Nutritionist’s Comfort Food, Welcome Back

Now I know how Joan Rivers felt when she exclaimed in a Geico commercial, “I can’t feel my face!” I assumed she was making light of her use of Botox and other injectables. My experience today wasn’t at the dermatologist’s, but the dentist’s. In the past, these semi-annual visits have been no big deal. My hygienist works as thoroughly and precisely as a Navy Seal. But what began as business as usual took a sharp, dark turn for the worst.

Before heading to the dentist I went for a run and enjoyed a piece of toast spread with natural peanut butter and lavender honey, along with peach Greek yogurt and the remaining three-quarters of an apple carved up for Scarlet’s breakfast.

Fast forward to The Visit. After the routine cleaning, in waltzes the new dentist who replaced a friend of mine who used to own the place. He casually mentioned that I needed to get cavities filled. Who, me? I was suddenly solemn and depressed. How could it be? Supposedly, I had cavities in three corners of my mouth. They have been under observation for the past few years, and now it was time to go in. It was already noon. Shoot, I should have eaten more beforehand. A bazillion numbing needles shot into my mouth, and after a few minutes I couldn’t feel my face. My chin was completely numb, my ear lobes tingled and what mouth?

On the drive home I thought, “I deserve lunch out today.” I knew it would need to be something soft. Paradise Bakery & Café it would be for one of my favorites, Fire Roasted Tomato Soup. I also selected a pumpkin walnut muffin and a drink I blended with unsweetened black and passion fruit teas and a splash of diet lemonade.

Considering I had no idea I had a lower lip until I touched my hand to it, slurping soup would be interesting. I guided food along my upper lip to make sure it actually made it into my mouth. Talk about a lesson in mindful eating. It took me at least 20 minutes to safely spoon the soup. I saved the muffin for later in the day, since that would require chewing, which would have been a dangerous feat considering my delicate condition.

As dinnertime rolled around, pain replaced the numbness, but at least I knew I could chew. With Steve at a business dinner, I ate a smorgasbord meal early with Scarlet. It consisted of some leftover chicken and rice, half a roll dipped in olive oil (Scarlet seized the other half) and chicken nuggets, light ranch dressing and mashed potatoes from Scarlet’s dinner. Right before I sat down to eat, I realized things were lacking in the vegetable department, so I hesitantly added raw carrots to my plate, which didn’t work out with my teeth.

I enjoyed these California strawberries after dinner. Notice how the shoulders are red, instead of white or green. This is what lusciously sweet summer strawberries should look (and taste) like!

A splash of red table wine finished out the day. In my dazed state, I forgot to pull something for the Freezer Challenge. Hopefully we can overlook this since on Monday I used multiple freezer items.

Estimated calories: 1951 (Breakfast 515, Lunch 656, Dinner 610, Snacks 120, Wine 50)

Do you have any good stories about food dribbling down your numbed face? Do tell!


You might also like:

Kim and Annie’s Sweet Potato Waffles for Special People

Recipe for Spinach Artichoke Dip


  1. Rebecca says:

    I am kind of surprised your dentist opted to do all of that work at one time! 🙁

    1. Michelle Dudash says:

      Seriously! I haven’t had to endure cavity fillings for quite awhile, so I don’t remember what the usual protocol is.

  2. Rebecca says:

    I haven’t had the ‘pleasure’ of that experience too much, as well – but often they will not do any of the work on the day of the cleaning (unless their schedule is very open, I suppose… which is not often), scheduling a subsequent appointment. And even then, perhaps breaking up the quadrants of the mouth. The only time I’ve have had both sides frozen was when my lower wisdom teeth were extracted :/. But on the the upside, you’ve had it taken care of sooner than later! 🙂

    1. Michelle Dudash says:

      Wow, Rebecca, sounds like you had to endure a lot. Ouch. They gave me the option to do the fillings on a different day, but I just said, “let’s do it,” so I didn’t have to make a second trip.

  3. Rebecca says:

    I’ve also endured orthognathic (jaw) surgery a few years ago (after 4y of braces ;))… while nerves that affected my lower lip & chin were healing, it made for some interesting experiences!

  4. Fiona says:

    that muffin looks like a log haha

    1. Michelle Dudash says:

      Seriously Fiona!:) A stump.

  5. Rebeca says:

    Hi Michelle, I would like to know how to estimate calories from Paradise Bakery Cafe´s Menu Items. I love Fire Roasted Tomato Soup, however it is so rich that I only reach for it once in a while since I don’t know what I’m eating…

    1. Michelle Dudash says:

      Hi Rebeca,

      I know, that soup tastes so rich (and so good)! I figured that I wouldn’t be eating much that day due to my condition, so I said to myself, “go for it!” From the soups taste and appearance, I’d guess that its richness comes from a generous amount of olive oil. The added fat is nutritious, yet more calorie dense.

      We (my intern and I) read on the Paradise website that they have temporarily removed the nutrition facts from their website, explaining that different recipes were currently in use in different markets. My intern found nutrition facts from earlier menu information archived on another web site and used that to estimate calories. It was listed at 256 calories, which made sense to me. I’m not sure if that includes the sour cream and chips on top. The website also said that nutrition information brochures are available at each store, so you could ask for one and perhaps get a more precise amount. Let us know what you find out. Hope that helps.


  6. Rebeca says:

    Of course it helps… Thank you Michelle, I will let you know if I come accross something useful.

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