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Portion Ponderings

on June 6, 2012

Nineteen weeks post-op today.  Wow.  It feels like so much of my life has changed in less than five months.  I don’t mean just the weight loss, although losing over 80 pounds in this time is a major change to be sure.  I feel so much healthier mentally and emotionally, too.  The changes there have not come as easily as the physical, and they are definitely ongoing.  Most likely, I’ll always need to work on them so that I don’t backslide or relapse.

I’ve blogged about eating out before, but I’m really feeling the topic tonight again.  It’s Wednesday and I’ve eaten out three nights out of the last four.  Sunday evening I had dinner with friends who got married earlier in the day.  Last night and tonight I was out with my visiting nephew and his girlfriend.  Restauranteurs, if you’re reading this, I’m flat out serious about that need for petite plate versions of your entrees.  I learned from a friend of mine who has experience in restaurants that this would probably never work in a smallish market like the Keys, unfortunately.  There wouldn’t be enough demand to make the venture financially feasible.  New York City, maybe.  Something to do with the cost basis of an entree, how many have to be sold for profit, etc.  From my perspective, this is a real shame.

Sunday night, I ordered a filet mignon which was served with a baked potato and haricots vert.  A salad was served first, of which I ate a couple of bites.  Had I not, I would have eaten more of the filet, which was very tasty in a shallot-peppercorn demi-glace.  Suffice it to say that I boxed what I didn’t eat.  That filet lasted me for three meals, the last being today’s lunch.  Even three times weren’t enough for me to finish the green beans and potato.

Last night, the restaurant had an extensive list of appetizers, but most of them were seafood-based or deep-fat fried something — including fried cheese risotto.  I really didn’t want to order a full size meal, but ended up not having any choice.  I went with a Cobb salad, topped with two big pieces of tender grilled chicken.  I took my time and ate a few bites of the chicken with some of the very crisp bacon and blue cheese for variety — dipping lettuce and chicken in a balsalmic vinaigrette.  It didn’t take much to satisfy me and I loaded the vast majority of the meal into a to-go box.

Tonight we went to a family favorite restaurant in town to satisfy barbeque cravings.  Folks, when baby back ribs are on the menu, it’s time to offer full racks, half racks and quarter racks, please.  The half rack, which pre-surgery I would have had no problem polishing off, looked to my eyes like it had come from a mammoth.  Three or four of the ribs, a quarter of the steamed corn and a couple of eggplant fingers and I was full.

If restaurants ever don’t have To-Go boxes, I’m in trouble.

To be honest, I still enjoy going out for dinner.  Everything I order tastes really good, and that’s important.  I eat too little to torture my taste buds with boring, unsatisfying food.  Instead of complaining about the huge portions that make up a typical entree, perhaps I should just rejoice that I can really make the most out of a dining-out budget and flavor-fest since I end up getting three to four meals out of every one that I order and buy.

In other ponderings, I never received anything more than an auto-response form email from Food Network acknowledging that I’d written.   That said, if at any time Food Network premiers a show called Small Bite Wonders, remember you heard it from me first.  I talked about it with my nephew.  He suggested that I could host one.  I’m not a knowledgeable enough cook to sustain a show, but if they had picked out another chef to create the dishes, I could definitely talk to him/her about the food, the needs of the bariatric surgery eater, and other relevant things.  Then, of course, I could be the designated taster — as long as we stayed away from seafood.

I’m still trying to teach myself to like seafood, but early results are not promising.  While away in Boston, I sampled a small bite of my brother’s shrimp.  It was okay.  Last night, my nephew and his girlfriend shared grilled hogfish snapper over Caesar salad and a dish called Volcano snapper — grilled yellowtail snapper topped with a scallop and crab cream sauce.  I first tried a small bite of the yellowtail.  The first instant of chew wasn’t bad, but as soon as the flesh really hit my taste buds, I experienced the typical, shuddering, “eww yuck” reaction.  After a drink of water,  I moved onto the hogfish.  I have friends who claim that hogfish is their  favorite of all of the snapper varieties.  Truthfully, it was mild, not “fishy”, and a little firmer in texture.  This time I didn’t physically shudder or feel my stomach clench in pre-nausea.  Progress?   Umm, ehh, well — let me get back to you on that, okay?

I have to admit that this is more than a little frustrating.   I was sure that I could retrain my palate if I just opened up my willingness and tried.  I would like nothing more than to one day take a bite of deliciously prepared, fresh fish and light up at the flavor the way that I do with foods that I love.  I’m not quite willing to give up the experiment, but it’s discouraging that my tests so far have not yielded promising results.

Maybe I should try lobster again, or something like scallops that I’ve never tried before.   Any suggestions?

Have any of you successfully taught yourselves to eat and enjoy something that you previously didn’t like?  If so, how did you do it?

 

 

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7 responses to “Portion Ponderings

  1. Mary Stella says:

    Thanks for all of the sharing. Maybe I’ll try scallops or salmon next. Surely there must be one seafood item that won’t make my stomach curdle. *sigh*

  2. lunarmom says:

    I have my seafood faves (see Skye’s comments about salmon; I could LIVE on Dungeness crab alone) the rest I do not generally like. And no, never had any luck trying to change the items I just can’t stand. Like onions. Nope, no way no how. Everything about them is bad.

    Dan is like you though, he continues to try foods he’s not fond of to see if a different variety or preparation will help. Except for mushrooms. He won’t touch ’em. Says that anything found in the same family as athlete’s foot should not be eaten. 😉
    Julie

  3. Skye says:

    I love salmon because I love the taste and the firmness. But it has to be wild-caught. I don’t trust or like farmed. It’s not the same.

    And since seeing a picture of a Gulf-caught shrimp with a mass of tumors inside of it —bought at a grocery story — I’m off shrimp for awhile because most of it comes from the Gulf. in fact, I’m off all Gulf seafood for the time being.

    I’ve tried sashimi, but cannot handle the texture of uncooked fish. The tuna was the most acceptable, but still nothing my stomach wanted more of.

    I do love scallops, when they are fully cooked, tilapia, and catfish.

    But salmon wins hands down and that’s when I really miss the Pacific NW is when I want salmon.

  4. I’m not going to be much help since I love seafood – most fish, although not bluefish, most shellfish – LOVE oysters! – but then lobster and scallops are lower down the list. My absolute top favorite is fresh wild Alaskan salmon from this time of year and fresh crab. Mmmmm.

    I’ll often just get an appetizer for dinner, or an appetizer and salad, or a salad and soup. I get ribs last weekend, which were delicious, and ate four of them (should have stopped at three) and brought 10? or so home for my husband to eat the next day when he came home really hungry from the boy scout canoeing trip.

  5. Mary says:

    Scallops are not fishy tasting at all (although they can smell fishy if not fresh). I think they are milder tasting than shrimp. Swordfish can be nice (sometimes it’s a little fishy to me), but like a lot of larger fish you have to be concerned about mercury. I wouldn’t eat it often. Tilapia is very mild/not fishy tasting.

    I don’t like fish much, only the least fishy tasting ones. I eat shrimp, crab, and scallops fine. Lobster always looks like it will taste so good, but I’m ho-hum about it when I try it. Fried calamari is good, but then it’s fried, so not the greatest choice.

    Egads

  6. Hope says:

    I don’t really eat seafood anymore, but even when I did I was not a big fan. I did, however, like swordfish an awful lot. It’s much less fishy tasting than most fish. At least it is to me.

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