Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Productive Day

I've had an incredibly busy week at work, but what's funny is that the more I get done, the more I feel like doing.

That's how I felt today. After working non-stop on writing assignments all day, I was anxious to get home and relax. But once I got home, I felt like doing the BowFlex, so I did 20 minutes on that while watching GLEE. I got in a good workout and was surprised to learn that I could do the leg exercises with the 30 pound rods! I was tempted to try 50 pounds, but didn't want to overdo it. Still, this is great news that my leg has gotten so strong.

After, I completed my PT stretches with a resistance band and then spent the next two hours working on jewelry designs. I feel like I got a lot accomplished tonight and save for when I ate dinner, none of the other activities had anything to do with food.

I'm getting a bit frustrated because my weight loss has definitely slowed down. When I began standing and walking again after being off of my feet for so many weeks, the weight practically melted off of me. My body was in such shock from merely moving that I dropped pounds more quickly than I ever have before. But now that I'm more or less back to normal, that shock value is gone. I know that I have to amp it up.

I'm still not up to walking long distances, but I'm now taking the bus both way, which means that I'm getting in about 30 minutes of walking just traveling around the city. I've been doing the BowFlex again so that I can build muscle and get a full body workout. I like to do a circuit and move from one exercise to another so that I can raise my heart rate. I actually did manage to break a bit of a sweat this evening. I'm also doing my PT routine, which involves stretches and those standing leg exercises. Frankly, I don't feel as if I'm getting much out of those anymore; the resistance band feels like a toy compared to the BowFlex leg exercises and I can breeze through the standing leg routine with almost no effort. Still, they instructed me to do these things at least every other day, so I'll continue doing them until I'm told to stop.

I'd like to find some more low-impact, easy exercises to do while my leg continues to recover. Does anyone have ideas? I'm thinking that we should get an exercise bike, but I'm open to other suggestions.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Bad Idea

For the past week, I've been trying to cut out more carbs. I usually like to have some kind of bread for breakfast, but I've been skipping it. In the end, though, this turned out to be not such a great idea because yesterday, I ended up craving bread like you wouldn't believe.

In the morning, I ate my food too early so that I was finished with my cheese and fruit by about noon. So by about 3 p.m., I was STARVING and ended up getting cheese-filled crackers from the vending machine. They weren't the worst choice, but they were salty and not even that filling.

Jon and I then made plans to go to the movies last night (saw Easy A, which is really cute, by the way) and I arrived an hour early. Again, I was really hungry, so I got a sesame roll and pork bun from the Chinese bakery that's next door to the theater. Both items were YUMMMMMMY, but neither remotely resembled anything healthy.

As I've mentioned before, I traveled a lot as a kid because my parents were teachers and had summers off. We went to China in 1985, when I was 11. My favorite meal was always breakfast because they served all kinds of buns and rolls stuffed with meat or beans, but after I'd had one or two, my parents would always remind me, "That's enough! You've had enough!" But my love for Chinese baked goods has remained, so I guess if I were going to blow Weight Watchers POINTS on something, at least it was worth it! Plus, I wasn't eating because I was upset or stressed, and I didn't binge; I took about 40 minutes to finish the meal. I was eating because I wanted to enjoy something delicious that I don't have too often.

I don't intend to make this an everyday thing, though. When I got home, I journaled all of my food and assessed the "damage" -- and it wasn't THAT bad. I did a lot of walking yesterday and took a lot of stairs, so I did get in exercise. I actually walked all the way to the subway and took it myself! Plus, I don't go to that bakery all the time, maybe three times a year at most. I have to remind myself that I am entitled to have treats once in a while, as long as I keep it in moderation.

But I am going to go back to having some bread at breakfast so that I don't end up getting hungry. My previous plan was working so I don't know why I saw to change it. I do think I'll bring in some more things to nosh on, like baby carrots.

Meanwhile, I'm just going to eat today as if nothing happened yesterday. I'm not going to subtract meals to make up for overindulging a little bit. I had a roll for breakfast and am having some cheese and fruit for lunch (we have about a billion apples in the house). Later, I'll do the BowFlex and my physical therapy exercises, which I now have to do on my own. All I can do is continue to move forward.

