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eG Foodblog Tag Team IV: Marlene, Dave, snowangel - Cold Turkey, Three Ways


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This Foodblog is a Foodblog unlike any other.

It's the first time we've ever done a Foodblog with more than two participants. Second, three Society members will each embark on a very special journey over the next twelve days...and hopefully remain on course once this installment is over. Each of them has decided to quit smoking. This Foodblog will explore certain food-related issues that will arise from their decision: associated weight gain, healthier diet, better sense of taste, and an all-around sense of well-being and wholesomeness.

Whilst there is no formal program unlike two of our previous Tag Teams -- A Tale of Two Kitchens and When Pocky Meets Pad Thai -- here is a general overview of things to come:

Thursday, 2 February: Asian cooking using dishes from the various pictorials in the China forum

Saturday, 4 February: Roasting meats

Monday, 6 February to Wednesday, 8 February: Cuban cuisine

Saturday, 11 February: Smoking pork butt

Also planned are big breakfasts on the weekends and at least one meal at an "institution" school cafeteria, convention hall etc.

Finally, I would like to take this moment to dedicate this Tag Team to the memory of my grandfather and my stepfather. You see, my grandfather died of lung cancer when I was ten years old. It was a devastating blow to my grandmother. Michael, my stepfather, died a few years ago of a heart attack caused in part by his diabetes -- which might have been exacerbated due to his smoking. Although he went cold turkey in the early 1990s, I firmly believe that had he quit even earlier than that, that he would still be alive today.

As you can see, this Tag Team is very special to me. I hope that it's a special one for you too.

Soba

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In a moment, I will head outside to have that last cigarette out in the heavily falling snow. I will be cold and wet. Which is one reason I don't want to smoke anymore.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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This will be a very difficult week for everyone on staff. I just know it. :laugh:

Seriously though, props to Marlene, Dave and Snowangel for kickin' it. I know how rough it is.

How many packs a day are each of you at, just out of curiosity?

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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My sister quit smoking a little over 2 months ago. Just in time for the stress of winter break! I know that it is a very difficult habit to break, and I'm rooting for you all! BTW: sis says that food tastes MUCH cleaner to her now, and she's stopped loading on the perfume so heavily, too! :rolleyes:

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Edited by Rebecca263 (log)

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You guys are an inspiration. I will be watching closely and will offer any encouragement whenever needed. You see . . . I am considering the same thing. I have to confess that I do not have any noble reasons. It is the money. I am a nototrious miser. (Well, except for books and my toy chest.)

But . . . I think the kicker is that it is just getting too damned inconvenient. When I was working, long flights and long meetings were bad enough but I got through with the gums and lozenges. Now that I am retired, I am more attentive to my comfort. I am planning to do the Cross-Canadian train trip in the late spring. (I canceled last fall due to hurricanes.) Maybe that was a good thing. Now, I have had time to think about this. The train is non-smoking. :blink:

I'll be in the cheering section for all of you. And, if you slip, don't feel too bad or give up. Your first attempts were practice. :biggrin:

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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First?

Well . . . Some of us need more practice than others. I am certainly in that camp. :biggrin:

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Good luck to all three of you.

I harbor no illusions that it will be easy for you to kick this habit. I quit about 16 years ago just like that and never looked back, but I gained 45 pounds in my first smoke-free year. Those pounds remain part of me to this day.

I would still not recommend smoking as a method for preventing weight gain, though.

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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Good luck to all three of you.

I harbor no illusions that it will be easy for you to kick this habit.  I quit about 16 years ago just like that and never looked back, but I gained 45 pounds in my first smoke-free year.  Those pounds remain part of me to this day.

I would still not recommend smoking as a method for preventing weight gain, though.

There are all kinds of food issues related to smoking, and weight gain is probably foremost among them. I've not paid much attention to weight since I was in fifth grade, 5'4", 160 pounds. At 18, I was 5'10", 150 pounds (no, not because of smoking; that didn't come for another three years). The point is that I haven't weighed myself since then. Even at medical check-ups, I didn't pay attention, because it wasn't an issue. But I weighed myself this afternoon, just for the record: a hair short of 6'0", 180 pounds. We'll see what happens, but I'm with you, Sandy. At this point, I'd rather be an overweight nonsmoker than a thin guy with a persistent jones.

(Now consuming a personal pack of Pop-Secret and a small glass of merlot, water back.)

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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Beyond the weight thing (which I gave up on a long time ago), I found that in my admittedly half hearted attempts, I tended to lean on spicy food. I think I was hallucinating that the addition of capsaicins would help my endorphins or some such junk science. Well, maybe not junk. Who knows. Do you guys have a plan as to how your cooking and eating will try to work with this?

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Good luck to all of you! It's a hard habit to change, but I have no doubt that if you guys have decided you're going to change it, then change it is exactly what you're going to do.

Marcia.

Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

eGullet foodblog

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good luck all. just like learning to eat healthily or drink moderately - my two bug-a-boos- it is a daily choice. my mom quit 4 days before going into the hospital and 13 days before she died of cancer.

i wonder if the weight gain is because things taste so good you want more? i wonder why if the flavors and smells are more intense why less wouldn't be more?

looking forward to your butts though :biggrin:

Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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Beyond the weight thing (which I gave up on a long time ago), I found that in my admittedly half hearted attempts, I tended to lean on spicy food. I think I was hallucinating that the addition of capsaicins would help my endorphins or some such junk science. Well, maybe not junk. Who knows. Do you guys have a plan as to how your cooking and eating will try to work with this?

Plan? We're supposed to have a plan? :blink: Actually I do have a plan.

good morning everyone. It's early and for the first time in 35 years, I'm have a coffee without a cigarette in my hand. I have to say it feels a little weird, but so far no worse than that.

I could give you several reasons why I decided to quit. I could say I decided when my brother was diagnosed with lung cancer last May, I could say it was because I'd promised my son I would quit when I was 45, and oops, I've only got a few months of being 45 left. I could say, that my husband says I can remodel the kitchen if I stay smoke free for 6 months.

Each of those things may be factors. But the reality is and needs to be, I decided for me. I want to be free.

So having said that, one of the things I do battle with is weight gain. I've done this all my life. I'm a life time member of Weight Watchers having lost 80 lbs and have (mostly) kept it off for the last 8 years. I know all about healthy eating and making the right "lifestyle" food choices. :smile: I'm a little over that 5 lbs that WW's allows you once you hit lifetime, and I had thought I might try to do something about that before embarking on this. (we've known we were going to do this for at least a month.)

A shoulder injury and then my brother's illness kept me away from the gym for the last several months and of course during the summer I cooked for my brother trying to put weight on him which didn't help me.

For the last two weeks I've taken up running again. Ok ok, I've started off doing a walk/run cycle. I also began eating breakfast again something I haven't done for a long time. While you won't see me having huge breakfasts (well maybe on the weekends) I'll likely have something everymorning. (It's a little early for me to be taking pictures, give me a few minutes to wake up!). You'll also (gasp) see a few green vegetables.

This morning it will be coffee, and a half grapefruit. Or possibly one of those incredibly good sesame bagels I got at whole foods yesterday.

But first, I need to get ready and take my son to school. While I'm at the school I'll meet with the principal in my role as School Council Chair, and then I'll get back here and update you on what's for dinner (braised short ribs I think). I'll do my best not to gash my teeth at anyone as I go. :biggrin:

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Congratulations to all of you! This is going to be quite the week, and quite the journey for you!

Trying to keep this sort of food related, there is a very good chance you'll gain weight regardless of what you eat, so don't feel bad if you do. Nicotine increases one's metabolism, so yours will slow down a bit when you quit. If you don't already exercise regularly, you might want to start now so you can increase your metabolism a little. Although it's difficult to make two huge behavioural changes at once, you can use exercise as a behavioural alternative to smoking (whenever you want to light up a cigarette, for example, take a walk around the block or pick up a Dynaband and do some bicep curls).

One of the things I learned in training (I was a smoking cessation counsellor when I was in university) was that it only takes 3 days for your body to adjust to the lack of nicotine. After that, you're really dealing with your mind's addiction to smoking.

Now if only I could apply everything I learned about smoking cessation to my potato chip addiction...

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First, I really, truly wish the three of you well. You're among my favorite eGulleteers, and taking on this task together is smart and admirable. (Taking it on while doing a foodblog -- well, let's talk in a week. :wink:)

Ex-smoker here, too, but never more than 1/2 pack a day, so I can't really claim to have struggled to quit; my late onset asthma pretty much took care of any residual desires I had for a smoke with a post-meal drink (or, especially, a post-fried-meal drink). However, I learned recently that I have retained my deep need for tactile and oral stimulation throughout the day. So, along the lines of Rachel's suggestion, let me propose small frequent meals a few times a day to keep up your metabolism and blood sugar -- and make it good stuff, too, since you're already depriving yourself -- and good fidget toys. Lately you'd have to pry the Tangle out of my hands with a crowbar.

I hope and trust that you'll all succeed with our love and support. Of course, if y'all don't succeed, the eGullet Society will come tumbling down like Pompeii, so there's that to keep in mind. :blink:

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Nicotene gum helps tremendously. Not the 2 mg.  The 4 mg. is the way to go. Especially if you chomp on two pieces at a time.  :rolleyes:

Now why would I want to put nicotine into my body while trying to get rid of nicotine in my body? :biggrin:

Congratulations to all of you!  This is going to be quite the week, and quite the journey for you!

Trying to keep this sort of food related, there is a very good chance you'll gain weight regardless of what you eat, so don't feel bad if you do.  Nicotine increases one's metabolism, so yours will slow down a bit when you quit.  If you don't already exercise regularly, you might want to start now so you can increase your metabolism a little.  Although it's difficult to make two huge behavioural changes at once, you can use exercise as a behavioural alternative to smoking (whenever you want to light up a cigarette, for example, take a walk around the block or pick up a Dynaband and do some bicep curls). 

