Meals in the Midwest
Posted: Thursday, Sep. 06, 2012
Photo by: Nathan Abplanalp Photography
Brittany Sajbel is an associate attorney in Concord. Her March wedding planning has hit quite a few bumps in the road, but she remains positive and sane with the help of her amazing fiance, Neil Love, and their two furbabies, Gemma Bean and Kitty Caroline. Contact Brittany here.
Having spent the last week in Wisconsin, there are three things that I have noticed that are decidedly different from the South:
1. The Diet
2. The Drinking
3. The Self-Esteem
None of these have contributed to any weight loss this week. In fact, Im going to be lucky to escape the month without gaining a pound or two.
I am not a stress-based eater. The fact that the last week has been difficult emotionally for me has not been a factor in my Get Fit progress. However, the fact that I have been surrounded by my aunts, uncles, and Grandma Elliott has definitely played a part.
In the last week, my diet at the nursing home consisted of whatever could be eaten on the run or brought into the building. I ate pizza twice and Chinese food. I was grateful for the meals brought in by other family members, but there wasnt much of a choice when it came to what I had to eat. I think I have averaged about two diet soft drinks a day since Ive been here, which is about two more per day than my body is used to.
In the meals that werent at the nursing home, other family members have been cooking comfort foods, consisting entirely of meat and potatoes. The only three vegetables I have seen this week have been corn, cauliflower drowned in butter, and ketchup. There have been potatoes with every meal, but somewhere between the butter and the gravy, they seem to lose any nutritional vegetable characteristics. I have eaten deep fried fish twice, both times with a side of melted butter. I guess this isnt normal anywhere but in the Midwest? I havent had anything for breakfast except fried eggs and bacon. My skin has definitely felt the effects of the dietary changes.
Regarding the drinking, in the past week, I have seen almost every member of my fathers side of the family, and a huge number of people from my mothers side. Drinking is a much more normal part of Midwestern culture than it is down South, and it is acceptable for everyone to enjoy a drink at family gatherings. In fact, in Wisconsin, a minor may drink openly in a bar or restaurant while under the direct supervision of a parent. As such, I have consumed a lot more alcohol in the past week than I would have under any other circumstances. My fiancé, Coach Love, decided to fly up to Wisconsin at the last minute to be with me and my family in this difficult time, so I know that there will probably be a few more drinks before we can head home tomorrow.
Despite the fact that my diet has failed miserably over the last week, there is something to be said about the self-esteem of a lot of Wisconsin girls. Midwestern girls are curvier than your average Southern girl, and theyre not afraid to show it. Maybe its the laid-back attitude or a slower pace of life than Im used to, but in the Midwest, it rarely feels like youre being judged by folks when you walk past them. People in my familys hometown are a strong, hard-working, mostly middle-class bunch of folks, and I always feel right at home when I visit.
Girls here like their gravy as much as I do, and thats a comforting thought when I realize that my jeans might fit just a touch more snugly than the last time that I zipped them up.
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