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Let's Take Back Our Tastebuds!


zilla369
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If you somehow missed the epic Cold Turkey, Three Ways foodblog, perhaps you don't know there's a revolution brewing.

Three members blogged their way through their first two weeks of quitting smoking. Dave, Marlene and snowangel (Susan) had, to be sure, various myriad reasons to stop smoking, and they generously shared their successes (and a few failures, but only a few!) with us all. The response was astounding. Check out the number of views and responses on that thread. Obviously, the subject struck a chord with the membership.

Food - what we eat, how busy we stay preparing it, how it ultimately tastes - is going to be a key component for anyone attempting to kick the habit. Although the Cold Turkey foodblog itself is over, the struggle to quit isn't. Our intrepid trio (and the folks that joined them along way) may be through the very worst part of quitting already, but it's clear that they inspired a lot of other folks to at least think about quitting, or start getting ready to quit.

I myself had planned to quit as a New Year's resolution, but frankly I was pretty sure that wouldn't happen. I've never kept a New Year's resolution in my life. I sort of wanted to hop on the bandwagon at the beginning of the blog, but Valentine's day was looming (a stressful time for a pastry chef!). However, I started, for the first time, to really think about quitting every day (as opposed to avoiding thinking about quitting, y'know?). In addition, my dad has been after me to quit forever, and my grandmother recently pretty much finished losing the last of her eyesight to macular degeneration (which smoking doesn't help). Little signs were everywhere.

For me, it's going to be tough because my bakeshop kitchen is across an alleyway from the main kitchen and restaurant, and that alleyway is where every employee stands and smokes on their breaks. There's always somebody out there smoking, and I will have to run that gauntlet every time I pass between the two kitchens. *sigh*. In addition, cigarettes get passed around pretty freely among restaurant staff, so even if I never buy another one there will be 10 hours a day, 5 or 6 days a week, during which I can get my hands on a cig simply by walking a few steps.

Today's Valentine's Day. Tomorrow, I quit.

Others that may have been inspired by the Cold Turkey bloggers, join me. Let's take back our tastebuds. Maggie's revelation that food started tasting better about 10 or 12 days in is one of the best reasons I can think of to quit. And snowangel bought a new camera with the beginnings of her monetary windfall from not smoking (the better to photograph food with!)

In the end, smoking has a lot to do with food...so let's bring food into the conversation every chance we get. . Shouldn't be too hard - we're going to have to figure out stuff to eat that doesn't cause us all to pack on 50 pounds. Marlene has suggested a book by Alan Carr, "Easy Way to Stop Smoking". After reading some of the customer reviews of the book on Amazon, I can't wait to get my hands on it.

So...who's with me?

Day: -1

Marsha Lynch aka "zilla369"

Has anyone ever actually seen a bandit making out?

Uh-huh: just as I thought. Stereotyping.

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Marsha, I'm thrilled that we were in some small way able to inspire you along this path. :smile:

As people jump aboard, let's hear not just that "you're in", but how you expect this new path to awaken your culinary senses. Taste and smell. Using your hands to cook to keep busy. Dealing with hunger pangs. (did you know that a hunger pang can be very simillar to a craving?) Learn to recognize the difference. Weight management while quitting. We're all about food here and there are lots of avenues we can correlate to back to it.

If I can provide any small help along the way, I'll do so, as will many others. As Soba said, we're all in this together. And our culinary lives can be greatly enriched along the way.

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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Welcome aboard, Marsha!

A couple of notes as I reflect on the last couple of weeks. First and foremost, if you slip, you slip and pick yourself up.

One thing I've noticed is that my alcohol consumption is down. I think that for so many of us, the two go hand-in-hand.

My cravings for sharp tastes, particular spicy, is still very strong. Crunchy is still high on the list.

But what's been really interesting is that I thought I would want to substitute food for that oral need. Not the case at all. I'm having a lot of trouble, during the day when I'm home, figuring out just what it is that I want to eat. I'm amazed at how many half-eaten lunches I've thrown away.

Meantime, Marsha, smoke like a fiend today. Smoke yourself almost sick!

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Good for you Marsha!

I think I've cooked more in this past week than I have in a month. I've made a lot of things that involve chopping to keep my hands busy. Salads, stews, stir-fries. I think it's helped a lot. My tastebuds have definitely returned and I'll admit that I gained 5lbs last week. I'm not really worried about it though. The snacking has helped and I'm getting a treadmill next week so I'll lose the weight. My sense of smell has come back too- I was at a restaurant the other night and I swear I could smell the glass of wine being poured across the room. I course I then had to have a couple of glasses. :biggrin: Yummy!