One of the things I learned in training (I was a smoking cessation counsellor when I was in university) was that it only takes 3 days for your body to adjust to the lack of nicotine.  After that, you're really dealing with your mind's addiction to smoking. 

Now if only I could apply everything I learned about smoking cessation to my potato chip addiction...

If I gain weight, so be it. As Dave said, I'd rather be an overweight non smoker. But I don't think I will. Let's track this shall we? This morning, I weighed in at 160 lb. Let's see where I am at the end of 12 days.

I've heard that 3 days, three weeks thing as well. In fact, I've just finished reading Allan Carr's Easyway to quit smoking and I know Susan read it and Dave is finishing it up.

A book byitself won't make you quit, but it sure is helping me maintain a pretty good mindset this morning!

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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The only thing that could give me enough inspiration to quit is becoming pregnant.

Of course I am an idiot, I started back after I had my daughter.

When I became pregnant with my son I quit for good. It's been about 3 1/2 years.

It will be the best thing you have ever done. I had other reasons to quit as well. My Dad had 7 siblings. One died early (27, I think) of a freak accident. The other 6 have either died of cancer (4) or lived through it (2). My Dad is lucky. He has taken care of himself over the years. He quit smoking at 35.

He did have some precancerous polyps at his last colon screening.

Besides my aunts and uncles getting cancer young and dying, I have had several female cousins get breast or ovarian cancer around 30.

My cousin that almost died of breast cancer started looking into the cancer genes. When she tested positive for the gene, we all got worried. My Dad tested. If he wasn't a carrier we wouldn't have to worry. Unfortunately he was.

I have two sisters. We are 32, 28, and 25. We tested last year. We didn't get the results we hoped for. That means an 85 percent chance of getting cancer in our lifetimes.

I guess what I am saying is quit smoking. You never know. Good luck, I know you can do it.

Just do it for the food. Think of the ingredients you will be able to buy with that cash. Then you will actually be able to taste it all too.

-Becca

www.porterhouse.typepad.com

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Smoking

I smoked off and on for most of my life. My cousin Mac taught me how to smoke when I was about fifteen and staying with his family at their lake cabin one summer. At my peak I smoked between three and four packs of Pall Mall straights per day!

I actually considered smoking to be as much a hobby as a habit. I enjoyed visiting tobacco stores and trying foreign brands of cigarettes. I'd smoke a nice cigar on occasion, and even tried a pipe, but that was too much fussing for me.

One of the oddities about my smoking, which people still see fit to comment on even though I quit nearly ten years ago, is the way I used to keep my ashtrays. I always stacked up the butts, smoked to nearly equal length, in neat little piles like firewood. I just figured this was efficient, and posed the least risk of an unwanted ashtray fire, but everyone else found it fascinating. It became a strange kind of trademark, and people could always tell when I'd been around.

{Aside: When I was involved in covert activities I would consciously abandon this practice, and even took the additional step of switching to Marlboros, which I would mark with an "X" on the filter end using my thumbnail.}

One morning on my way to work I stopped at a local gas station/convenience store and purchased my usual three packs of Pall Malls. I got to work, made a pot of coffee, and started some bookkeeping work on the computer. (This was in my pre-internet days.) About twenty minutes into the day I turned around to reach for the recently opened pack of cigarettes, and just decided I didn't smoke anymore. As simple as that!

Of course, like everyone else who smokes, I'd thought about quitting, and had even stopped smoking for months or years at a stretch since starting at fifteen. I hadn't consciously considered it that morning though, or had any particular reason to choose that day. I'm not even really sure what the exact date was, only that it was just prior to Labor Day. The only thing I recall distinctly about the experience was remembering a story Old Joe Terzich had once told me.

Joe was retired from the iron mines and owned a corner grocery store in a small community where he also served as a Township Commissioner. When my family had our engineering business we handled various projects for the Township, so Joe would stop by our office every now and then. He was a nice guy, and a real good talker. My Father was always happy if I would take care of bs'ing with Joe so he wouldn't lose a couple hours of work time. Since Joe liked to talk about money, politics and stock car racing I was happy to oblige.

Joe used to call me "Smokey", and gave me a bad time about my smoking. He was an ex-smoker himself. Joe had been a shovel runner in the mines, and that job entails plenty of down time waiting for the next truck or train car to load. This provided ample opportunities to have a smoke, and Joe had gone through several packs a day for most of his thirty years on the job. The story of how he had come to quit smoking is what I remembered that morning.

As Joe told it, he'd been mowing his lawn one evening when he spied his neighbor across the street who was also out doing some yardwork. Never one to pass up a chance to talk rather than work, Joe shut off his mower and set out across the street. In preparation for the conversation he reached into his shirt pocket for a cigarette and discovered his pack was empty. And he just never smoked again.

Since quitting I've had countless opportunities to relate this story, and it's surprising how many people who quit successfully had a similar experience. I've concluded that will power, self-help groups, hypnotism, patches, gums and other gimmicks notwithstanding, it's either your day to quit smoking, or it ain't.

SB (offering Best Wishes to the "Quitters") :wink:

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