Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Fat Tuesday (and Wednesday, and Thursday)

Never fear. This is not about to become a health food blog or a weight loss blog. But Mama's turning 40 this summer and the old gray mare, she ain't what she used to be.

(When I was in school, I worked in the kitchen of a retirement community. From time to time, my duties included serving Sunday dinner in an assisted living portion of the campus. At these times I became acquainted with A Woman of a Certain Age who managed to work the phrase "the old gray mare, she ain't what she used to be" into every conversation we had as she followed me about the dining hall after the meal. When I used it just now, I imagined myself, white-haired and wheelchair-bound, coasting around behind the kitchen help, telling her of Days Gone By.)

As I've approached 40, I've put on some weight. When I tried to get into my winter clothes this past fall, I realized that my weight had reached a number I'd never seen before, not even on the delivery dates of my children. And the comfortable pants size was one that had never been in my closet before, not even post-partum.

I gained weight simply by aging. I hadn't increased my food intake or decreased my activity. I tried cutting out soda pop and kept gaining weight. I took up running and kept gaining weight. I was pretty frustrated.

OK, I've already given this topic a higher word count than it deserves. Look, my mom was 5'10" and wore a size 13 shoe - we're of corn-fed, country stock. I've never been petite nor prideful about my smallness. But I desire to be as healthy as possible for as long as possible and to set a responsible example for my kids. I've got to stop cooking as though I'm feeding farmhands.

Even though it feels more like lunch and not the kind of evening family meal I'm accustomed to, I've begun to incorporate more meals like this into the menu rotation. It's a nice, healthful, low-carb wrap with plenty of ingredients so that everyone may combine flavors and textures that they enjoy.

I usually provide lots of worthy ingredients like shredded chicken breast, onion, lettuce, sweet peppers and chiles. On another occasion, I had a leftover sweet potato, which I cubed and put in my wrap. I liked the spots of rich, warm sweet potatoes against the cool crunch of the lettuce and pepers. I put as much of these vegetables into my wrap as I want.

I offer some fats, too, but I measure my portions and count my calories. I might sprinkle a tablespoon of cheese and use a schmear of sour cream or guacamole along one edge of the wrap to seal it shut.

When I counted up my portions, I had a meal that satisfied me in about 400 calories.


  1. oh dear. I so do NOT want to hear that old age is going to make me fat. I love food! I want a lazy walk to suffice as exercise for as long as possible!
    I'm turning 36 in hmmmm 2 weeks. ack. I think my jeans have been getting tight (that's how I tell - I don't have a scales).

    I'm going to start working "the old gray mare" into every conversation. heh.

  2. Oh Margo, old age may not make you fat. It just has made me fat. Perhaps you have better genes at work.

    And... in about 6 ounces, I will have lost about 10 pounds since the new year. Yay!


I write my posts imagining that I am already in the middle of a conversation with you. I hope you will comment and be a part of the conversation.