Sunflower seeds, the ones in the shell that you have to crack are my new favorite treat. They keep your mouth busy because you have to use your tongue to manipulate the seed out of the shell. Salty too.

Good luck everyone!

Melissa

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I'm in. I've been trying to quit since the first of the year, but as soon as I have a glass of wine I'm looking for a cig. That's usually the only time I smoke, unless I'm stressed big time. Last week I was on jury trial which wasn't soo bad until I got picked for a murder case. THAT was stress. It ended last night (after going round and round with my 11 new best friends), and after we have the steaks and bottle of red tonight for Valentines day, I'm breaking the habit. I'm going to the grocery store today and stock up on my smoothie ingredients. There are some comfort foods to stock up on, and a stock pile of recipes to try. I guess I'll be doing some redecorating as well since I'll have extra time, money and energy. I never realize how much physical energy smoking takes away from me until I quit for a while and feel so much better. My dreams get a little weird though, but that might be another thread!

Just like dieting it's important to not let a slip up derail you for good. If you keep on at it, you'll win. I hope I've finally gotton that through my head as I usually use a slipup as an excuse to go buy another pack. Crappy thinking. Good luck everyone, and congrats to you guys who have been hanging in there.

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I quit about eight or nine years ago, following my doctor's recommendation to use Zyban and a nicotine patch together. I found this method very easy and recommend it. I cannot honestly say that anything tasted better though.

"Last week Uncle Vinnie came over from Sicily and we took him to the Olive Garden. The next day the family car exploded."

--Nick DePaolo

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After 20 years + of smoking I did not even consider cold turkey! I went to the doc and got patches and a Zyban supply. I was supposed to be on the pills for 3 months and the patch for at least double that time. After two weeks, I was off both with no cravings whatsoever. It was really a no pain quitting experience. 8 months later, I don't even consider slipping backwards.

My sense of taste and smell is amazingly different. I will agree, my alcohol consumption is way down, not sure if it is related but it sure might be. I've been on a no drinking binge for a while now. I will have to test wine and food taste difference, I haven't yet. I expect it will be better than before.

My weight has jumped a good 20lbs. with no substantial increase in eating or change in physical activity. So my metabolism took a hit. Wife bought me a heavy bag for V-Day which serves as my notice to get with the program before I get traded in for a newer model. :raz::raz:

-Mike

PS. What BobMac said :wink:

Edited by NYC Mike (log)

-Mike & Andrea

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I don't know how I missed the Cold Turkey blog, but I found it very inspirational and heartwarming.

Having moved from New York where there are pretty stringent anti-smoking laws, to Philadelphia where there aren't any, I've found that when eating out, even second-hand smoke ruins my senses. (BTW, I am a non-smoker.) It's great to go into a restaurant and be able to smell the food and not smoke.

I just skimmed through the blog, but I'd like to congratulate Dave the Cook, Marlene, and snowangel for having the courage to start this, and all those who have also tried to quit during those last two weeks. To everyone, I admire your decision to quit smoking. I applaud your successes and hope that your failures are brief and won't bring you down, but will strengthen your resolve to achieve your goal.

To those who will be having their last cigarette, I wish you luck and want you to know that I am behind you every step of the way.

Karen C.

"Oh, suddenly life’s fun, suddenly there’s a reason to get up in the morning – it’s called bacon!" - Sookie St. James

Travelogue: Ten days in Tuscany

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I'm so glad you started this thread. I kept seeing COLD TURKEY: THREE WAYS up top each day, but I figured it was an older thread that'd been bumped back up. I'm embarrassed to admit I assumed it had something to do with Thanksgiving leftovers. :unsure:

I've been smoking for about 19 years now, and I'm only 33. I've quit probably 30 times, sometimes using the patch, sometimes nicorette, sometimes zyban, and most often trying cold turkey. I've even read Alan Carr's book borrowed from a friend. I've tried quitting on my last cigarette, and I've tried quitting by keeping cigarettes close by but a nuisance to go and get. All of these things have been somewhat helpful, but I think a combination of them will help me be successful.

I HAVE to quit. I've had very poor circulation for years and it's really affecting my health. And in April I'm moving into a building where I won't be allowed to smoke. So I have to have quit by April.

I'm ordering the book and reading it again (note: for anyone wondering ....he convinces you that you don't actually like smoking, and you actually believe it) and I'll be using zyban with the patch, and keeping one cigarette in the trunk of my car so I won't go into panic mode.

And as far as food is concerned....I'm a bit scrawny anyways so I welcome weight gain. But if I document that it'll probably read an awful lot like the PMS thread. Hehehe . But maybe I'll finally grow that ass I've always wanted. :laugh: Plus I'll save $2600/year.

