Sunday, August 12, 2012

OFFICIAL WIFE: In Response to "The Hardest Fast"

My first, off-the-cuff, reaction was "I have a strategy that might work: Stay at home with your wife and andibals. As Official Wife, I promise to cook you tasty fast-safe foods."

If I linger on this common mood of Alex's, I want to say things like, "Ya big sissy." --but a wife, especially an Official Wife, should be loving and supportive of her husband. However, I'm not perfect-- oh, no not one of us is (name that verse!), and a husband provides a lifetime's worth of comedic material that becomes pretty irresistible when you don't leave the house much so here, for Alex's enjoyment, is *the world's smallest violin playing just for him*.

I have no idea if complaining about the fast is discouraged for Orthos, but I do so hate.. oh, lawdy, I just... don't say it... "There's nothing to eat..." Ugh. This is said with a look of hopelessness after a silent moment standing in front of the refrigerator with the door open. The church of Tina certainly discourages such comments. Wait, I have to have two folks to be a church? Dang. You can see I've given up on converting Alex. Any takers? The only requirement is that you have to be perfect-- oh, and not care that I'm not.

[Alex's edit: The Ortho church is in alignment with the to-be-formed Tina church on the complaining.]

This isn't a problem just for Orthos or even *gasp! There are others?* just for people who choose to follow a special diet, like diabetics or vegans, so I'll share what I've learned works-- so far.

I have developed pro-active strategies for decreasing the number of times, "There's nothing to eat," is said. The first was taught to me by Alex who learned from his mom. You have a calendar so you know when you won't be able to eat meat/dairy for a stretch. Eat everything up beforehand. You don't have to trash food. Food doesn't go bad. Food that you can't eat isn't there when you can't eat it. Simple.

The second is arranging the food in the fridge. If you're easily freaked out by order, stop reading here. *tilt head left*
*stay tilted*

I used a label maker that Alex got me for Christmas to label the shelves. He promptly decided he wouldn't read them, and we are experiencing an on-going issue of having beer put on the "Eat Me First" shelf.

In the first picture, below the second shelf, we have the meat/cheese drawer. Having it in the drawer is a way to hide it. Also, we the-other-four-letter-F-word-ed at grocery shopping for this fast because we bought a quart of yogurt the preceding Saturday. Below the meat/cheese drawer, is the "Tina Food" shelf which is short so you can only see what's right up front. Spinach, which Alex doesn't really like, is blocking the yogurt and things I shall not mention. Anything he can't eat, I try to put on this shelf. You see that I lowered the eggs from their usual position. I noticed that Alex bought a pound [Alex's edit: 2lbs] of bacon off-budget this week and that went into the cheese/meat drawer to be eaten, I presume, for breakfast next Thursday. Nice try, Alex, but Official Wife knows her fridge.

So that's our hiding part of the strategy. The other half is making sure he sees food that he wants to eat. The "Eat Me First" shelf is about eye height for Alex, and I put leftovers and ripe produce there. Pictured are last week's spring mix, leftover rice/Boca Thai thing (That was DELICIOUS!) and a sauce Alex made to put on crackers which are then topped with a cucumber slice. (More to come on that appetizer...)

The second shelf  "As You Please:" We have mushrooms in the bag, tofu thawing (mostly for me-- just a moment ago, Alex commented, "Stewed tofu, the perfect snack-- No one. Ever. Said," as I was packing some tofu in my lunch.), one Light Country Crock is actually as it appears, but the one in the fore has homemade salsa (tortilla chips in the cabinet). I cram some staples he can't eat (powdered buttermilk)  and some staples he can (active dry yeast is in the sour cream container) in the back. Olives (which he detests) are on top of the yeast, and the yogurt container on the left is full of ketchup. Can you tell we buy a lot in bulk? Nothing tempting, and if this picture were taken from a foot plus higher up, I don't think you'd see the buttermilk, even. (i.e. I don't think he sees it.) Totally not utilized in this photo, but worth a mention, are clear containers. So he doesn't "see" Country Crock, he sees salsa, for example.

Another tactic I employ is to brown bag his lunches, which I love! My attention over the past several years= Diet/Weight Loss->Bento->Cute Food->Lunches. He loves it when I put notes in his lunches, and I promise you, he eats better with less fuss if I pack him a lunch. I enjoy it. I get to create more than I can eat all on my own. You can bet a lunch post will be coming up.

You, my informed reader, are sure to know the question that follows the statement, "There's nothing to eat," so I'll address it straight-a-way.
  • Mustard Potatoes: Cube potatoes, toss in olive oil, roast, toss in Beaver's Sweet Hot Mustard
  • Southern Vegetable Dinner: mashed potatoes + two/three of the following w/ cornbread/biscuits optional: boiled green beans, corn w/ Country Crock Light and salt pepper, English peas from a can (I do not usually find canned foods affordable. However, English peas aren't grown in these parts. They do grow in these parts-- in the Spring-- they just aren't grown, y'know... the English thing, I guess.), purple hull peas (which Alex doesn't eat), butter beans (which Alex doesn't eat), okra (which Alex doesn't eat) --Can I say Damn Yankee?
  • Leftover Mashed Potatoes: You may need to add some liquid, but basically dump it in a small nonstick skillet and make 'em pancakes. Garnish with ketchup.
  • Vegetable Dinner: Congratulations! You have leveled up. Your options now include: steamed broccoli, full length green beans sauteed with olive oil+onion+red pepper flake, frozen Brussels sprouts warmed through
  • Steak/Bake Fries & Mixing Bowl Salad: Alex would eat this every meal during fasting times if I didn't intervene. I'm not sure if my intervention is positive, but I demand more challenging exercises than chopping potatoes and tomatoes in the kitchen.
  • Roasted Broccoli: Alex isn't a big fan, but if you haven't had roasted broccoli, you should totally try it. As a side note, cauliflower can be roasted and made into "mashed potatoes" for fewer calories and a load less carbs.
  • Tofu Fingers: Kinda on the level with fish sticks. Served with BBQ, honey mustard, and Asian Dressing.
  • Roasted Vegetables: think carrots, parsnips (kinda expensive), brussels sprouts, potatoes, corn on the cob, butternut squash (Carrots are quite affordable. If you have NOT had roasted carrots, I simply must insist. Today.)
  • Vegetable Kebab: mushrooms, bell pepper, onions --This is very low cal. Marinate and grill.

The lady that's part of the church, but not really-- and I'm quite comfy here

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