Saturday, January 8, 2011

Carbohydrates-1, Lindsay-0

It is a truth universally acknowledged that France is THE country of the carbohydrate. Within a one mile radius of the center of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, there are at least 10 boulangeries brimming over with baguettes in all shapes and sizes, pastries, tartes and tartelettes, and enough butter to give a whale a heart attack. All I can say is: well no damn wonder they up and revolted and chopped off their king's head when they ran out of BREAD! It makes so MUCH sense now!

It is also a truth universally acknowledged that I, Lindsay Marie, adore carbs. In fact, I adore carbs so much that my favorite week of marathon training (and I've been through at LEAST ten race cycles) is what is known as carbo-load week, aka, the ungodly week where I gorge myself on pasta, bread, and any other form of CHO I can get my hands on to stock up on glucose for the impending race.

The three days a week I teach, I eat at what's called the cantine, or basically the school cafeteria, not only because it's insanely cheap, but it's actually legitimately good food that puts American school lunch fare to extreme shame. And each and every time the cantine food rolls into the staff room accompanied with plates, utensils, and yogurt, there are inevitably two enormous trays of freshly cut bread. Thank GOD I run on my lunch hour.

When I left the states, I loved carbs so much I didn't ever think it was humanly possible for me to get sick of them. In fact, I didn't even realize how much bread I'd been eating until Becca arrived for a whirlwind ten day visit. We'd been scurrying about Paris all day, starting the morning splitting a baguette and a pain au chocolat purchased steaming hot on the way to the train. At one point she said, "Oh. my. god. we've eaten so much bread this week." I looked across the table at her and pointedly said "Really?" I guess I've become 'normalized' to eating bread ALL THE TIME, and I quickly forgot what she said.

Today Sam, Whitney, and I grabbed lunch in the 13th at a famous Pho restaurant simply known as Pho Cuon 14, about a block from metro Tolbiac, in France's version of a "Chinatown," which is definitely more Vietnamese than Chinese (thank you former French colonies!). We sipped delicious pho with chicken and beef, and I expressed how happy I was to have a break from French food (boo hoo hoo, I know, my life is just SO horrible...). Sam replied that she was too, especially, she emphasized, from the big-bad-C-a-r-b. It was at that point that I really did pause, and thought to myself "yeah. I guess we do eat a lot of carbs here. huh.'

In short, I am 4.5 months into France and HOLY CRAP I am being DEFEATED by carbohydrates. I'm ACTUALLY getting sick of bread. Me thinking that I couldn't get tired of carbs was, in retrospect, like Napoleon thinking he could successfully wage a land war on Russia in winter: IT WAS ALL WRONG. My ass is being handed to me on a floured platter of baguette, but thankfully that ass isn't getting bigger, and that's a divine miracle straight from Jesus. Come the week of the Paris marathon carb load, you might find me rolling on the floor in the kitchen screaming "NO MORE!!" And that's a first.

Carbs 1, King 0.

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