I'm not ready right this moment, but I'll be back, that's for sure. Thank you so much for starting this.

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I'll be using zyban with the patch, and keeping one cigarette in the trunk of my car so I won't go into panic mode.

Good luck quitting, but do you think that keeping a cigarette nearby and readily accessible is a good idea? I quit cold-turkey after 13 years of pack-a-day smoking, and knowing that I would have to drive to the store for cigarettes was actually helpful. It would have been way too tempting to have had one in the trunk.

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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Okay; Day One.

Yesterday was a hellish blur of chocolate not quite doing my bidding (pastry chef, you know) and so I really relished the "last pack" I brought home last night. When I got up this morning, I immediately ran the remaining six cigarettes under water in the bathroom sink and dumped the ashtrays in the living room. Even while I was pushing the snooze alarm, I kept thinking "no more smoking for me!"

I'm drinking a Coke (original, thank you - I expect I'll need the sugar to stave off lethargy) and contemplating a menu for 30 I have to fulfill later this evening; who sells a trio dessert that includes BOTH a "bourbon ball" and a "mint julep truffle"...especially the day after valentine's when I can hardly bear to think of smelling chocolate? Grrrr. :angry:

There's a head of celery in the walk-in at work with my name on it; I'll be splitting that into sticks as soon as I hit the door.

So...c'mon, highchef and andrewb, you gotta follow through on your committments! Have we picked up anyone else?

Day: 1

Marsha Lynch aka "zilla369"

Has anyone ever actually seen a bandit making out?

Uh-huh: just as I thought. Stereotyping.

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Marsha,

I'm with you on this. My Q-date is February 26 - I need to first get the WELLBUTRIN (like zyban) build up.

My foremost food hope is the 500 botttles of 80's and early 90's Cabs and Bordeauxs will taste better. I don't have problems with the nose, but can't distinguish the nuances on the palate. Recently, I've been leaning towords the fruitbomb Shiraz, because there's more on the mouth.

Weight gain will be an issue, but I'm also planning an exercise regimen as part of a larger effort to be healthier. I've just retired, and at age 59 want to be able to do the physical pursuits I enjoy with more enjoyment.

Best, Doug Davis

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yes, I'm still on. Changed the red wine last night to a white to go with the shrimp I cooked. Stayed in the kitchen, close to the wine and cig's and barely ate a thing. That means I have some cool leftovers to help with any oral needs I have. The big hurdle is going to be on Friday when I have a date with a couple of my new best friends to rehash that trial we shared jury duty on. I plan on having a few, and throwing on a patch before I leave. The bright side is I won't have to leave the table to grab a smoke in the bar. The other guys don't smoke so I won't get that pity look either! I anticipate a nice steak with soft shell crab as a teaser and I'm gonna do dessert as well. This is sooo sad that the food fixation is already taking over, guess I need to dust off the treadmill.

I don't smell like smoke.

I like that.

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Well, I made it all the way through yesterday without smoking.

Discoveries:

Bread-making is a good way to keep hands busy and mind off smoking

You can step outside and take a "LifeSaver" break, so long as no one's smoking out there

Not smoking doesn't make the skin on your hands impervious to burns if you get clumsy!!

Corn Pops cereal, eaten directly from the box, one by one, can get you through a bad spot of that hand-to-mouth fixation.

Day: 2

Backsliding: Nil

Marsha Lynch aka "zilla369"

Has anyone ever actually seen a bandit making out?

Uh-huh: just as I thought. Stereotyping.

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Good going, Marsha! Since the blog, I have only slipped once, and seem to be back on track.

One of the things I discovered in the first few days was unbelievable forgetfulness and clumsiness. You should have seen my hands!

I've found cooking to be therapeutic. I can't say I'm eating any more, but I've made two kinds of stock, onion confit, and am about to embark on marmalade (orange habanero; BTW anybody know at what point I add the peppers???).

How's food for you, Marsha? I'm still waiting for the taste revelation, and found stuff like carrots and celery to be worthless for cravings.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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I quit (cold turkey) on January 1st and even tho' I've fallen off of the wagon a few times, I still consider myself a quitter. I tried last year with the "aid" of Wellbutrin and decided that I'd rather smoke than not give a shit about anything that was going on in my life. :biggrin: Everyone responds to drugs differently, but the Wellbutrin turned me into a zombie and I didn't like it.

I can't be trusted to have an emergency pack around because my idea of an emergency is pretty weak and I really have to watch my alcohol intake because I seem to associate smoking with drinking. I'm gonna have to start two-fisting beers so that I can keep the other hand occupied.

