Sunday 2 PM.
With this morning’s breakfast I’m only two cups into National Coffee Day, so by this afternoon I’m feeling guilty that I’m not doing my part to mark the occasion with the requisite enthusiasm. I find a half pound bag of Oso Negro organic medium roast coffee beans from the Janzen’s care package that we opened yesterday, and stuff a handful of them into my mouth, and chew. The grit is sticking to my molars and I have to get up off the couch and wash them down with warm water. I lament not having had the determination to actually make a proper pot, but the house is empty, there’s football on, and I really just want to act the sloth.
Fred emails me the tracking number for a shipment of Biscoff cookies he’s having sent to Pt. Roberts. I’ll pick them up this week when I go get the clear totes I’ve ordered from Seattle to package the Arts Umbrella bonbons in for their upcoming annual Splash auction. I send him a text and question his judgement.
Me: You trust me to pick up cookies?
Half time in the Denver game is over, and I’m caught up with the all the scores and highlights. I rock, paper, scissor myself to choose between ice cream with milk chocolate ganache or ice cream with dark chocolate ganache. I throw the contest and choose milk chocolate ganache, because the dark, coming out of the fridge, would need a few minutes in hot water to soften up.
I settle back on the couch for the second half. In a test of my physical sensitivity, I reach down under the cushion and find a bag of expired airplane peanuts. I rip it open with the manliest of gestures, and pour the contents into my mouth, and chew. The grit is sticking to my molars and I have to get off the couch and wash them down with warm water.
Lying around all day is exhausting, and I contemplate a nap. There’s still half an hour until the Sunday night game starts, and the dog is giving me the stink eye. It wouldn’t be a weekend in Vancouver without two straight days of rain. I spend about ten minutes fantasizing about a canine walking version of the Roomba, then get up, open the back door and send her out.
I shuffle back to the living room, and contemplate opening a bottle of wine, or taking a shower. I wonder to myself if this is how Matthew McConaughey spends his weekends. I’ll bet he does, but shirtless. I opt for neither the vino nor the ritual of bathing, and instead, settle in for another three plus hours of the NFL. I make a mental note to myself to be better prepared for the next important holiday, National Chocolate Day.
Saturday: I’m determined to use my annual seven day summer vacation at the lake as a catalyst for changing my diet and returning to the city with a new, healthful eating regimen. For inspiration, I’ve picked up the hardcover version of Drop Dead Healthy by A. J. Jacobs. I’m thinking it will take me the full week to break some bad habits, and define some new, healthy ones.
My wife packed the car the night before, so on the morning of departure all that’s left to do is close the windows and blinds, cancel the newspapers, and turn on enough lights throughout the house to give any potential burglars pause.
She yells out from the curb that the kids and the dog are locked and loaded, and reminds me we have a ferry reservation, and that we need to get going. I finish my second and final security sweep of the house in the kitchen, and run my checklist again. Stove, off. Dishwasher, off. Garbage and compost, emptied. Stove, still off.
I look in the fridge for perishables that won’t make it until we return. I find a couple of two week-old blueberry pancakes and half a small tub of cottage cheese. I use each hardened pancake as a scoop for the cottage cheese, finish them both, rinse the now empty container and throw it in the recycling blue bin.
Even though I had a somewhat nutritious breakfast of chia seed toast with organic peanut butter and unsweetened black tea a mere hour earlier, I now rationalize that my new diet doesn’t have to officially start until we get to the lake. I declare the house secure, set the alarm and go.
We arrive at the ferry terminal five minutes after our reservation expires, and miss the boat. With time to kill until the next departure, I pee the dog, then head into the terminal for a snack.
Sunday: I’m in charge of French toast for six adults and four kids. I start with two loaves of fresh challah bread, cut semi-thick and soaked in a mixture of egg, milk, cinnamon and vanilla. The table is set with blueberry syrup, butter, and Mink salted caramel sauce and both milk and dark chocolate ganache that I brought from the store as my contribution to the communal pantry. The coffee machine is working to capacity, and I pound back three cups, black, in a very leisurely-by-big-city-standard 20 minutes.
With breakfast over, my sixteen month old daughter goes down for a nap, and I settle on the couch with a snack to watch the Olympics. There’s nothing quite so life and diet affirming as drinking coffee and eating banana bread while watching women’s beach volleyball.
Monday: After a lunch of Polish sausage, cheese and bread, Jared and my wife take the kids kayaking. I take my book, sunscreen and sunglasses down to the dock, and settle in for an afternoon of uninterrupted reading. Trixie brings me a tall gin and tonic, and it dawns on me that to get a full seven days of reformed eating, I’ll have to include both the travel day at the end of the trip and the first day back.
The opening chapter of the book suggests a healthful diet can consist of chocolate, coffee and wine in moderation. I like where this is going, so I put the book down, close my eyes, and take a nap.
I wake with dinner on the immediate horizon, and smell steaks being readied for the barbecue. We’re out of tonic water, so I switch to beer. This vacation is supposed to be a relaxing week of board games, nature walks, lake swimming and campfires. It’s only day three and already I’ve got close to 24 hours of total sleep under my belt, as well as a dozen choreographed meal breaks.
The forecast for tomorrow is rain. I interpret that as a sign of renewal, and an apt day to start my quest for eating perfection, albeit a four day abridged version.
Tuesday: I finish the book, I have a ravenous appetite, and it’s looking more and more like I’ve squandered the opportunity on this trip to effect real dietary change. There is so much more to perfecting a healthful existence than diet alone, that on my way to the kitchen I resolve to make a comprehensive list of all the things I need to incorporate into my routines to achieve that end. I still firmly believe the idea of setting aside a block of time to implement these sweeping changes makes the most sense, so I commit to doing so at the next available opportunity, namely, Christmas holidays.
Mink Chocolates Inc.,
Mink A Chocolate Cafe Ltd.
863 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC CANADA
Call my mobile: 604.376.3464
Call toll free: 1.866.283.5181
Call the Vancouver store: 604.633.2451