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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Diet - deadline is 8-9-12 9:59 am NY time. (08/02/12)

TITLE: YOU CAN TAKE ALL YOU WANT
By James Dick
08/06/12


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There is nothing I like better than the occasional night out for dinner. It means no work, no mess and plenty of time to talk with and enjoy my wife. We arrive, place our order, have a nice relaxed conversation and experience the ambience while anticipating a great meal.

My favorite dinner is seafood and the richer the better. Unfortunately, I also have a problem with acid reflux, particularly with buttery foods. Too much of a good thing throws my stomach and esophagus into overdrive. Sometimes it can even mimic a heart attack and become frightening.

But itís Saturday night and I want to enjoy the night out. I convince myself that just this once it wonít hurt me.

As we sit in the pleasing atmosphere admiring the dark paneling and the artistic sea motif, I watch as fantastic seafood concoctions are brought to other patrons. These include fresh pan fried trout, steamed shrimp, scallops and clams, and even buttery lobster. My mouth begins to water.

Finally, when I am near the breaking point, my scrumptious appetizer arrives. I am now officially in nirvana. Sweet, slightly crunchy coconut shrimp is just what I was longing for. And it just whets my taste buds for what is yet to come.

Next comes a wonderful salad complete with all the fattening additions which are not recommended. You know, grated or crumbled cheese, garlic croutons and, of course, my favorite, bleu cheese dressing. The mixture of flavors is magnificent and I justify my decadence telling myself that I am getting plenty of raw vegetables.

Finally, the main course arrives. Tastefully garnished lump crabmeat au gratin is delivered in a steaming serving dish, accompanied by a twice baked potato. There is something about the aroma of spicy crabmeat mixed with melted cheese that is unforgettable. Combining the wonderful aroma with the creamy, lumpy texture is irresistible. It is something to die for.

Half way through the meal, my wife warns me to go easy. After all, she knows me well and has been through this before.

Instead of heeding her advice, I give her one of my looks that says thanks, but I know how to handle this. Even though the signs of getting full are present, I refuse to leave a single morsel.

Regretfully, I decline dessert. Despite my stubbornness, I know I am ready to explode.

Following dinner with a leisurely cup of coffee, we pay our bill and head for home. It is then that I really notice I am in trouble. My trousers feel too tight so I loosen my belt a notch. I am flushed in the face and respond by unbuttoning my shirt collar. On top of this, my stomach starts to feel like I have a bowling ball lodged within.

After arriving home, the heartburn kicks in and I complain to my wife. She responds by giving me one of her I told you so looks accompanied by a bottle of antacid. I take a couple of tablets and go to the family room to watch television.

Since my wife didnít overdo it, she props up in bed to read a book. I am in no condition to lie down. It would probably cause me to throw up.

Later when my internal turmoil subsides, I turn in for the night. I sleep fitfully but make it through until morning and tell myself that I wonít do that again.

Looking back, I realize that I once again overdid it. Food, while important for nourishment, must be consumed in a balanced way including necessary food groups and proper portion size. Too much richness and fat content are not good for me. Moderation is the key.

But I also realize that there is an exception to this, where moderation isnít necessary. This exception allows for us to take as much as we want to conquer our hunger. And the more you take the more you can have. In fact, huge portions of this food actually strengthen us and make us happier and better provided for lifeís challenges.

What kind of food is this? Itís the spiritual food we receive when we open our hearts to God and His son, Jesus Christ. This spiritual food nourishes us like nothing else can. It leads us to Godís eternal Kingdom and life everlasting.

Are you ready to start your diet of spiritual food? Itís ready and waiting for you.


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Member Comments
Member Date
Camille (C D) Swanson 08/09/12
Great job describing the foods and the various concoctions at the restaurant. I enjoyed and can "relate to your wife's look" - I've given the same one to my husband many times! Hahahaha.

Certainly on topic and very well written with an important conclusion. Thanks.

God bless~
Charla Diehl 08/09/12
You had my mouth watering for lobster, crab, shrimp--and dessert too! And your wrap-up on this tasty piece was truly food for the soul. Yep, I liked this entry.
Noel Mitaxa 08/10/12
You had my mouth watering as I read through your progress, but the logic of dieting is purely alimentary. Good wrap up at the end.
Linda Goergen08/11/12
I am allergic to seafood and cannot eat it and you still had my mouth watering. Good reminder that our treatment of our physical body can teach us spiritual lessons. Great message to end with.