the menus, eat the healthy meals and get that extra walk in in the evening.
So I began. And the first week I lost four pounds. Each week since, I have been lucky enough to lose another pound. I’ve begun to feel much better and have a lot more energy. The people at work have even noticed the difference, so I know I'm back on track. The visits to Rockn’ Rhonda’s are in the past and I can honestly admit that I don’t miss the place (much).
But now with the shorter, cooler nights the next test will be upon me before I can blink. These days of fall bring back memories of all the “comfort” foods of my past. And I’m not talking about the chips and pop. I’m talking about pot roasts, beef stew, chili, even rice pudding of all things.
I know it won’t be long before I’ll just have to try one more time to duplicate the rice pudding my mother used to make for us when we were kids. And, because my husband won’t touch the stuff, I’ll end up eating all of it. And then there’s my mother’s famous beef stew – I’m still trying to recreate that one.
There must be a way I can keep my goal fixed in my head, so that as I sit down to a supper of beef stew, mashed potatoes, peas and the rice pudding, of course, that I remember that portion control is the only way I’m going to succeed.
Does anyone else out there associate the fall days with the temptation of “comfort” foods and what are your favourites?