Living Retired — ‘Tofu Taboo’
Living Retired — ‘Tofu Taboo’
By Gary Chalk
“Jan, you tell me first.”
“Sorry Gary but this time you have to tell me first.”
“No come on Jan, you go first. I insist.”
Jan agreed, reluctantly, “Well, okay. But you have to promise not to do one of your menacing in-my-face fist pumps, like you did last week.”
It was Friday morning. The final weekly weigh-in for the weight loss challenge Jan and I joined ten weeks ago.
The last 70 days have been gruelling going without nutritious food like bread, red meat, and pop tarts. In their place I have been eating fresh vegetables, fruit, and fish. At night watching the Blue Jays on television I have preoccupied myself gnawing on 400-gram boxes of melba toast — not the melba toast, the carton because it has more flavour!
Early in my diet, Jan said, “Gary, you need to incorporate more light foods in your diet.” Faster than you could say Jenny Craig, I was out the door to buy Bud Light.
One evening I sat down for dinner and starred at the plate in front of me.
“Gary, for protein I made caramelized tofu lettuce wraps.”
Yuck! Caramelized tofu lettuce wraps look like, well, yak dung on a leaf!
I took one piece, chewed, and swallowed. “Jan, I am not going to crack a joke about tofu because that would be in poor taste.”
“Gary, it is good for you, and you’ll lose weight.”
“Jan, McDonald’s doesn’t serve McTofu burgers. If food scientists can come up with tofu, surely, they can figure how to make ‘to-beer’ or ‘to-chips.’ Is that too much to ask?”
I knew Jan wasn’t giving up on tofu, so I Googled ‘tofu recipes.’ One entry answered the question whether you should prepare tofu by draining the water before you cook it, or just press the water out of it. If you have to press the water out of it, it isn’t food, it’s laundry.
If you are what you eat, I figure I have become a sort of sickly-looking version of the Pillsbury doughboy — less weight, and well, sort of soft in spots.
SURPRISE! It happened last Saturday morning…
Jan, screamed from her office. “Gary, they posted the weight loss challenge results. You came in second place! Come here!” Her blood-curdling scream caused my cottage cheese curds to dribble down onto my shirt!
“Gary, for coming in second place you won $120. Congratulations for sticking with your diet. I am so proud of you. What should we do with the money?”
“What should WE do with the money? Jan, for 10 weeks I have been living on been sprouts, lentils, and quinoa. Not to mention all that fresh asparagus. When I pee the bathroom smells like an asparagus canning factory!”
Jan didn’t skip a beat, “Gary, I’m thinking we should take the money and do something together. We have never taken ballroom dance lessons.”
“Dancing??? Jan, remember the time we joined a group and went square dancing? By the end of the night, you learned how to do-si-do. All I learned was it takes eight square dancers to change a lightbulb because they do everything in eights.”
In the week since being off the diet challenge Jan and I have made homemade rhubarb cherry jam and smothered it on warm Portuguese buns. Yum! I have had chicken wings, tacos, nachos, and Miss Vickey’s Sea Salt & Malt Vinegar chips.
Move over Jenny Craig, bring on Sara Lea.
Living Retired is written by humour columnist Gary Chalk.