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How to gain 10 pounds in a month…


Start with Thanksgiving

Start with Thanksgiving. Make homemade ravioli stuffed with ground beef and pork to take to the mother of all potlucks with friends. And then the very next day have another Thanksgiving with your family. Have your boyfriend meet you at your parents’ house for their very first introduction. Be sure to stuff your face in the two hours preceding his arrival because nerves always make you eat more. Listen to your dad when he tells you you’re too thin.

Giovanni Family Recipe

Giovanni Family Recipe

The Sunday following Thanksgiving is the first holiday party of the season. This is the annual open house that everyone looks forward to, partly because these friends turn their entire kitchen counter into a complete bar set-up where you can mix any cocktail you desire. Drink two Negronis that your other friend made for you while eating massive amounts of cheese brought by your friend that owns the cheese shop in town.

Now you’ve gone from Thursday to Sunday eating more calories than you consumed in the entire month of October including Halloween candy. Don’t exercise that weekend either.

Bring leftover ravioli to work for lunch and be sure to eat all the homemade treats that others have brought in because they don’t want to overindulge. It’s really nice of them to pass these treats on to you.

The following weekend, go on a 25-mile bike ride with your two girlfriends, but end that ride at a New Orleans style café that serves beignets and po’ boys. Eat all of that washed down with two beers.

The end of 25 miles

The end of 25 miles

Po' Boy

Po’ Boy



When you start to whine to your boyfriend that your jeans are feeling too tight, listen to him when he tells you your ass looks great in them. Then go eat that leftover beignet that was supposed to be for him.

Back at work, be sure to taste test all the flavors of the cake pops sent by a very nice vendor. Also eat your favorite See’s candies out of the numerous boxes that arrive from other vendors during the month of December. Skip the almonds coated in dark chocolate and go straight for the milk chocolate Bordeaux.

Attend a best friend’s annual Thai Chili Crab Feast. In addition to crab, eat everything else brought by those attending, including at least eight of another best friend’s homemade cookies, which are the talk of the town during the holiday season. Drink something called a Thai Monkey, as well as too much sparkling wine. Stumble home and let your boyfriend put you to bed with a stomachache.

Thai Monkey is that white stuff in the pitcher

Thai Monkey is that white stuff in the pitcher

No caption necessary

No caption necessary

Eat more crab, ravioli, roasted pork sandwiches and chocolate cake on Christmas Eve with your family. Then drive home and have your friends over at 10pm for your own cracked crab recipe, sparkling wine and those cookies I mentioned.



Christmas morning! Let your boyfriend cook breakfast for you. Since you don’t want the crab to go to waste, have him make Crab Benedict with homemade Hollandaise Sauce. Add a little spinach because greens are good for you. Drink mimosas and eat more cookies too. Don’t bother going for a walk or a run. Just have a nap so you are ready for a Christmas dinner of Prime Rib, scalloped potatoes and twelve other dishes including cake. And wine.

The glorious Crab Benedict

The glorious Crab Benedict

In between Christmas and New Year’s, make an excuse to go to IKEA, but stay away from the Swedish meatballs. Instead, go to Zachary’s for the deep dish pizza that you’ve heard so much about.

That pizza

That pizza

On New Year’s Eve make more ravioli at the request of your friends and attend another potluck where you eat everything from caviar on Lay’s potato chips to Saffron meatballs to oysters to Pasta Gigante with truffels. Holy Shit.

Pasta Gigante with Truffles

Pasta Gigante with Truffles-Holy Shit

So that’s how you ended the year. You begin the year right where you started on Thanksgiving. Back at the same house on January 1, 2014, at something called “Grilled Ham and Cheese Recovery Party,” where the grill is open all day and you make your own. Absolutely delightful.

Ham & Cheese - Before

Ham & Cheese – Before

Ham & Cheese - After

Ham & Cheese – After

One bike ride and three runs will prevent you from gaining 11 pounds during this time period.

The End.

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Gretchen L. Kelly, Author

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