"Humanity can be roughly divided into three sorts of people,
those who find comfort in literature,
those who find comfort in personal adornment,
and those who find comfort in food..."
Elizabeth Goudge in The Little White Horse
It's that time again to give you a report. Today I have been two months on this diet--I know, I was not going to call it a diet but rather an eating plan for the rest of my life where I did not eat sugar, white flour, white rice, diet sodas. But it feels like a diet, looks like a diet, so why haven't I lost those four pounds more needed to have a 15 pound weight loss so I can buy a lampshade? Not to mention more weight the doctor wants me to lose?
The lamp is still without a bonnet.
I have stuck faithfully to this new diet for two months and still have only lost 11 pounds. Oh, I got close to my second goal several times, two pounds away from my second reward of a lampshade for my new fish lamp. I focused on meals comprised of fish and vegetables.
And these became my surefire drop two pounds standbys because the plan I'm following says that dried beans are a diabetic's best friend, my homemade five bean salad and Cedar Lane's Quinoa Tabouli.
My bean salad tastes nothing like the horrible stuff that comes in a can or even what is sold at Whole Foods' counter.
It is delicious, whether you're dieting or not, full of fiber and packed with fresh vegetables.
I made Laurie Colwin's black bean soup. It sounded sophisticated when she wrote about it:
"I had my first taste of black bean soup on a cold winter Saturday
when I was sixteen years old.
"A friend, home for the holidays from a very glamourous college,
gave a lunch party and invited me.
Seated at her table, I felt that I--
mired in high school and barely passing geometry--
had died and entered a heaven in which people played the cello,
stayed up at night discussing Virginia Woolf,
saw plays by Jean-Paul Sartre,
and went to Paris for their junior years abroad."
These meals were tasty, I admit. But then I got to missing spaghetti. I missed my yummy recipe where I use Alessi's Fra Diavolo Arrabbiata Sauce. Yes, I know it's for pasta with seafood but I happen to love it in my spaghetti sauce. So I purchased the whole wheat pasta that I am, after all, allowed on this healthy eating plan/aka diet, and happily set the pot on to simmer all afternoon.
Why have I avoided using whole wheat pasta all my life? It was wonderful!
And still legal, according to the "plan," even with the dressing I made for the salad with no-sugar mayonnaise and red wine vinegar.
But guess what? Those two pounds were b-a-c-k. And it was so worth it.
Dear Miss Goudge, you are one of my favorite authors, but I am not one but two of your "three sorts of people." I would hazard a guess that few people find more comfort in literature than I do. Books, at different times of my life, have been my...
escape, salvation, joy, addiction, reward, comfort, motivation, encouragement,
friend, family, lover, challenge, consolation, means of armchair travel,
reason to get up in the morning and go to bed at night.
But there's no escaping the fact that I also find comfort in food. Will I ever see food as merely a means to stoke the body? Do I even want to feel that way? Shudders run up and down my spine at the very thought. No, when it comes time to stand up and be counted, I'll stand with two sorts of people.
With Miss Heliotrope, the governess who found comfort in literature, and with Wiggins, the dog--and I'm glad he was considered "people" by Miss Goudge--who found comfort in his food.
The third sort of people was Maria, Miss Heliotrope's young charge, who found comfort in personal adornment. I like pretty clothes as well as the next female, but, hey, they don't hold a candle compared with books and food to me.
Losing weight may take longer than I had planned but I do hope by the time the 12th of November rolls around that my fish lamp will have a lampshade. That is when I'll also go to my doctor to see if three months on this diet has helped my glucose report, which is more important than a lampshade.
Would you feel like telling me what sort of people you are? Are you a Miss Heliotrope, taking comfort in literature? Maybe you're a Maria, taking comfort in personal adornment? Or do you bark with Wiggins, taking comfort in your kibbles like our Brown Eyes and Katie Belle do? Or purr with pleasure like our Sammi Gayle does when her very expensive cat food gets topped off in her bowl?
I know that Elizabeth Goudge left out lots of categories, but if you had to fall into one or more of hers, which would it be?