How can I tell if I’m Winning or Loosing???

In late breaking breaking news….  I am NOT Charlie Sheen.  I don’t get hoplessly high on life (and other pharmasecuticals) and announce to the world that I’m “#winning!”  I don’t drink tiger blood and have a harem of porn stars at my beck and call (wait….  CAN I be Charlie Sheen please??  maybe just for this weekend??).  So, I guess, since I am devoid of the delusional grandeur of some dude from a family considered by some to be hollywood royalty, I honestly can say that I seem to run back and forth between the concept of “winning” and “loosing.”  Seems though, that this process leaves me spendning a lot more time somewhere between the two concepts in a place I call “survival alley.”  Last night, as I finished my very “reasonable” dinner (which clocked in at 652 calories…. with the wine INCLUDED of course), I began to realize that I was in that damn alley yet again.

I’d made my way through a very challenging day of dealing with patients who, no matter how hard I tried, could not be pushed into any semblance of reasonable.  Some days I have to admit that what I do as a profession is sometimes a lot less of the “life saving” Grey’s Anatomy moments, and a lot MORE of the “trying to corral cats.”  Yes, yesterday was the day when nursing efforts were wasted trying to help a physcian who had just had surgery figure out how to logistically stow his crutches away in a taxi cab in NYC (two weeks into the FUTURE when he won’t even be needing them anyway) because either 1.  he doesn’t have the intelligence to figure this out himself, or 2. the anesthetic he was given temporarily canibalized his brain.  Either way, let’s just admit that yesterday was more on the “loosing side.”  (And I haven’t even started on the patient who was offered her pre op meds.  Took them knowing what they were, and then immediately decided that she was “allergic” to them and began to try and vomit them up in front of my co-worker.  It was THAT kinda day…  All my nursing friends know what I’m preaching here!)

Thank God I have a Todd.  Even on a “loosing day” I can drag myself home after a hard shift, to find him puttering in the kitchen, making something that I get to enjoy!  Last night was no different.  I arrived at home, having completed 12 hard hours AND surviving the rat race that those of us who live in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) know as traffic, to find that dinner was ready to be served!!  Maybe a grilled chicken breast with steamed cauliflower, brussels sprouts and a side of mushroom rice doesn’t seem very “gormet” for a couple of guys who are sometimes mistaken for foodies (much emphasis on the “mistaken” portion of that statement), but damn I gotta say, it was good.  I mean the veggies were steamed but still firm (god I hate mushy vegetables….  unless you are TRYING to make a mash of course), the chicken was cooked to PERFECTION…moist (yes Josh there it is again… this is a blog that leans heavily to FOOD and the word MOIST is inevitable!!!) tender and just simply tasty!!  Of course while Todd thought the mushroom rice wasn’t “bright and flavourful enough” it was perfection to my drooling mouth let me tell you!!!

Of course though, it was THE SAUCE that did me in!!!  Sauces.  they are the nectar of the gods, the finishing touch on just about any meal.  Eggs benedict?  Amazing!!!  Without the Hollandaise? ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!  A great tenderloin steak????  Nice.  With BERNAISE??  MMMMMMM!!!  YES PLEASE!!!  What good is poutine without gravy?  Or chips without dip?  How about a hamburger without ketchup or fries without MAYONAISE (yes that’s how I like them ok?  get over it!!).  In our house sauces are very much the cat’s ass.  Thanks to Todd’s background, sauces were one of the things I have LOVED, and have had the opportunity to experience often in this house.  I can’t even bear to tell you the story of the first meal he ever cooked for me because to think of that pasta with the carbonara sauce (that I can’t quite seem to fit into my calorie allotment right now) makes me want to cry just a little.  I would surely be lying if I didn’t admit to the fact that it was that meal (and others like it) that heavily influenced my decision to marry that man!

In an attempt to make my dinner a little better though, Todd gladly concocted a wonderful sauce for last night’s dinner.  Let’s just call it a “red curry chicken gravy” shall we?  Oh My.  Talk about flavour!!  And mercifully easy on the calorie count.  About 1/4 cup for only 42 calories!!!  There’s no going wrong there.  I covered my meal in that glossy liquid flavour and began to eat as though I had not seen food in a month.  Before long all I could see was the bottom of my plate.  That’s when it began.

I was suddenly struck with that terrible feeling of “loosing” again.  Somewhere between my thought to “just  grab a slice of bread to soak up all this goodness” and my mental calculation of “just how many calories were still clinging to my plate/spoon/serving bowl that I would have to count in my app but not get to enjoy in my stomach, I had that realization that I am still not quite “in control” the way I think I should be.  I still have weaknesses and short-comings.  I still look at the pop machine when I pass and instinctively rattle the change in my pocket to see if I can afford a coke (answer….yes…I can still AFFORD one).  I know our snack machine at work now vends “healthier” pop chips…. (see, I still take inventory).  I’m quite sure that I will NEVER see the day when this has past, after all I am human, unlike Charlie Sheen (but let’s be honest his appetite has probably been ruined by the chemical “additives” that are constantly circulating in his person).  I will always have to be vigilant to some degree.  Thankfully having a partner in crime helps, as does Todd’s willingness to try and find new ways to solve old problems, and for that I can never forget to be thankful.

Oh, in case you were wondering.  Yes I WILL share the “recipe” for Red Curry Chicken Gravy with you!!  (just so you know, this was originally developed to be paired with our “cauliflower waffles.”  I’m sure one day we will find a reason to post that one as well.  For tonight though, the gravy recipe will have to do!


  • 4 cups of chicken stock
  • 50g thai red curry paste (it used to only be available at the asian grocer, but now you can even find it at Loblaws imagine!)
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch


  • bring chicken stock to a boil, add curry paste stir until well combined and liquid returns to a boil.
  • turn heat to medium low and simmer until liquid reduces to 1/4 of it’s volume (1 cup).  The time required will vary depending on the pan you use and the size of your burner (etc. etc. etc.).
  • Once liquid is reduced to one cup remove 1/4 cup of the broth, allow to cool slightly and mix in 2 tbsp of cornstarch
  • whisk well to avoid any lumps, then whisk back into the broth.
  • return to a boil, then remove  from heat.
  • if the gravy is too thick wisk in cold water one tbsp at a time until you are happy with the consistency.
  • If it is still too thin, return to heat and simmer over medium heat stirring frequently until desired consistency is reached.
  • All that’s left to do now is eat!!!

* for added flavour, you can stir the sauce into the pan that you have grilled your meat in to add any of the juices that would otherwise be lost!!

Thanks for reading another of our posts!!!

Duane and Todd

***  In light of recent happenings I feel compelled to give a shout out to all my friends at BCH ER.  I hear your day was FAR WORSE than mine.  I just want you guys to know that I am in no way trying to diminish the work you guys have been doing while I’ve been relaxing far away from the stress and struggles of ER life.  I miss you all and I can’t tell you enough how strong and skilled each and everyone of you is.  When days like today happen, remember to lean on each other, there’s just no other way to get through days like that.  Keep the faith and keep fighting the fight….  hopefully I’ll get a chance to catch up with you all soon!!!

Duane ***

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