BYE BYE FOOD NETWORK

One of my favorite pastimes is to park myself in front of the television and watch the Food Network. My friend calls it “food porn.”  I love to watch each chef prepare wonderful dishes and hope that some of their techniques might rub off on me.  So far that hasn’t really happened but I keep trying.  When something looks like I might be able to make it, I download the recipe and go shopping for the ingredients.  Then I try my best to make an edible dish.  Sometimes I succeed and sometimes not but watching these shows inspire me to try.

Also, when I watch, it is similar to my husband watching golf, I rest my eyes.  It is very relaxing to me.

Unfortunately, if I am really interested in changing my lifestyle and losing this excess weight, I am going to have to say good-bye to the majority of my Food Network friends.  This has been a hard decision to make but after watching this weekend it became clear to me that I will not stay on track if I continue to fantasize about food.  I can gain four or five pounds just watching this stuff on a good weekend.  Of course I do not just watch, I go through my kitchen looking for items that will duplicate what I end up craving. 

I love Paula Dean, I love everything about her.  She is fun and entertaining and everything she cooks looks fantastic.  Who doesn’t want those rich homey dishes cooked with tons of butter?  It isn’t only the deserts but also the main dishes and the side items.  When she brings her family members on the show and they cook together and share the love, WOW, it makes me want to cry.  That never happens in my kitchen.  John and I DO go to the garbage can together to dump our meal.   Our ride to the restaurant is usually full of lively discussion; I guess cooking does bring a couple together. 

Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” is another favorite of mine.  Guy Fieri takes us to some of the neatest places to see the specialties they create.  If you are a fan of the show you know what I mean.  You see everything from bar-b-que to gourmet.  Some things are outrageous, interesting and always fun.  I wanted to visit every one of the places I saw featured. 

And Giada De Laurentis, I didn’t want to like that skinny thing but I do.  Her food is always so lovely and yummy looking.  I made her rolled lasagna and it actually turned out good.  Have you ever noticed when she “serves” her meals, she takes a tiny little bite.  If I was able to do that I wouldn’t have this issue! 

I still plan to watch some of my other favorites like The Next Food Network Star and Chopped; I like both of these shows.  They rarely make anything that I would want to eat.  It is just fun watching the competition.  “Best Thing I Ever Ate” is not staying on the list.  This show takes a topic like bacon and then all the Food Network personalities tell us the food that they think is the best they ever ate in that category.  They take you to the actual establishment all over the country to actually show you this wonderful, usually sinful dish.  By the time the show is over I am about to jump in the fridge.  I never connected it until yesterday when my nurse asked me what kind of feeling I get when I watch.  I get a feeling of euphoria.  It is a drug to me.  I know that sounds weird but it’s true.

I still enjoy The Barefoot Contessa.  Ina Garten cooks a lot of wholesome stuff, not necessarily low cal but at least she focuses on home-made and fresh ingredients.  I have made a couple of her dishes that actually turned out well.  She makes a lot of deserts using the freshest of ingredients. Since deserts are usually the end of the show I might be able to tune out if I have any self-control left.  I am going to have to keep her on the caution list.

I know that Ellie Krieger used to have a show that features food that is healthy, low-fat and good for you. She teaches nutrition as she cooks.  I don’t know if it is still on but I am positive that I have a cookbook of hers in my closet.  I am pretty sure it was a gift from my sister.  There was a recipe for a salad made with raspberries that I wanted.  It was yummy.  I only made it once though. 

People might ask why I would give up what I seem to enjoy so much and I will tell you why.  I am ready to go to any length to accomplish my goal.  I have to give up the things that are not in my best interest.  I am not going to hang out in ice cream shops and I am not going to keep feeding the fire of desire for foods I should not eat. 

So bye-bye Giada, Paula, Guy and all the rest of you; I have loved every minute we have shared but I am going to be hanging out with Ina and Ellie.  I don’t plan to become best friends but it would be nice to share a cup of decaf tea with them every once in a while.

By the way, if you are interested in following my weight loss journey, visit my daily journal at www.waitforthemiracle.wordpress.com.  I welcome your comments and encouragement.  Failure is not an option!

GAS MILEAGE

Gas mileage has been a big issue in our house since we bought our new vehicle in October.  The sticker on the GMC Acadia said that the mileage would be 17 to 24 MPG in BIG LETTERS and underneath in small print it says “expected range for most drivers is 14 to 20 MPG.”  We have been averaging around 12. 

When I took the vehicle in for the routine oil change I asked why our mileage was so poor and my service agent said normally it was driving habits.  I am usually not satisfied with an answer that puts the blame squarely on me (since I am the principal driver). 

This vehicle is loaded with equipment we don’t even know how to use but we found the spot that shows your gas mileage all the time.  John had the car for the day and wouldn’t you know he got the mileage up to 14.7.  This is not a good thing for me because it reinforces what the dealer said.  Again, this does not make me the least bit happy.  Now I must have a driving lesson to teach me how he got so much more mileage.  Doggonit.

John explained what the tachometer was and if I can keep the red line under 2 it would save mileage; that is the key.  I always wondered why they put those things in cars, boys seem to be the only ones who really knew what they were for and I am not sure they didn’t pretend.

I am what you would call a jack-rabbit starter.  That stupid tachometer goes way past 4 and that is a big problem.  In order to keep it under 2 you really have to go S L O W.  I don’t care who you are, that is just plain embarrassing.  You cannot goose the gas at all or it goes over the 2.  (I never was a fan of the number 2, now I know why!  It is all SO clear!)

I rarely drive on the interstate.  Most of the trips I make are spent in stop and go traffic; three lane roads with no slower traffic to the right (if you know what I mean).  I zip in and out of traffic, safely, but zip none the less.  I was amazed to find out that zipping makes the tach go over 2 as well. 

My driving habits were horrible, the dealer was right.  I had to make a choice of driving the way I always do or changing my ways.  When I filled up the tank and the cost was $75.00, I knew what I had to do. 

Now you will find me in the first lane, putting along.  Slowly I pick up speed to reach the actual speed limit.  A road with many stop lights is miserable.  And no more jack-rabbit starts.  I have brought the mileage up to 14 once, and average around 13.7.  Not fantastic but it is better.  I am saving enough that I get one more day of driving out of a tank of gas. 

I will keep practicing and hope to improve even more.  I don’t have to watch the speed limit anymore because I rarely exceed it.  I try really hard to stay in the slow lane until it is time for me to turn so when you are behind me and frustrated with my speed, please give me a break.  I am doing the best I can.