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Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Problem With Indulgences: Part 2

The news media, and the medical community, continually say that if you experience chest and arm pain simultaneously, you should go to see your doctor immediately. So when I experienced these, along with the other symptoms I described in the previous post, I went to see a doctor. Based on the symptoms I described, he didn't think I was in danger of having a heart attack. But he ran a few tests, just to make sure.

One of the questions he asked was: Had I felt bloated with gas? Another was: Had I noticed any acid reflux? While I had noticed a little gas, I had not suffered from the acid reflux. But then, in the weeks that followed the doctor's visit, acid started backing up into my throat, bringing with it a bad taste, but even making it difficult to talk.

Researching the causes of acid reflux can be worrying. Many of the foods and drinks I enjoy can provoke the condition. But two lifestyle factors can also contribute: eating large meals, and lying down soon after eating. If you think about it, the one can lead to the other. Eating large meals leaves me feeling weighed down and lethargic, which makes me want to lay down and rest until the food digests. How about you? Do you ever feel like you need to take a nap after a meal? 

Thankfully, I've found I haven't needed to cut down on any of the food or drinks I enjoy. Instead, I've concentrated on portion sizes. So in the last few weeks, while I've eaten smaller meals, the gas and acid have, in large part, gone away. 

A Moco Loco (Rice, Beef, Egg, & Gravy)
from the L&L Hawaiian Barbecue in Kauai.


I imagine that everyone should periodically assess what they eat, as well as how much they eat at any particular time. As for myself, I'm trying to cut back on the situations that will encourage me to consume a large amount of calories at one sitting. I need to remember that not-filling-my-plate led to a slimmer figure, and never left me bloated or regurgitating acid. 

Also, when I got full, such as in the cases I've mentioned previously, those big meals left me feeling lethargic. Meals should recharge our batteries, and leave us ready to pursue out next adventure. Not leave us feeling like we need to crawl into a cave and hibernate for a few hours.

Great dining experiences should help us lead better lives, not bog us down and limit our activity.

Dragon Dave

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Problem with Indulgences: Part 1

When we travel to England, the hotels we stay in usually offer a free breakfast. So we fill up on breakfast, eat a decent lunch, and then go light for dinner. Here I am in Thirsk back in 2012, having breakfast before venturing off to explore the adopted town of James Herriot, which he calls Darrowby in his books. 

As you can see, I had a plate of eggs, bacon, and mushrooms, along with toast and tea. 

My wife opted for yogurt and oatmeal (which they call porridge), along with fruit, tea and toast. When it arrived, she helped remove all the bones from my kippers. The bones are just so tiny, so hair-thin, that she could see the fish bones better than I could.

All this good food left us feeling stuffed in the morning, and a little lethargic. But it didn't stop us from exploring "The World of James Herriot," (a museum housed in the building in which he lived and worked), and other notable Herriot sites. 

This year in Hawaii, I noticed that my sinuses felt plugged, and I had to breath through my mouth more. This made my voice hoarse. I also felt a little pressure in my chest, which worried me. When we returned home, these problems persisted. Catching a cold shortly after returning home didn't help matters. Finally my arm started hurting. My upper arm ached, as if I had pulled a muscle. Pins and needles descended into my lower arm, making my hand constantly want to fall asleep.

At this point, I finally gave in, and went to go see a doctor.

Dragon Dave

Friday, July 15, 2016

On Indulgences: Part 4

Back in April, my wife and I vacationed in Hawaii. We stayed on the west coast of Maui. One of the places we dined was the Hula Grill. It's located in a shopping center next to a hotel, and the open air dining area looks out over the ocean. In fact, a boat dropped off a large number of snorkelers while we ate.

As we've been there before, we opted for some old favorites. In my case, it was a chicken sandwich, with thick pieces of focaccia bread, and seasoned fries. I only ate half my sandwich, and gave some to my wife (and took a few back to the hotel to enjoy later with my other half-sandwich). Then we selected a dessert to share.

Our choice was another old favorite. It's called the Ice Cream Sandwich. They take a layer of chocolate cake, place a thick slice of dense, rich vanilla ice cream on top, then cap it with another slice of cake. They drizzle caramel sauce on top of that, and surround it with some raspberry sauce. A dollop of whip cream finishes off the dessert.

Had we left after eating only half our meals, we would have been satisfied. But after sharing the Ice Cream Sandwich, we were stuffed. We wandered around the shopping mall for awhile, then headed back to our hotel. I don't think we did much the rest of the day. But then, I suppose one of the reasons one goes to Maui is to do nothing much, at least part of the time.

