*With apologies to Roy Scheider’s Capt. Brody

I’ve been dicking around with my diet these last few weeks since getting back from vacation. I haven’t been logging my calories or sticking to anything too strictly. It’s not that I’ve been over eating so much as a bit lax in my habits. And as a result I’ve put back on four pounds from the 208 I registered when we got back from the Grand Canyon.

At one point last weekend the scale climbed up to 218, but it thankfully proved itself to be water weight or some other anomaly because a couple days later I’d settled back to 212.

Lunch these past weeks has been problematic. Whereas before I’d be smart with some cottage cheese and olives and pretzels, a case in point yesterday — and a low point indeed — was my diving into some raw pie crust dough that Susan had left over from the cobbler she’d recently made.

Pie crust dough? Hey, judge not lest ye be and all that.

Anyway, it started off as a nibble and there was a definite yum factor. So I had another nibble. Then another. Then I busted out the spoon, and before I knew it I’d polished off two-thirds of the blob of dough. And it stopped being yummy about halfway along.

So today as the lunch beastie started growling from within, I was seriously thinking about the kabobs at Zankou but instead went prowling around the kitchen and good sense prevailed in my decision to toss up a salad — good sense to a degree.

See, I hauled out the cabbage heads and the onion and the tomatoes and the bell pepper, but then over-chopped and wound up with this monster salad filling to the rim the first bowl I pulled out to use, necessitating it’s transfer into this 10-inch-wide job:

salad.jpg

As if all that foliage wasn’t enough I added a chopped green apple, a can of sardines for protein and a liberal sprinkling of croutons before topping it all off with a couple/three servings of Trader Joe’s reduced fat cilantro dressing. All told the creation came in somewhere between 600 – 700 calories.

And damn was it good and boy am I full.

Excessive? Well from the standpoint that it could’ve served the population of an African village, yes. But from the standpoint of it deterring me from the hellacious calorie count that comes with Zankou’s otherwise heavenly kabob platter or worse from making a meal out of stuff like pie crust dough, not at all.