Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The Pasta That Nearly Did Me In

I read a book this weekend that made me ache for yummy, wholesome, fresh, inspiring food. (A review will be offered later). All I wanted to do was eat something YUMMY.

And the yummy that seemed to be calling my name was: Italian food. And not just any Italian food, but warm, delicious, garlicy, cheesy, tomatoey Italian food. Italian food thats yum factor would shoot be right out of this world.

It was Monday night. Because of being snowed in on our cabin weekend, we didn't get home until Monday afternoon from our weekend, so our Denmark Health Challenge would not resume until Tuesday morning. I figured this was my chance to grab some really super delicious Italian food and not have it count against me on the health challenge.

So, at 9:00 pm that night I went to a little Italian bistro in town and ordered up this:

Yummo! It was something about the fusion of flavors with pesto, pine nuts, olive oil and romano sauce that just seemed to make this dish drip with delectability. I ordered some creamy tomato basil soup too and figured within minutes I would be swimming in deliciousness that had only previously been imagined, but not experienced in my life.

I was wrong. On so many counts.

The food was actually good, don't get me wrong. Hot and pulsing with flavor, it seemed at first that I had made a very good decision. I was hungry after a long day of little food and a weekend of nauseous illness. I figured this kind of food would really nourish me--deeply and with a rich sustenance. What I didn't count on was the amount of food or my reaction to it.

The gnocchi came piled high on a plate and my first thought was "I can't eat all of this" but before I could even dig in I was distracted by the liquid siren of the creamy tomato basil soup and I gave in. I took some Italian bread and plunged it deeply into my soup and waited a few seconds to let the two merge. Then I slurped that warm, gooey bread and soup into my too-hungry mouth and let little explosions of delight go off throughout my taste buds.

I liked the experience so much, I repeated it quickly--again and again twining the bread and soup and soaking up all of its delicious, steamy tastes.

And then I dug into the gnocchi. I've always been a fan of gnocchi and this one came with a sumptious, nutty pesto sauce. So, I began gorging on it. I knew there was a lot of gnocchi there and I had already indulged in the soup and bread but I just climbed on board for more and more and more.

Until I hit about the halfway point. I'd gobbled up so much pasta and bread that by the time I hit the halfway point on the plate of gnocchi, I was full clear up to my gills. I put my plate down, licked my lips, and fully intended to return to that plate of gnocchi at the next signal of hunger that my body sent out. But I never did.

For shortly after putting the plate down, I began to feel nauseous and ill like I had all weekend at the cabin. And not just nauseous in a slightly queasy way, but nauseous in the can-I-please-throw-up-the-entire-contents-of-my-stomach way. I was begging for mercy. And the headache that accompanied that nausea sent my body discomfort to an all-new high of misery.

Misery. That is the only word I can think of to describe my plight for the next few days. I was miserable and sick and had to choke back the bile every time the thought of that gnocchi entered my mind. Every single time.

Needless to say, I won't be craving Italian for the next little while. Or EVER.

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