Dragon Dave

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

On Indulgences: Part 3

As I mentioned in an earlier piece, I recently attended the regional assembly for the denomination of my youth. This was held on the campus of a university associated with the church denomination. The promised coffee cake and pastries didn't arrive in the morning. Instead, servers were setting out pieces of cake from the previous night's gathering, along with coffee and tea. Regardless of how much I enjoy the sheet cakes they sell in the stores (with all the buttercream frosting), I resisted the impulse to eat a second piece. But I was still hungry after my "breakfast," so I had a few candies and chocolates from the various presentation tables outside the sanctuary.

After the morning service/meeting, we headed over to the cafeteria. While the kitchen offered a wide variety of entries, they were arrayed at various, separate, stations. The kitchen was only open for an hour, and suddenly they had hundreds of people pouring in. So we had to make selections quickly, getting into the right line, etc, and grab what seemed most appealing. I opted for a plate of salad, a hamburger, and a couple big cookies. As it turned out, I couldn't eat the cookies. I was too full.

After the afternoon session, we had more of a break before dinner. But again, we had to wait until the kitchen opened. By the time it did, a long line had formed. So it was more crowded than before, and what we wanted was substituted for what we could get without waiting in too long a line. So I ended up with a gyro, and another salad. 

I had selected a brownie with cream cheese frosting. While we ate, my wife, who had selected a piece of chocolate cake, suggested that I save the brownie for later, and have the cake with ice cream. Well, ice cream always sounds good to me.

There's something about eating in such one-price-for-everything places that induces an "I've got to get my money's worth," mentality. That's the only way I can explain my madness. I mean, two plates full of food, and then a full bowl of cake and ice cream. And then, because I hadn't yet tried the chocolate ice cream, I went back for a bowl of that.

I had a great time in the dining hall at the denomination gallery, but man, was I stuffed afterward!

Dragon Dave

Friday, July 8, 2016

On Indulgences: Part 2

Recently, my mother and a friend treated us to dinner in the recently remodeled Chicken Dinner Restaurant at Knott's Berry Farm. The meal, which my wife and I split, started with salad (we largely skipped the dressing), and rhubarb in a cherry sauce.

For a vegetable, we chose the steamed cabbage, the lowest calorie option. Along with this, we also helped ourselves to a plate of biscuits, along with butter and boysenberry jam.

(Oh, they also brought us a side of garlic butter. We didn't touch that).

For our main course, we chose the grilled chicken breast, and the mashed potatoes and gravy. Then, to finish off the meal, we requested a slice of boysenberry pie.

Oops! Too slow!
The food was great, and given the options, I think my wife and I made the sensible choices. Afterward, we walked around Knott's Berry Farm, I felt no desire to ride anything else, or even do anything. We had pleasant memories of our dinner in the Chicken Dinner Restaurant. But man, did I feel stuffed.

Did I mention that we split the meal!?!

Dragon Dave

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

On Indulgences: Part 1

How can I choose just one?
I want them all!

(The Candy Parlor at Knott's Berry Farm).

A while ago, my wife and I spent a weekend at a woman's house. Knowing we liked Panera Bread, she suggested that we go there the following morning for breakfast. She mentioned she especially liked the little quiches they served. Her offer of a breakfast at Panera Bread tantalized us, as we usually went there for lunch, and we awaited the following morning's breakfast with great anticipation.

We awoke the following morning to the smell of muffins baking. By the time we had dressed, the muffins were sitting on a cooling rack, and the woman was cooking eggs on the stove. My wife and I looked at each other in surprise. "I guess we're not going to Panera Bread," I whispered to her. 

"I guess not," my wife responded.

Soon we were seated at a table, with a bowl filled with of scrambled eggs, a plate of freshly baked muffins, a selection of marmalade, jams, jellies and honey, and a bowl of sliced fruit. Accompanying all this was milk, juice, and hot tea to drink. Despite the heaping portions arrayed before us, I was still uncertain as to the woman's intentions regarding her suggested morning stop at Panera Bread. My wife and I took small, measured portions of the food she had prepared for us. She continually encouraged us to eat more, until we relented, and filled our stomaches with the delicious breakfast she had prepared.

A short while later, we got into the car, to accompany her on her errands. As she drove, she announced that we visit Panera Bread after her first stop. What? Now? Um...right. Much as we would have enjoyed trying the promised quiche, or indulging in a tasty pastry, we had no room in our stomaches for more food then. So we told her politely that she had satisfied us with wonderful breakfast, and suggested that, if it was okay with her, we stop there for lunch instead.

After a number of errands, which involved much more driving than she had represented to us, we arrived at Panera Bread for lunch. We were tired out by the drive, and I felt a little car sick. So we were glad to enter the cool restaurant, and enjoy at one of our favorite places. But the woman we had opted to spend the weekend with glared and frowned at me throughout the meal, as if I were to blame for spoiling her day. She spoke little, and acted as if we had dragged her into her least favorite restaurant, even though we bought her what she claimed was her favorite sandwich. 

Apparently, I had ruined her day. Somehow...

Dragon Dave