Tag Archives: Calories

A Tempting Spring Walk; or Why Did I Move Near an Ice Cream Mecca?

My husband and I walk after supper for good reasons. First, burgeoning trees and flowers replenish the famine of beauty we suffered during the gloom of early spring. I love the scent of cut grass — if someone else mows.

Second, walks grow relationships, including Hubby’s and mine. Our eyes and fingers are not glued to screens. Instead, we grow attached to us.

Third, we also greet neighbors, people who eat, sleep, work, play and worship within a stone’s throw. Yet, we rarely see them during winter. God created spring to lure us from it’s-all-about-me caves.

If we must mention exercise (sigh), walking qualifies. I’d rather walk than jog, run or sumo wrestle.

We take walks for good reasons, you understand.

Not to buy ice cream.

Temptation lurks in every springlike Eden. In our town, no conniving snake persuades us to stray from the straight and narrow. Instead, a legendary drive-in presents a menu of 100 ice cream sundaes, including my nemesis, the Moose Tracks.

Its name, which evokes somewhat unpleasant images, should ruin appetites.

Not mine.

The sundae’s frozen yogurt initially hooked me. Yogurt is healthy, I rationalized. Surely, it sucks the calories and cholesterol from the accompanying chopped Reese’s Cups, warm spoonfuls of peanut butter and globs of hot fudge.

I have successfully battled such enticements elsewhere.

But this drive-in is located a few blocks from my house.

When Hubby suggests we walk north, not east, I breathe a sigh of relief. We head north to homes and parks graced with newly planted petunias and geraniums. North past the grade school, where homework escapees flip on monkey bars. Past baseball diamonds where miniature players sport mitts bigger than they. North away from the drive-in.

The sunset throws a feast of sherbet colors in the west … did I say “feast”? And “sherbet”?

At town’s edge, Hubby halts. “Where to now?”

He should know better than to ask. Because I always tell the truth. At least, part of it. “Let’s take Main Street. I’ll bet the flowers are gorgeous.”

A few blocks from our home, friendly Garfield and delicious ice cream always greet my grandkids at Ivanhoe’s.

They don’t disappoint. Fragrant honeysuckle intoxicates us. Fluffy peonies beckon, and brilliant blue, purple and yellow pansies pour from flowerpots. Somebody tilled his garden, a field of moist chocolate fudge … did I say “chocolate”? Whipped cream clouds swirl in the golden peanut-butter sky. …

We find ourselves at the drive-in.

Imagine that.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What’s your favorite ice cream treat — er, walk?

Dieting Days

My New Year’s resolution diet isn’t going well. Yours?

No wonder. According to weight loss gurus, we should never diet when under stress. We should have postponed until a kind genie shoveled our driveways, thawed frozen pipes and freed us from snow days with kids who act like us.

But no-o-o-o, we announced to spouses, relatives, Facebook friends and Australian Twitter pals that we intended to lose X number of pounds.

Hollywood celebrities often tout advanced diet alternatives. Critics point out these people, habitually in rehab and/or kidnapped by aliens, might not prove health experts. But they are thin. Therefore, we must take their advice and adopt the following:

  • Grapefruit Oil Diet. Instead of eating grapefruit, a dieter sniffs a vial of grapefruit oil before meals. The aroma fires up her liver, burning away every trace of the three Moose Tracks Sundaes she ate. Some report even better results from smelling skunk oil, but I’m not that desperate … yet.
  • Salmon Diet. Eating salmon three times a day combats inflammation, the alleged source of all health problems. It also exchanges the eater’s decrepit body for a young one, including a flashy facelift. Love the idea. But does it sound a little fishy?
  • Baby Food Diet. Mmm, strained turkey and beet dinners. An extra 200 calories are burned per meal if the dieter makes airplane sounds.
  • Lemonade Diet. Participants drink a mixture of lemon juice, cayenne pepper and maple syrup exclusively for 10 days. This liquid diet completely cleanses a body of toxins.*

*The toxins run away screaming. This diet was carried out on a closed course by a professional. Do not attempt at home.

  • Most dieters, without messy surgeries or loss of vital organs, practice some form of the Amputation Diet before weigh-ins. We clip nails, get haircuts, and remove clothing, jewelry, contact lenses/glasses and birthmarks before stepping on scales. In addition, Amputation Diet enthusiasts claim a loss of 10-25 pounds in one day if you don’t mind losing a limb.

Fortunately, we can retain our arms, yet remain on diets, if we plan carefully. Try a different diet every day of the month. How can this help? Most diets include a “splurge day.” Schedule 30 splurge days of 30 different diets, and you will never feel deprived.

Exercise is given far too much emphasis. Watching other people exercise, on the other hand, prevents injuries.

Every dieter should collect helpful books, including Virtual Calories and Meditate Away Your Fat Cells.

The websites were right. Since adopting this new approach, I find dieting a “fun, wonderful, educational journey.” One problem: I couldn’t zip my jeans this morning.

Where’s that diet genie when I need him?

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What diet tip can you share?