In 1989, Joanne Palmer left a publishing career in Manhattan and has missed her paycheck ever since. She is a mom, weekly columnist for the Steamboat Pilot & Today, and the owner of a property management company, The House Nanny. Her new book "Life in the 'Boat: How I fell on Warren Miller's skis, cheated on my hairdresser and fought off the Fat Fairy" is now available in local bookstores and online at booklocker.com or amazon.com.
Steamboat Springs Today, I ate whatever I wanted. Happiness! I started the day with French toast made with lemon-white chocolate bread dipped in egg batter and grilled to perfection in butter. Butter makes anything taste good, but this was decadently delicious. A good friend of mine, who is wildly persuasive, convinced me to buy it at the Mainstreet Farmers Market. She was right. It makes unbelievable French toast.
I’ve come to the startling realization that I spend an alarming amount of time thinking about food. If I drew a pie chart of my brain’s activity, I would have to devote the largest sliver to family, especially to my son. Then there’s exercise, friends and social life. That’s followed by work, bills and mortgage. Somewhere on the chart is highly intellectual activity, like thinking about why Katie Holmes really left Tom Cruise, how long Kim Kardashian and Kanye West will last and why Ralph Lauren thought it would be a good idea to make the U.S. Olympic team outfits in China. And then comes food, food and more glorious food. When to eat, what to eat, where to eat, how much to eat. My goodness, no wonder I find it so nearly impossible to clean the house or fold the laundry.
Let’s just say that you spend 15 minutes each day thinking about what to make for dinner. Fifteen minutes per day times 300 days of the year (I’m giving a generous allowance for eating out, eating at other people’s houses and relying on leftovers so you don’t have to cook) equals 75 hours per year thinking about food. Now, here is where the math gets complicated. If you are a full-blown chocoholic like me, you need to double that number because chocolate, especially Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, takes up a lot of brainpower. If my math is correct, I am wasting 150 hours each year thinking about food. If I’m not thinking about food, I am arguing with myself about it. Here is a sampling of the daily dialogue between my brain and my stomach.
Brain: Good morning, sunshine. It’s Monday! Time to get up and start the week off right with healthy eating. How about an egg white omelet loaded with veggies?
Stomach: Coffee. Now.
Brain: Now, you know you should have green tea — it’s loaded with antioxidants.
Stomach: Coffee. Now.
Brain: Alrighty, then. How about giving up half and half and using skim milk instead?
Stomach: Are you insane? I need a reason to get out of bed. And I know there’s some leftover lemon-white chocolate bread.
Brain: You need five servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
Stomach: I think the lemon in the bread fits into one of those groups.
Brain: Isn’t your cholesterol a little high?
Stomach: Only if the eyes put their reading glasses on to read the report. If not, everything is perfect.
Brain: Sigh. Hey, thighs, don’t you have something to say?
Thighs: We’re getting bigger. Your mouth is always complaining about our size.
Stomach: Hey, I rule the body, not you bozos.
Brain: Are you going to the gym today?
Stomach: It’s summer. She likes to exercise outside.
Brain: What about making some kale for dinner tonight?
Stomach: That stuff is green. Too much of a shock to my system. Throw some more of that lemon bread down the hatch.
Brain: I am tired of fighting with you.
Stomach: Me, too. Stop the brutal nagging. Switch over to the right side of the brain and remember, stomach rules, you guys drool.