ill wears the pants in the kitchen. He’s been eating the Specific Carbohydrate Diet before it became a hip thing to post #scdeats photo albums on Facebook. Through him and the food he prepares, I’ve been eating more healthily – minus the brunch and dinner dates I take with my “eating friends.” I’ve felt more energy, my skin has been better, and once you change how you eat, the rest of your lifestyle follows: My spending in skin care, hair care, and dance classes has increased. I’m “taking care of myself” for a better life (not so much in the way that women in the Hamptons are like “I only accept $200+ face oil because I like to take care of myself.”).
What the news sites purport is true: Gluten-free diets are on the rise.
It’s also true that if you spontaneously decide to cut out gluten and carbs, you crave them less.
It’s all true. Because we are all addicted. Gluten, grain, and carbs are all staples because the American diet is addicted to them. That cozy, lovey food coma you get after snarfing down that plump Curry Up Now burrito? It is because the GGCs mentioned above (by the way I just made up that acronym – I am not a nutritionist.) grow with the natural design to attack our bodies and make us pass out. Downing glasses of wine, juice, water during meals dilutes the proportion of digestive acid in our stomachs, slowing down our metabolisms and also, in turn, making us pass out.
Though I’m long overdue in reading all the legit literature Bill has researched to improve his quality of life, I know all of this to be true. I’ve accepted it as much as enjoying my GGCs and drinks during meals in moderation.
I still luh me some chicken dip.
Having been eating fairly healthily for months (I think), I’ve been feeling great. Made some life changes. Got my groove back (still a very important resurrection to me). I got my shit under control. Then the Super Bowl came.Five years ago, Bill and his East Coast friends moved to the Bay Area, and I had my first Americana Super Bowl party. It changed my life. I didn’t know shit about football. I still don’t. But my jaw fell to the flo’ when I had Derek’s buffalo chicken dip. It has cheese and Frank’s Red Hot and chicken. CHICKEN IN THE DIP. How bananas is that. Already a meal on its own, and then you’re conditioned and encouraged to pile it on top of corn-based (also bad for you) tortilla chips. (Notice I haven’t mentioned the dangers of dairy yet!) There is so much food at Super Bowl parties. How come I didn’t jump on this bandwagon before? It’s sinful snacking and it’s so perfect I don’t mind using the alliterated cliche. The Super Bowl became my favorite holiday based on food alone.
This last Super Bowl was bad. I couldn’t give two toots about the 49ers (though I did rock an amazing gold-and-red outfit the day of), and I was largely unmoved by couch potatoes’ armchair pundit responses to Beyonce’s intense facial expressions. She was one woman performing to an entire stadium, she has to project! What do you expect of multi-platinum performers?
It’s the spread that really did me in. My stomach has shrunken since July. Whereas I used to eat everything on my plate, I regularly need a doggy bag for the remaining half of my lunch. It’s still alarming to me. But then the 49ers made it to the Super Bowl emitting a sprinkle of local pride in the air, Meg and Clay (and Ackbar) opened up their house for viewing the game, and Derek RSVPed – so I knew there’d be buffalo chicken dip. I was ready to gorge myself. I skipped breakfast just so I could consume more chips and more dip.
I. Ate. Alot. I also drank beer, which makes this reference to Hyperbole and a Half painstakingly poignant. (I was never a huge beer drinker. Even before Bill’s grain-free diet, I was convinced it was a cheap addiction that would only make me fat. My coworkers regularly try to convince me otherwise.)
I had dip. I had pizza. I had another type of dip. I had grilled asparagus wrapped in bacon. I had a chicken slider. I had chips with all my dips. I had dates stuffed with goat cheese. I had Snickers Ice Cream Cake in the shape of a football. I had two more slices of Snickers Ice Cream Cake in the shape of a football:
I was a disgusting, will-powerless excuse of a human being. I knew it was all bad for me, but I figured it was a citywide party focusing on a national pastime and isn’t the underlying spirit of all athletics universal brotherhood and sportsmanship (and why aren’t they sisterhood and sportswomanship) so really all my jovial eating was in the spirit of global harmony? Even if you don’t believe I was guided solely by visions of international altruism, I’m Asian. To not eat all the foods prepared at this smorgasbord would be downright rude.
I am not surprised, then, that ever since the Blackout Bowl, the cravings for carbs, grain, gluten, dairy, American processed cheese food flavoring, and corn-based products have been pulsing through my veins. I can feel them. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve succumbed to Cup Noodles. I’ve eaten slightly more than I usually do. I bought five boxes of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese from Target because they were on sale in the endcap: Five for $5. I live in walking distance from a Trader Joe’s, and I couldn’t even control my urges to wait for some Annie’s Organic instead. I even went up a couple pounds.
Basically I relapsed. The thought of cheddar cheese coursing through my system sounds…delicious. But then OMIGOD how gross would be that be? But also how jolly would I feel. Jolly because I’m addicted just like you and I are addicted, and I’d have the drug of falsified food attacking my body and satiating my cravings at the same time. Like a backhanded compliment. Like a sunburn. That also makes you fat and sleepy.
So if I turn down your invite for fried chicken and waffles, it is not because I don’t love the idea. It is only because I’m only allowing myself those things in true moderation, as opposed to the daily gluttonous racket I’ve been running. Text me on my Cheat Day, and we’ll wild out.