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Satisfying an obsession

September 24, 2008 - Kathie Evanoff
I do tend to get obsessed with things and how and what I eat doesn’t escape my compulsions.

If I come across a particular meal that is satisfying to me, I might have that same meal over and over several days in a row until I’m ready to move on.

I do the same with books and television programs, often to the point that it becomes unhealthy. I used to do it with crossword puzzles too, but I’ve kicked that habit and it was a bad one.

It happened several years ago. Every day I would do the crossword in the Tribune, long before I began working for the paper. I tried other crosswords, but none were as satisfying. I couldn’t go to sleep at night until the crossword was completed. If I was stumped on a word and couldn’t complete the puzzle, I saved it for the next day when the answers were printed. If I went on vacation, my newspapers were carefully saved for me by whoever was watching my house and upon my return, I worked every puzzle, in chronological order until I was caught up. Some nights found me working two and three puzzles until I was so tired I could barely see the words on the page. I finally had to put a stop to doing the puzzles altogether when it began to interfere with my sleep.

I am the same way with jigsaw puzzles. If someone gifts me with a 1000 piece or more puzzle, the dining room table is cleared off and everyone eats in the kitchen until the puzzle is complete. I don’t care if someone helps me work on it because it isn’t doing the puzzle that is important. It is the finishing of it. The last time I received a puzzle (I don’t dare buy them for myself), my husband would find me at the table until the wee hours of the morning, still looking for “one more piece.” It didn’t even matter that I had to get up for work the next morning.

I don’t play video or computer games for the same reason. I won’t do housework, meals are thrown together and laundry piles up.

Don’t even talk about books. If I find an interesting book, I just can’t leave it alone once I’ve read it. I will go out and buy every book I can find by that author, including all the books I can find about that author. I will look for their Web sites, blogs and MySpace pages. It’s a sickness.

Food-wise, most of my obsessions involve breakfast. Last winter I obsessed on oatmeal, and I suspect I will do it again this season as the weather gets cooler. Over the summer, it was eggs, since they are plentiful from a local source. If I find a particular brand of cereal I like, it will be the only brand I buy until something distracts me. A couple years ago it was Kashi brand cereals, especially Heart to Heart. Lately it is Fiber One. I seem to always choose banana as my go-to breakfast fruit, although I have been known to put blueberries on my cereal at times.

I could possibly obsess over a dinner recipe, but having a husband who isn’t a fan of leftovers (unless it is one of his signature soup recipes), makes it difficult to eat the same thing every night. If I could though, it would likely be one pan stir-fries made with pasta and kale and lots of other vegetables.

What are you obsessions, or better yet, your favorite go-to comfort meals that you could have over and over? I know you have them, the same way you can watch old reruns of Golden Girls and Andy Griffith, over and over again, laughing at the same jokes until you find yourself quoting dialog in everyday conversations.

When my husband is feeling under the weather, he turns to chicken noodle soup (boxed variety with kluski noodles) and toasted cheese sandwiches. It is his comfort food. Now that cold season is upon us, write and tell me yours.

Breakfast this morning, as if you couldn’t have guessed, was Fiber One cereal with banana and skim milk.

I was too lazy to pack a lunch today, so I walked to Subway and had a Subway Club, six-inches on wheat bread with a diet Coke and a bag of Sun Chips. My husband is feeling better today, so I’m planning that stir-fry for dinner. Come back later and see if it worked out. Tomorrow I’ll post the recipe.


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Breakfast: 2 ounces grains; ¾ cup fruit; ¾ cup milk; 30 discretionary calories


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