On a separate note, there was this woman on the subway who was easily twice MY size -- and who was wearing this little tank top and short shirt. Normally, I'd be like, "Uh, honey, we have to hide those rolls of fat and jiggly arms," but somehow she managed to pull it off. Her tank top was a sparkly silver and she had matching sparkly sandals. She was also wearing shimmery makeup and definitely looked as if she were heading out to a club or a party. I don't know how she managed to look decent in an outfit that should've been so wrong for her size. I guess confidence really does go a long way, huh?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Last Day

I've reached yet another milestone in my weight loss/broken leg journey. Today was my last day of physical therapy. I've been looking forward to this, but I was surprised at how choked up I got when I told everyone good-bye. Everyone was nice there and they really did help me. They were also sad to see me go because I worked hard.

Now it's up to me to get in shape on my own, and I still have a loooong way to go. The therapist gave me some resistance bands and assigned some exercises for me, which I'll do, but my main goal is to continue with my walking. I am definitely getting better and can walk for longer distances now, but my ankle still starts to ache if I go for too long and I still walk slowly. When I was walking to the bus stop this evening, I tried to force myself to walk more quickly, but the limp is still there. The doctor warned that it'll be there for a while and I just have to keep working through it. At least there's movement in my ankle now. When I first started PT, I could barely rotate it, but now it's almost back to normal. Whenever it gets humid, though, my whole foot starts to swell. Yuck.

As for my eating, I've been doing well this week. Things have calmed down here and I've managed to sleep for the past two nights. I hope that they stay that way and the psycho neighbor who physically attacked my husband will remain out of our lives. But as I said in my last post, I haven't binged! Instead, I've been trying to keep calm by talking to friends and making jewelry. I've been working on constructing wire rings, which is proving to be really difficult. But it's taken my mind off of the recent events. Sometimes things happen in your life where you have no idea how in the hell you ended up in that situation. This is definitely one of those times. That said, I'm happy to be back to my usual routine life.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


After having such a great weekend, I'm sorry to say that my week is sucking so far. Basically, we're at war with our downstairs neighbor. I partially blame my husband for not handling things well and mostly blame this woman for being completely psycho. But let's just say that for the past two nights, we've been up to about 4 a.m. dealing with her and the cops. It's not pretty. My friend suggested to me that I try to make amends and give her a plant, but when we tried to be civil toward her, she flipped out.

Being non-confrontational and a pacifist, I don't really know how to handle this. I was so stressed out last night that I was hysterically crying and ended up vomiting all over the floor. Now that it's getting on 10 p.m. here, my stomach is tying in knots again. I'm seriously afraid of it being late at night. On my way home, I kept looking out at the apartment buildings that the bus passed, wishing that I lived in any of them over our current place. I suggested to Jon that we stay in a hotel for a few nights until everything blows over, but he said that if we do that, we're letting her win. A friend has offered to let me stay at her place, but much as I appreciate it, she has to work too, and I don't want to be intrusive. I just want to get some sleep without this person bothering us in the middle of the night. That's it -- that's all I ask; that I get back to my routine so I can function.

I'm not a very religious person, but I'm beginning to regret going apple picking on Yom Kippur. Perhaps this is a sign that we should've stayed home and done the fast. I'm thinking of fasting this weekend to make up for it and see if I can get my world back on track. I know that might sound crazy, but I feel like I have to do *something* because right now everything feels very out of control.

The good news is, I haven't binged. I'm seriously considering packing a bag and hopping on a plane so I can literally just escape somewhere, but I haven't overeaten in the process. Go me?

I guess I'm going to have to try to sleep soon, but it'll be with one eye open since I'm fearing that we'll have yet another midnight "adventure." I really hope that things are just normal tonight. I'm a good person and don't deserve having to put up with this. I don't want to have problems with a crazy neighbor. All I want is for everyone to get along and to leave me the hell out of their issues.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

An Apple A Day...

After enduring a crazy week -- which included a freakin' TORNADO that touched down in my NYC neighborhood -- I'm having a really good weekend so far. I made a few more pieces of jewelry, saw some friends, and this morning, a bunch of us went apple picking upstate.

It's been rather rainy all week (even without the tornado), but today was perfect. The sun was shining, it was about 70 degrees and there was a light breeze. It felt really good to get out of the city and enjoy the fresh air.

