34: Everything I Feel About This Season of The Bachelor Can Be Summed Up With...

"Oh, honey. No, honey."

Also, I want that lipstick. Thank you, Sharleen, for being our Canadian representative. 


33. Nevena Takes Off!

Rebecca Harrington's experience on Elizabeth Taylor's diet convinced me that Liz's weight-loss book, Elizabeth Takes Off, would be instrumental in my healthy-eating January resolutions. Particularly, her enjoyment of one of Liz's oft repeated lunches:

"Sheer hunger drives me to combine cottage cheese and sour cream and pour it over fruit, as Liz recommends. (Previously I left out the sour cream.) It resembles curdled milk, and tastes similar. Absolutely repugnant. Never try it." 

That combined with the discovery that my local library had it in large print, my favourite type of print that I had only previously enjoyed with Agatha Christie novels, cemented my decision that Elizabeth Takes Off would be my first book of 2014.

Though the combination of my word-a-day calender and Lizspiration makes it seem as though my New Year's Resolutions are as reputable as a kangaroo court, I have never found such delight in such simple, manageable changes. If Liz can do it, I can do it. We are equals!*

As Liz says, humour = good. 

Elizabth Takes Off is available on alibris.com for $1.21. Shipping to Canada is $14.

If you can get past her amazing talent at humble-bragging and the ridiculousness of some of her suggestions, I truly believe that this book will do you good. Embrace those larger-than-life delusions**. 

The success of this book is in Liz's name-dropping, gossip mongering and the encouragement she gives to her readers. Though in different economic positions she has her readers, or at least this reader, believing that they are just like Liz. Not that Elizabeth Taylor is a "normal person," but that we are glamourous and practically there with Liz in a Health Spa by following her dietetic tricks and tips.

Unlike Harrington, I will never follow Elizabeth Taylor's meal plan. Mostly, because I already kind of am. I had peanut butter on my burger for dinner tonight. I have friends and family members who laugh/are repulsed by my meal combinations. I already throw things in lettuce and call them sandwiches (except now I will call them "Taylor Sandwiches"). I am the person who brings dairy and grain free muffins to work and get told they taste like "hay." These aren't changes for me.

But there are a few things that I am introducing into my new healthy lifestyle.

Things I have learned from my friend, Liz. 

1. Poor people can use her meal plan as well. For her lobster dinner you can even substitute canned tuna! Instead of squab, barbeque a chicken or a pigeon or something, you vagrant!

2. Melon! No papaya for your breakfast? Use melon! No passionfruit for your second day's breakfast? Use melon! Melon makes poor people feel fabulous!

3. Potato Skins can be a healthy side...when you take the name literally and make yourself baked skin of potato. Mmmmm. Waste the entire delicious insides of two pounds of potatoes in two weeks!

4. When someone says "children are starving in China" go the route of Lauren Bacall's kid. Ask them to name two. Don't feel pressured to clean your plate, instead make a donation to a fund for starving children (I'm not sure what the poor people's substitution is for this, but I still do like that she said it).

5. "It's important to remember how easily fatties are hurt and to remember to be supportive rather than destructive." There is actually a lot of sound advice that is worded very poorly in this book. To go with this, Liz also reminds you to not to pretend you have medical conditions, and actually go to a doctor.

6. Mix sour cream with mustard and mayo. Voila dip! Also works with sour cream and seemingly every other low fat condiment in your fridge: ketchup, cottage cheese, lumpfish roe...

7. Your meals might be small and sad, but put them on lace doilies and decorate your table with flowers in jam jars. This is more so the part that is feeding into my delusion and having me believe that I am doing exactly what Liz did to get her life back on track!

8. When in doubt, exclamation marks!

Naturally the book ends with some summarizing and generic motherly guilt-tripping: Michael's kids don't visit enough, but thankfully Christopher's do. Because not only could Elizabeth Taylor go from 180 pounds to a 22 inch waist in her fifties, but she could segue into new topics with ease and self-congratulations.
This cake is not on the two-week health plan.
Elizabeth Takes Off is glorious. I haven't been so bewildered and invested in a weird memoir since Priscilla Presley's Elvis and Me. All at once I want to be both everything and nothing*** that Elizabeth Taylor was and take the world by storm. I feel the energy from a thousand malted milk protein shakes propelling me into all of the world's successes.

And if you catch me rocking back in forth while standing in one place, that isn't a mental breakdown, that's an Elizabeth Taylor "leg shaper" work-out. Eat your heart out, world.

*We will never be equals.
** They are delusions for us, for Liz, that's just her life. 
*** She really had no qualms about stating that she only really loved Mike Todd and Richard Burton. Even though those marriages seem to have been the scariest, she makes them sound as velvety and satisfying as an asparagus cream sauce made with low-fat sour cream and bouillon cubes that can be used over any protein, such as fish (fresh bluefin tuna flown in from the northern coast of Australia!) or chicken (cornish game hen!)!


32: Look At Me I'm Sandra Lee...

..lousy with sobriety.

By the time that I post this I will be on day sixth of Sober Month and though I am surrounded by alcohol at work, the only time I miss drinking is when watching my stories. How have I never noticed that everyone is drinking all the time? Perhaps because previously I was drinking with them.

Photo By Food Network

Last night,  while jonsing for my post-badminton glass of red wine I became convinced that I actually had a problem. That people were worried about me. That I must be the Sandra Lee of my social group.

I was sitting on my couch watching The Good Wife: Alicia Florrick in her kitchen and on my screen and I instantly thought: "whatever, you know Florrick/Agos ain't gonna last; y'all working out of an abandoned methhouse and Carrie Bradshaw hit that first!" All because of jealously. All because I wanted what that amazing multi-faceted, glamorously dressed, well-paid fictional character had: a glass of wine. A really big one.

That's the thing they don't tell you when you decide to do a Whole 30 (or at least as close to a Whole 30 as you're really gonna do at this point in time) : there might be coconut milk for your coffee, and coconut sugar for your coffee and coconut flour/flakes/chips/oil/water/whole coconuts for the other things you need, but there is no coconut equivalent of red wine or friendship.

Yeah, you will sleep better, feel better, have less weird digestive issues and cry less, but there will be a void in your soul. You'll feel like no one understands. You'll feel like no one has felt this pain before. You'll wonder if cavemen were really healthier than Ancient Romans or Chicagoan lawyers. And you'll look for a friend. Someone to say "it's okay, brah, I know how you do."

Someone to say, "yeah, that's what two shots looks like..." For body, health, mind and spiritual growth, there's the paleo lifestyle. For everything else, there's Sandra Lee.