Last summer, I told Farmer Chuck — the king of everything delicious at our CSA Sunrise Farm — that the onions we'd been getting in our basket were...Read More
That Seductive Salt
I’m writing this with a fuzzy head, rumbling tummy, and uncomfortable taste of regret. I had a terrible night of un-rest, and, naturally, that stern finger of responsibility is pointing directly at me. Hello, Stern Finger of Responsibility!
Dave and I decided to go out to dinner in our neighborhood, to Polvo’s, a popular Tex-Mex joint about a 1/2-mile stroll away from our front door.
1. It was a gorgeous summer night… one of those evenings that makes me think Austin weather is a quirk of personality, rather than character flaw. Yes, it was almost 100 degrees F, but a light breeze was blowing, and there were plenty of shady spots along our path.
2. I’d personally cooked almost every meal we’d eaten since Saturday night (that’s 12 meals and, roughly, 10 snacks) plus the bonus food for the Sunday photo shoot. I craved a break from the kitchen.
3. We were feeling chipper. Tuesday Dave had a bad day, and Wednesday I had a bad day. But last night, we both felt good, so we wanted to visit with each other… to just sit and talk and eat and enjoy being together.
4. We had a list of Important, But Fun Things to talk about: cookbook planning, our trip to LA in August, our Sunday photo shoot this week.
The first sign that, perhaps, things were not to go as planned was the chaotic atmosphere at the restaurant. Groups of college girls gulped margaritas. Their shrill voices wrestled with each other and ricocheted off the pink walls, competing with the blare of mariachi music, the metallic clang of cutlery bouncing off the tile floor, and the harried voice of the hostess trying to seat Thursday night party people. (Thursday is the new Friday!)
When the waiter arrived with our giant glasses of ice water and a basket of chips, he ASKED US if we wanted chips before setting them on the table. I felt my brain form the word “no” and prepared my head to shake itself side-to-side, but somehow heard myself say “yes” and saw the room bob up and down as I nodded my head. There’s the chip basket on the table, and look! there’s my hand reaching into it.
(One small glimmer of hope in this otherwise unattractive tale is that unlike past experiences, I did not snarf the entire basket – but I did eat more than a few. Oh, corn tortilla chips! You are my kryptonite.)
I sometimes indulge in tortilla chips at Saturday brunch, and they’ve never affected my sleep. But dang! Last night, I had trouble falling asleep at 10:00 – my usual, uneventful, welcome bedtime. Then I woke up at 2:30 a.m. with a growling stomach and thoughts racing around the idea track in my head. I used to have that experience all the time before I changed my diet. I’d write entire articles in my head, sing songs from beginning to end inside my noggin, plan a detailed to-do list… that kind of thing. It sounds vaguely useful but it’s not because there’s no rest involved. It’s just manic, dashing thoughts that repeat themselves until I give up on sleep and do something else. I read for about 90 minutes, until I felt sleepy. Then I realized that a 6:30 a.m., big-time aerobic workout was not going to be a good idea so I cancelled my slot in my class and wandered back to bed. I finally fell into fitful sleep around 4:00… until my alarm rang at 5:55 because in my corn-addled state, I forgot to flip the switch to off.
So I’m awake. Unrested. Puffy. Muddled. Workout-less. Hungry for real food. And wondering how many times I’ll repeat this particularly lame exercise before I remember that eating poison-food isn’t really fun anymore. I don’t feel food guilt, and I’m not falling into the “I’m so fat, and I’ll never be lean” pit of despair, but damn! this morning would be way better if I’d just eaten my beef fajitas without the chip intro.
Don’t eat corn tortilla chips
at dinner time.