We first stopped at a farmer's market and picked up some cheese and vegetables. They sold pies, donuts and fudge, but I abstained (though I did have a bite of my friend's donut and chocolate). After, we went to the nearby orchard to pick our apples. Though I'm moving pretty well these days, I brought the walker with me because the terrain was so uneven; even though it was difficult for me to walk through the trees and actually pick the apples, I still had a great time. I just enjoyed breathing in the scent of the fruit and people watching as happy families and kids went about plucking apples from the trees. Apples aren't my favorite fruit, but I sampled a couple and discovered that I like them much more than I remember! Maybe because I've developed more of a taste for fresh fruit and vegetables, I've become appreciative of the sweet, tart crunchiness of apples. But it just felt really good to have that nice, juicy fruit while relaxing in the sunshine.

After, we went into Goshen and had a late lunch/early dinner at a lovely Italian restaurant. Since the weather was so beautiful, we sat outside and continued to relish the clean air. I've been trying to eat less pasta, so I had chicken with vegetables and potatoes. The food was amazing and we all cleaned our plates. We then drove home, laughing and singing the whole time. All in all, it was a very nice day.

In other news, this upcoming week of physical therapy is going to be my last. I met with the doctor in charge of the place and he said that I'm doing well enough that I can start working out at home. But he added that in order to continue losing weight, I should really take things to the next level and do more than just walk, so I'm going to start using the BowFlex again. I was glad I got to walk some more hills today because I still need practice with that; I'd also like to look into getting a stationary bike or elliptical. I still think that you can get a great workout from walking, but I know that it's best to mix it up.

Right now, my biggest goal at the moment is to get in decent shape by February because my friends and I are talking about going to Greece! How awesome will that be? If that's not motivation, I don't know what is. Meantime, I'm looking forward to taking more day trips and small vacations. I still have a long way to go with my weight loss, but I'm loving the extra energy that I'm already getting!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Thoughts About Life And Death

I received some sad news today. The daughter of my parents' friends died over the weekend after battling pancreatic and liver cancer for almost a year. She was only 32.

Just to clarify, she and I didn't really know each other. We met maybe three times over the course of her life. However, I do know and like her parents who have been good friends to my folks. I can't imagine what they're going through right now, especially since the mom's sister died in a plane crash not too long ago. Their lives were already filled with tragedy and now this.

This makes me wonder how much of our longevity is really tied to our lifestyle and how much is dependent on luck. The young woman who died was a health nut. She lived on an eco commune where she built houses and harvested vegetables. She ate organic food, recycled and stayed away from chemicals; even when she was diagnosed with cancer, she was very hesitant about going on chemo (and then went off it for a while). And yet her body rebelled against her and she died way too young.

Meanwhile, my grandmother will be 94 in a few weeks (knock on wood) and is hardly an example of someone who's into healthy living. She eats diner food every day, usually pork chops or fried fish. When she was younger, she smoked. Whenever I used to visit her she'd serve these salmon croquettes that were so fried that they were no longer fish. And yet she's always been tall and thin and somehow grew old maintaining all of her mental faculties and staying in reasonably good health. At her age, she can suddenly become ill or drop dead tomorrow, but even if she does, she still would've lived a long, healthy life -- despite the fact that she never really took care of herself.

Same goes for my late grandfather, who lived to be 98 1/2. He did not take care of himself either. He grew up in Russia, so his nutrition was poor (not that this was his fault) and smoked cigars as an adult. And he almost died several times. When he was 67, his heart and lungs stopped and he was pronounced dead -- and they freakin revived him! Then when he was 90, he was hospitalized with pneumonia and dropped down to 75 pounds ... and recovered and went on to live for almost another decade. He, too, had all of his wits about him and was able to walk until his last year of life when he had to have his leg amputated. I'm willing to bet that had he kept his leg and his spirits, he'd STILL be alive at 110. Yet he was another person who was most definitely not a health nut. I don't get it.

I suppose all we can try to do, though, is attempt to beat the odds. Anyone can get liver cancer, but if you drink a dozen beers every day, you'll probably increase your chances of having liver disease. Same goes with lung cancer; if you don't smoke, you can still get it, but inhaling pack after pack of cigarettes increases the risk. This goes for being overweight, too. I'm lucky because I have good genes on both sides of my family in terms of longevity, but being obese could shorten my life.

