I don’t measure the garlic that I crush into the frying pan with the vegetables and carefully measured tablespoon of olive oil. They crackle a bit as I stir them. After they begin to soften, I push them to the side. Waiting is a half chicken breast with skin removed thinly sliced into little strips. They go into the pan and hiss quietly alongside the paper-thin sliced onion and the sliced green and red peppers. Minced fresh oregano and a little cumin seed is the final gesture toward good cooking.
For we are on a diet. Perpetually Weight Watching, we abandon our carefully measured foods every time we vacation. Our recent two-week tour of Washington DC added eleven pounds to my already morbidly obese body. Who knows how much my well-rounded, other-half has gained. Because of this, we are reevaluating our ways of eating.
I get 30 points a day on the Weight Watcher Points Plus plan. One Tablespoon of olive oil is four points. You see my conundrum. Those twenty-six remaining points will vanish at light speed if you subtract six points for breakfast and six more for lunch. V8 juice is one whole point, but water and Diet Coke are zero. I haven’t mentioned chocolate.
It’s a life style change, Weight Watchers reminds us militantly.
This night there is no gentle cheese sauce to top my broccoli. There is no garlic butter to caress my green beans either. As I toss the zero point green and red peppers together with the three-point chicken breast in the four-point olive oil, I let go my dreams of butter and cream. Slowly the veggies steam together with the herbs. If the wonderful smells could penetrate closed doors, I’m sure I would see the neighbors with their noses wiggling.
In a great burst of joyous enthusiasm, I tip the contents of the frying pan onto two gently warmed tortilla, two points.
“This is just great,” we cry together as the juices run down our arms and all over our shirts, and chairs, and onto the floors. “This is the best ever,” we say in unison.