Why I’d never make it on Survivor

April 25, 2007 on 9:10 pm | By | In Food Musings | 5 Comments

Fleet MargaritaWhat can be worse for a chef than having to be on a liquid diet? Being on said liquid diet while having to cook food for others.

No, I haven’t jumped on the latest detox/cleanse craze. Tomorrow I’m finally following doctor’s orders and getting a colonoscopy (colon cancer runs in the family). In order for the test to be accurate you have to get fully cleaned out, so today it’s nothing but clear liquids.

While today’s client will enjoy maple roast chicken breasts with cinnamon apples, Asian marinated flank steak, chicken chilaquiles with salsa verde, macaroni & cheese and turkey ziti with four cheeses, I get to have… clear chicken broth. With a glass of white grape juice. And lemon Jello for dessert.

Whew! I’m stuffed already.

My preparation actually started a week ago when I had to stop taking any sort of anti-inflammatory (which would have come in handy after my relay race), iron, vitamin E, gingko biloba, and for some reason, ginger. Knowing a day of clear liquids was on the horizon, I had made a batch of chicken stock and was planning on simmering it with ginger for some added flavor. But a call to the gastroenterologist confirmed I should forgo it.

On Monday I stocked up on other liquids: tropical citrus Vitamin Water (good for replacing electrolytes), lemon Jello (normally I’d go for cherry or cranberry, but I had to eliminate all red and purple foods), white grape juice and margarita mix. Why the latter, you ask? It was a tip from Debby, the gastroenterologist’s assistant. The phosphate soda you drink the day before your procedure is pretty nasty stuff (it’s basically saline solution), but lemon-lime drinks make it a bit more palatable. Since margaritas are often served with a salted rim, it stands to reason the mix would go well with the solution. In fact, one of the doctors actually froze his before consuming it. I figured it was worth a try.

Yesterday I had to eliminate all the food I eat to try to PREVENT colon cancer: whole grains, nuts, seeds, fiber and legumes. I made myself a huge plate of fettuccine with chicken and fresh asparagus, hoping the carbo-loading would stave off hunger for a bit. So much for the best-laid plans.

This morning I started with some Jello hoping a bit of texture would help. I had considered going to the gym, but the cold I’ve been trying to shake for the past three weeks started to act up, so I decided rest would be better. Besides, I wanted to save my energy.

I drank a cup of hot broth (with a few shakes of chipotle Tabasco) just before leaving for the grocery store. It pained me to pass up the samples of sausage and spinach dip — I always enjoy my quick morning noshes — but I had to be strict. I planned a quick and easy menu today so I could get home early and crash on the couch. I had to keep reminding myself not to taste the food, although I did allow myself one elbow macaroni to test whether it was done. I certainly hope everything was properly seasoned!

The hunger pangs started about 9 a.m. and wouldn’t go away no matter how much I drank. My client felt bad eating his lunch in front of me, but I assured him I’d be fine. We sat together, he with his pastrami and ham slices with chips, me with my… Jello. But in less than four hours I was heading back home.

By now my sinuses were completely blocked, so I laid on the couch watching TV until it was time for me to drink my Fleet cocktail. While it certainly wouldn’t be something I’d seek out, it really wasn’t that bad. The mix isn’t particularly sweet, and given the saltiness of the solution, it tasted like some sort of sour vegetable juice. I really didn’t know what to expect (I was told to stay close to a bathroom), but an hour passed and nothing, well, passed.

It’s now more than five hours later, and at the risk of sharing too much information, let’s just say the cocktail has done its job. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s installment: My first colonoscopy and other excellent adventures.

5 Comments

  1. I love the toilet paper next to the margarita mix. Very clever.

    Comment by Kitchen Bitch Lisa — April 26, 2007 #

  2. Ew! So sorry! I remember once I was in the hospital after a scary bronchitis episode… and had to have the brothy diet for about 48 hours. It was just after all the holiday feasting and I decided it was a timely diet!!!!

    Comment by janelle — April 26, 2007 #

  3. Lisa — of course that was Matt’s idea!

    Janelle — that was probably the best part of all this; for the first time my weight went below 160!!! (However, I’m sure it’ll rise again now that I can eat).

    Comment by ovens2betsy — April 26, 2007 #

  4. Fabulous picture! I am dying laughing!

    Comment by Culinary Cowgirl — April 27, 2007 #

  5. My wife Sri just drank a bottle of castor oil to help deliver her baby, but.. having the same effect so far,. congradulations you are going to be an auntie before the day is over,. Love brother Dan

    Comment by Daniel — May 4, 2007 #

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