Food really does taste better and the aromas that I can pick up are amazing... that being said, I've had to put myself on a diet, of sorts, to keep from sating my oral fixation with delicious smelling food.

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To all the quitters and quitters to be:

Congrats on your life changing decision.. best of luck!!!!

Doug: After I quit, the first real taste revelation was over a glass of Rodney Strong Merlot (don't remember the year). I was out with some pretty sophisticated wine drinkers, took my first sip and exclaimed "OMG, can you taste and smell the cinnamon!"

It was probably the first time I really got a strong side note without being "coached" by wine reviews or fellow non-smoking imbibers. What a kick!

Looking forward to hearing of your wine tales as time goes on...

Julia (Celebrated 7 years smoke free on 1/1/06) :smile:

"Anybody can make you enjoy the first bite of a dish, but only a real chef can make you enjoy the last.”

Francois Minot

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Marsha- good job! I felt completely stoned for the first two days after quiting "cold turkey". Confused and falling over the dog- it was kind of silly. It does go away though. I'm almost at two weeks and I'm feeling good. Last night was tough- we got some sad new about a friend and my first thought was, "Hey, I really deserve a smoke after hearing all that". But then I reminded myself that I can't mind-fuck myself anymore and I made some risotto topped with truffle butter and GOD! Good stuff! And I could even taste it! The only thing missing was a good wine to go with it. I drank a boring Banrock merlot because there was nothing else in the house. Any good suggestions for wine with risotto? Thanks.

Melissa

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You go girl. That spacy feeling does go away, but it sure feels weird. Snowangel and I hit on a new way of refraining from smoking today. We both cleaned out our fridges and freezers and I did (finally) my pantry, while we chatted and encouraged each other via AIM. It made the work go faster, we touched base frequently and we didn't smoke!

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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I smoked for 20 years from the age of 15 to 35 and tried to give up many times and finally 5 years ago I went cold turkey. The only way I found to give up was to give up alcohol at the same time. The way I saw it was the two go hand in hand, so for 12 weeks I gave up the alcohol and went walking every afternoon. I am now one of the worlds biggest anti smokers and can’t even stand a whiff of cigarette smoke. My nose for food and wine has improved 10 fold and I feel healthier that ever. I encourage all of you who are trying to give up to continue your non smoking ways and wish you all the best in your quest to give up.

Cheers Taubear

:biggrin:

Smell and taste are in fact but a single composite sense, whose laboratory is the mouth and its chimney the nose. - Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

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You go girl.  That spacy feeling does go away, but it sure feels weird.  Snowangel and I hit on a new way of refraining from smoking today.  We both cleaned out our fridges and freezers and I did (finally) my pantry, while we chatted and encouraged each other via AIM. It made the work go faster, we touched base frequently and we didn't smoke!

Finally, I had fun with a friend and didn't smoke. Although I didn't quite get to the pantry...

And, I continue to be a cooking fiend. I'm not eating tons, but sure am cooking. Gotta fill that fridge and freezer that are now clean!

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Well, I made it through yesterday as well, no cheating or slippage. Not that it was easy. And I face today (being the legendary DAY 3) with some trepidation.

Easier now to identify possible crisis moments. I'm having one acute craving upon waking. One acute craving at the bus stop, because the bus stop is in front of the little convenience store where I would often buy my daily pack. So I've started to go into the store to buy myself something...a paper or lifesavers or gummi bears.

One acute craving immediately after eating a meal. One or two while watching TV or in front of the computer at night.

Food does already taste better to me, but I suspect it's just because it's so satisfying to indulge oneself a couple times a day, and not because my tastebuds have been resurrected (too early on).

So, "Day 3" (if that is your real name)...it's me versus you. Do your worst. I'm ready.

Day: 3

Backsliding: Nil

Marsha Lynch aka "zilla369"

Has anyone ever actually seen a bandit making out?

Uh-huh: just as I thought. Stereotyping.

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From the cheering section: Wohoo!! You go, guys! Keep up the good work!

Toasted: Our first wine and food epiphany came with truffles. We had a truffled-cheese and paired it with a glass of Vacqueras. Taste explosion. Amazing.

Karen C.

"Oh, suddenly life’s fun, suddenly there’s a reason to get up in the morning – it’s called bacon!" - Sookie St. James

Travelogue: Ten days in Tuscany

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just checking in to see how the taste buds have (or have not) improved for all those who quit smoking at the beginning of the year.

Care to share your new "taste" revelations?

sarah

Always take a good look at what you're about to eat. It's not so important to know what it is, but it's critical to know what it was. --Unknown

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