out your diet books, I have solved your weight loss problems! My groundbreaking
solution? Eat less.
Nutters have been reading my Cook Islands culinary complaints for months now so
what I’m about to confess may come as a shock. No doubt, the food here is
abysmal. Taro? Delicious if you like food that has the texture and flavour of
slightly thickened Elmer’s White Glue. The mangoes are world class, when
they’re in season, same with pineapples and starfruit, but woman cannot live by
fruit alone. I used to wait for the supply ship with a hope bordering on
obsessive, “Maybe this month there’ll be something new!”, but no more. I’ve
come to face the reality that white bread, coke, tinned corned beef, and meat
pies are the staples of the Cook Islander’s diet.
For months, I dreamt of the day I’d return to Canada and
gorge myself on Thai food, fresh broccoli, Panago Tropical Hawaiian pizza,
Martha’s Greek cooking, Kozy’s everything, Indian, Italian, Mexican, you name
it. (I even had fantasies of a McDonald’s Big Mac and fries – tell no one about
this). My trip to civilization would be a return to the world of flavour. I
pictured myself walking around for two weeks with some delicacy always being
stuffed in my mouth. But something odd has happened.
Oh, this is hard to talk about. Give me a moment.
OK, due to the pitiful grocery selection here, a sort of “food
malaise” settled over me. I’d go to the shelf, hungry, look at the meager
selection, sigh, and walk away. Combined with heat that tends to sap one’s
appetite, not to mention work days that often find me so busy I don’t remember
to eat lunch until it’s already dinner time, my caloric intake shriveled to
Poor Helmi, when she came to visit, I forgot that normal
people actually eat lunch and more than a few times she had to gently remind me
that she was hungry and was it alright if she made a sandwich? Sorry for that
But while my stomach shrank my energy level began to
soar. I’ve begun waking up…friends, brace yourselves…early. I’m talking “before
sunrise” early. Yes, me, the girl who used to joke that she didn’t know there
were two six o’clocks in the day. I wake up – BING – and I’m ready to go. Prez
is still sawing logs and I’m already drinking tea and typing away. I know what
you’re thinking but I haven’t cracked, I haven’t gone bush, I just have more
energy. Way, way more energy. It’s very wrong but I’m getting addicted
And though I’m not overweight, even when I am stuffing my
gullet and sleeping until noon, unnecessary pounds have vanished from my frame.
Scales have never held much attraction for me – muscle weighs more than fat,
remember that ladies – so I have a pair of pants, made of a completely
non-stretch material, I use as my yardstick to tell if I need to take a break
from the potato chips I pack away once a month (ladies, you know what I’m
talking about). These pants are now very, very loose. This is no small event
given that I have a derrière rivaling James Brown’s. Yep, baby got back.
Here’s an average day’s menu:
Breakfast – Bengal tea and two slices of multi grain toast
Lunch – sometimes none but often just a few pieces of
Dinner – very small portion of whatever Prez cooks. (2
pieces of tuna, rice, and salad, for example)
Snacks – minimal, maybe a piece of cheese or a few
Desserts – occasionally a small bowl of ice cream or some
So here I am, lean and mean, and I love it. To quote Mr.
Brown, “I feel good!” No surprise, I’ve known for years that eating less is one
of the keys to health. In fact, an excerpt from Science Daily says, “For
nearly 70 years scientists have known that caloric restriction prolongs life.
In everything from yeast to primates, a significant decrease in calories can
extend lifespan by as much as one-third.” One third? That’s a heck of a lot
more life! But when there’s lots of yummy, scrummy, tasty treats at one’s
fingertips what’s a girl to do?
The question is: now that I’m feeling the effects of
minimal consumption, what will I do when I head north for my visit in October?
Hmmmm. Honestly, the thought of feeling full and tired and bloated, no matter
how delicious the fare, leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Spring rolls or spring
out of bed in the morning? Full tummy or full of life? Super size or just plain
Well, dear Nutters, I have come to the conclusion that while
I will still partake of BC’s fine food offerings, the portions will remain
small, tiny in fact. Of course, I will still be free to satisfy my darker
needs…and by “darker” I refer to chocolate – nectar of the gods.
Oh, and martini’s. Lots and lots of martinis.
Instead of binging, I will focus my new energy on
connecting with what I really miss most, namely friends and family. And
shopping. (Don’t tell Prez about the shopping part though, he’s already in a
cold sweat picturing me and my Visa alone in the big city).
So there’s my guilty secret, laid bare for all the world
– well, a small segment of the world – to see. Go on then, laugh.
QUESTION: Is less more?
Until next week, I hope this finds you healthy, happy
& lovin’ life!