Having visitors usually means adding a pound or two to the scale. Not that I own a scale. In fact, I only see my weight a couple times a year: once when I visit the doctor and the other when I visit my mom. But I can tell weight gain by the fit of my jeans and the rolls on my stomach. Some things we just know.
A week of visitors meant an extended period of eating more than usual. And not that Connie, Nina and I were decadent, not at all. But still, there was wine, cheese and bread on a near-daily basis and other little treats like chocolate and macarons (I had to initiate the young one!).
The kicker, however, was Friday—it had nothing to do with Connie and Nina and my thinly veiled excuse to eat more, but, rather, it was another petit dej at work. We have these every two weeks, where three people bring in viennoiseries, fruit, juices, baguettes, jars of Nutella—the works—and we have enough food to feast on from 10 in the morning until departure time at 7 o’clock. This past Friday was particularly weird as the “breakfast” foods consisted of: cupcakes, brownies, m&m cookies, two boxes of chocolate-covered marshmallows, chocolate chip sweet bread and two brioche loaves, accompanied by an especially large jar of Nutella and regular-sized jar of Speculoos.
In case I’ve ever left any room for doubt, I am hopeless at times like this; utterly helpless in the presence of these sweet and chocolaty foods. Even though I would steal only a piece of cookie here and a slice of brownie there, that’s all I ate for eight hours: cookies, brownies, Nutella and cake… I had such belly bloat from all the refined sugar by noon that I should have been frightened, very, very frightened, but instead I kept going back for more. And it was all topped off with a giant bowl of pasta for dinner, which was delicious—Mel and I had dinner at Caffè dei Cioppi—but it was not exactly the smartest choice at the end of that gluttonous eating day. My belly bloat was beyond a polite woah-ho slow down, girl! look. It was disgusting, to say nothing of how carved out and empty I felt.
So I have nicked bread and pastries and anything filled with refined sugar and flour for the time being. Saturday, I had only whole foods like sliced mango, roasted chicken and cheese. Sunday turned into Vegan Sunday with couscous with roasted broccoli and sundried tomatoes, quinoa with asparagus, oranges and dates and more fresh fruit. And today will be a proper Vegan Monday. No bread. It's an order that's almost more difficult than no pastries.
But I already feel tons better: more energetic and lighter and healthier. It’s a sad and cruel truth, I fear: that we really are better off, the less we eat. I’d probably be a whole lot safer in a city like Manchester or Tbilisi.