I don't know if we'll ever truly know why some people live longer than others when it seems as if the odds are against them. I guess I just have to do the best I can.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Mental Weight

I absolutely hate when something stressful is weighing on my mind. Dont you? In my case, it's nothing THAT bad -- it's that assignment from work that I have to get done where the source hasn't yet gotten back to me -- and I am NOT looking forward to dealing with the editor in charge of the section. I hate feeling irresponsible, especially when I have no control over the situation. Work has been pretty good, but this one, stupid assignment is making my stomach hurt.

I'm still trying to work on dealing with stress. I KNOW that people have worse things to deal with -- illnesses, divorce, financial problems, horrible bosses -- the list goes on and on. But as much as I logically try to remind myself of this and work the problem out, it's haunting me. It'll pass. By next week, everything will be over and it'll have been completed or not, and that will be it, but for now, I wish it would go away.

I'm not sure if I'll every fully conquer stress. Some people just don't care about stuff -- not in a bad way; I mean, they care about their loved ones and the environment and all of that -- but some people just don't let anything get to them and can compartmentalize their home life and work. I've never been able to do that. I'm a perfectionist by nature and I care a great deal what people think of me. I like doing a good job at things anf take pride in it. So when something makes me screw up at work, I feel terrible about it.

On the upside, I am learning to deal with stress differently, and have not been bingeing. At PT on Friday, I really put everything into my workout and felt good afterward. That night, I met up with Karen for dinner and we had a nice talk. And then, I've been working on my jewelry. It's still a new hobby, but I like doing something where I get to be creative and have to concentrate really hard to get the work done. That's the best way to forget about things!

At the risk of sounding conceited, I have to say, I'm pretty good at making jewelry. So far, I've taught myself how to string beads and add crimps and clasps, and how to do basic wire work. I really like the wire work because you can design your own pendants, chains, etc. It's extremely creative and labor intensive, so you feel good when a project is completed. I made a necklace for Karen, which she loved, and made one for my mom; I've also promised a bunch of friends and family that I'd design jewelry for them. It feels good to be doing something that people appreciate and makes them happy. To bring it back to food, overeating might give me a temporary high, but it's not the same kind of pleasure you get when you give someone you love an everlasting gift that you made from the heart.

Right now, I'm going to work on some more of my creations and try to put my work problems behind me -- and count my blessings that my problems are as mundane as they are. As my mother-in-law always says, "This too shall pass."

Saturday, September 11, 2010


I always get a little nervous and depressed on September 11 and probably will continue to do so for years to come.

I was in the city on the day that the Towers were hit and was very lucky; I wasn't hurt, nor were any of my friends or loved ones. Still, it was a frightening experience. At the time Jon was still in the National Guard so he was called up to do some clean-up around the city. I wasn't sure if he was going to be sent overseas eventually, and was very depressed. Thankfully he was never sent anywhere and his tenure ended in 2002. Still, I know many others who weren't so lucky and had family members sent to the Middle East.

It's days like this that I need to remember how fortunate I am to have my friends, family and health -- and that I need to continue taking care of myself. I came home alive from the city that day when many did not.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Happy New Year

No, it's not January yet, but for Jews it's Rosh Hoshana, the Jewish New Year. I'm not a particularly observant Jew, but I still like the idea of having a new year ahead of me. It's a time to reflect on what I'm hoping for in the future.

Right now, continuing to lose weight and get in shape is still my main goal, but I have other things I want to work on, as well. Dealing with stress is definitely one of them, as I haven't quite conquered that. Take this afternoon, for instance. I'm late on another assignment at work because yet another source didn't get back to me on time and the editor in charge of the section was bugging me a little about it. It's not that big a deal because this has happened to all of us, but I became so upset -- like to the point where my stomach hurt. The good news is, I didn't binge; instead, I gave myself a pep talk and reminded myself that I always do my best an am usually early with assignments. But I know that my initial reaction didn't have to be so extreme. Everyone has to deal with demanding or annoying co-workers and I can't let it ruin my life and health.

My other big goal, which is more positive, is to work on my jewelry. I made four necklaces this week and they came out pretty well! I've gotten the hang of beading, but I really want to learn wire and metal work. I love being creative and working with my hands, so this is a goal that I look forward to accomplishing.

