I have, sitting on the shelf above my computer, a trio (family) of small-scale model horses. I've had the family for 38 years now. They haven't been played with in over 30 years, but they remain a reminder of fond memories, of good times with long-gone cherished family members. Silly, I know.
I remember playing with the horses on the floor of my great grandmother's dining room. I can smell the food, hear the adults (most of whom have passed away years and years ago), still picture the antique furnishings of a dwelling long gone. I can still see the old, oriental carpet of the dining room, in my mind. Those are the sorts of memories my little horse family bring back to me, details that would otherwise be lost, never having been recorded by photograph.
Food, the taste, the scent, the look ... they also trigger memories. That is perhaps why I have had (in years past) a difficult time sticking with a diet. I like the food I grew up with, or developed a taste for, in part because of my history with it. So many of our family gatherings centered around food. Traditions were passed down, techniques taught, love communicated ... all through food. It took me a long time to learn to loosen my grip on that particular aspect of food. I don't have to give up those things forever, but they have to become rare treats, not weekly habits. And, in shifting them to "occasional" status, they become even more precious to me! I learned it wasn't about giving up those triggers for fond memories, but placing them where they become more special and less damaging to me in the long-term.
We're creatures of habit, and changing habits can be tough. It isn't always a pleasant or easy process, but we learn something from it, don't we? So, for this Christmas weekend, I'm going to pick one traditional treat, have a taste of it (not go crazy ... a TASTE of it), and really relish all that it brings to me in flavor and texture and memories too. Then, I return from that momentary deviation, to what I've adopted as my regular diet. Oh yes, accounting for the calories, for sure, and adjusting for them! It is about working what we love most into a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. I'm thinking, small taste, limited quantity, short duration. This is what my plan is for Christmas. The rest, as they say, is gravy!
Today will be loaded with doctor appointments for Dad and hubby (post-op stuff). I wanted to be sure to post the salad, before the day got away from me.
As more and more people bow out for the Christmas holiday (fast-approaching!!), I wanted to wish ALL a Merry Christmas! I'll be signing off (probably) sometime on Thursday or early Friday, and will be back online on Monday. (And yes, I've already made arrangements with Allan about the weigh-in.)
It has been a pleasure to share the diet journey with this group of fellow-bloggers these last 5 months, and I look forward to a very successful 2011 for us all. The promise of a fresh start in a new year is just around the corner. Let's make it our best year and make those goal weight wishes a reality!
The salad today is called "high end" salad, because it tastes rich. It has all the decadence of flavor, without all the added calories. This is a good "Sunday brunch" style of salad. The play of tarragon, egg, leeks and capers are amazing together.
12 DAYS OF SALADS
4 eggs, hard-boiled but not overcooked (no green around the yolks, folks)
10 oz. broccoli
2 small leeks, about 10 oz. total
tarragon sprigs, for garnish
4 TB lemon juice
2 TB olive oil
2 tsp. honey (or other appropriate sweetening agent)
1 TB capers, drained
2 TB tarragon, chopped
Salt & Pepper, to taste
Cut broccoli into florets and thickly slice the stems. Trim, slit and wash the leeks and cut them into thick slices. Cook broccoli for 2 minutes, add the leeks, and continue cooking for 2 more minutes. Drain. (Do NOT overcook.)
Meanwhile, make the dressing by mixing together all the sescond list of ingredients in a big salad bowl. Salt and pepper to taste.
Cool the eggs for proper handling (in a cold water bath). Remove, take off the shells and rough-chop the eggs.
Add the broccoli and leeks to the dressing bowl, toss. Then, add the chopped eggs. Garnish with sprigs of tarragon and serve warm (traditionally with thick artisian bread). Serves 4.
Thanks for the SSDDDY Rockin' Award, Allan! I've added this (below) to my Awards page ... Congrats to all the gals who "rocked the scale" (so far) in Phase III of the SSDDDY Challenge!