Other than that, things are decent on my end. I had a good session at PT today and the therapist says that my balance is really improving. In a few weeks, I should be able to stand on one leg without holding on -- and if all else goes well, I'll be wearing some fine jewelry pieces while I do so!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Home, Sweet Home

We're back home after enjoying three great days at the jazz festival. We heard a lot of wonderful music, spent a lot of time in the fresh air and at least I got a lot of exercise. I'm feeling pretty tired after walking up and down hills for the past few days, but I'm glad that I was able to do it. I still have a long way to go until I'm in any sort of shape to even do things like casually walk around the city for a length of time, but it was nice to be able to go away and do something fun without too much hassle.

I was hardly the only person there with a walker. In fact, there were dozens of people with wheelchairs and walkers, of all different ages. I guess I'm noticing them more now that I've been in that situation. There was also this one guy with crutches who was "crutching" up and down the hills with seemingly little effort. I don't how in the hell he was able to do that, but I give him a lot of credit!

My eating wasn't the best this weekend, but I stayed within my points and held it together. During the performances, we snacked on cheese, crackers, fruit and water, and then for dinner last night, I had a personal sized thin crust veggie pizza. It was so good! No disrespect to those of you from Chicago, but I'm not a big fan of deep dish pizza. I like my crust to be very thin and crispy and this pizza's crust was almost as thin as a cracker. Perfect! Jon and I then split a piece of cake, but I worked it off by walking up and down the hills for the evening performances.

One thing I noticed about even the small amount of weight I've lost is that I have less "insulation" against the cold. In the past, I could get away with wearing my lttle denim jacket in chilly weather and basically wouldn't switch to my winter coat until it got to be about 35 degrees F. But at night in the Berkshires, it dipped down to the mid-40s (F) and I was FREEZING! The first night of performances (we had a lawn pass so we were outside for all of them), I had my hands stuffed in my jacket pocket and was shivering the entire time. Last night, we brought a blanket, but it still didn't help much. I suppose that out of all the problems to have, this isn't a bad one, but seriously, how do you skinny people guard yourself against the weather? It seems that my days of being able to go out with just a jacket are over; now I'm going to have to layer up.

All in all, though, it was a great, albeit too short, vacation. I've missed traveling and really enjoyed getting away for a few days. Now that I'm walking a lot more, I'm looking forward to taking other mini-vactions and making the best of this fall.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Greetings From Tanglewood!

Since I have Monday off for Labor Day, Jon and I decided to enjoy the three-day weekend up in the Berkshires in Massachusetts. Each summer, there is a musical festival there called Tanglewood and for the last weekend of the season, they're having a jazz fest. We purchased all-day lawn passes for today and tomorrow so this afternoon and evening, we saw concerts, and then tomorrow we'll see two more. Save for some showers, the weather is beautiful; so far the performances have been terrific; and we're having a wonderful time. We haven't gone away since before I broke my leg, so it's great to be on vacation -- even if it's only for a few days.

Before I left, I made a deal with myself that I'd enjoy some good food, but not go crazy just because I'm on vacation. So far, I'm doing pretty well. Last night, we had dinner at an Armenian restaurant, which was designed to look as if you were in someone's living room and served equally homey food. We shared the appetizer platter which came with falafel, hummus, olives and pickled vegetables. I then had the chicken breast with cucumbers, olives and couscous -- and ate about half. They also had some great desserts, so Jon and I split the chocolate-orange cake.

Today we woke up so late, we didn't even bother to have breakfast. Instead, we stopped at a cheese and wine shop and purchased cheese, crackers and fruit to dine on while we watched the afternoon concert. Then for dinner, we went to a Malaysian place. I was very tempted to get a curry dish, but those are really fattening and not so healthy. Instead, I got an interesting salad with potatoes and eggs and then got a stir-fried veggie dish as my main. Both were delicious!

As for exercise, I've been doing plenty of walking. Tanglewood has a fairly large campus, so we parked about a 15-minute walk from the concert hall. It's also very hilly here (we are in the mountains), so I had to deal with a lot of uneven and steep terrain. I've been using the walker to get over the hills and have done pretty well. At the parking lot, they offered me a ride to the hall in a gold cart, but I turned them down. I still can't walk a great distance without having to stop, but I'm able to walk for a lot longer in between rests. I was a bit nervous beforehand about walking up and down the hills and grass and rocks, but it hasn't been too bad. Honestly, I'm not sure I would've been able to do it even two weeks ago, so I'm definitely getting stronger. I still have a limp, but it almost disappears when I use the walker.

Even though I'm not 100 percent physically, I'm still glad that we came up here and that I'm at least able to do some stuff. As I said before, we've seen some lovely scenery and great performances. We also saw a TRIPLE rainbow! On our way to the evening concert, this magnificent rainbow suddenly appeared, stretching all the way across the sky. We stood watching it for a while until it finally started to get dark and it disappeared. But it was INCREDIBLE! I'm taking it as a sign that more good things are on the way.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Secret Sundaes

When I was younger, I used to take private music lessons twice a week: one day for flute and then one day for tenor sax. Because I didn't get my driver's license until I was 19, my dad drove me all throughout high school.

My mom and I didn't get along so well when I was a teen so I enjoyed getting out of the house with my dad -- especially since we came up with a little ritual surrounding my lessons. After each lesson, we'd stop at the nearby Roy Rogers or Friendly's and get a small dish of ice cream. My dad always asked them to put the fudge in first ("So I get more," he explained). We'd then sit for a while and chat about whatever. And it was our secret that neither of us ever told my mom. As I've said many times in this blog, I was stick thin in high school, but my mom still didn't want me eating junk food. I don't know if my dad has ever 'fessed up to her about our ice cream runs, but she'd probably cite that as being the reason I became fat as an adult.

It's not like my mom never allowed me to have ice cream, though. Whenever I got a good report card or had a concert, we'd celebrate by going to Friendly's. Since this was a special occasion, I'd treat myself to the biggest sundae that was on the menu, the Jim Dandy. This monster was made up of five huge scoops of ice cream, plus fudge, caramel, peanut butter and fruit toppings. They would then pile about a foot of whipped cream on top and, of course, finish it off with a cherry. Somehow, I managed to eat the entire fucking thing. Eventually, I switched over to a dish of plain frozen yogurt, but until the time I was about 14, I could wolf down one of these gigantic sundaes that was meant for three people.

But once I started to gain weight in college, my dad stopped taking me for ice cream. We did stop at a McDonald's one time while I was home for winter break, but he wouldn't let me get a sundae even though he bought one. Instead, I sipped on a Diet Coke. I remember feeling really sad, not because I really wanted the ice cream -- it wasn't THAT good -- but because I felt like such a disappointment. I doubt my dad even remembers this day, but I can recall it very clearly.

Fast forward to the other day when I was visiting my friend Michele out on Long Island. She asked where I'd like to go for dinner and listed some nearby places -- and Friendly's was one of them. Of course I wanted to go! I hadn't been to a Friendly's in about 10 years, but still associate the restaurant with some great memories and accomplishments. When I told this to my friend, she laughed and said, "Well, I guess you got a good report card today!"

Still, I planned to get something reasonably healthy for dinner. Yet when I looked over the menu, there weren't many options; almost everything was fried or covered in cheese, save for some boring-sounding salads. I finally settled on a Buffalo chicken wrap and ate half. It was mediocre at best.

When we were done, though, Michele got a gleam in her eye. "Are you going to get ice cream?" she wondered. I thought for a moment. "Only if we share something," I replied. We then looked over the menu and chose the brownie sundae, which looked to be pretty small, at least in the picture.

Soon the waiter arrived with our dessert ... and it was HUGE. There were two brownies, five scoops of ice cream, whipped cream, fudge and nuts. It was ridiculous. I made a deal with myself, though; I'd take four or five bites. This way, I could enjoy it, but not go overboard.

I then tried it ... and you know what? It wasn't that special. I mean, it was GOOD, don't get me wrong, but it didn't blow me away. If anything, it was too sweet and the ice cream was kind of a let-down after eating homemade flavors or even brands like Ben & Jerry's. I then realized that my nostalgia for Friendly's or those ice cream runs had less to do with the food and more to do with how I was feeling at the time. Knowing that my parents were proud of me made me happy. It also made me happy to spend that time with my dad.

It's interesting how often our liking for certain foods has little to do with taste and more to do with our emotions. How many of us crave particular things during the holidays because they make us think of our childhoods or of a certain event? I think that this is part of what makes food so enjoyable -- that it represents families, cultures and even eras in history. But sometimes you need to step back and see it for what it really is: food. End of story.