Hey, you know how everyone says that poutines are amazing, but also super unhealthy?
Well, I decided to challenge that statement.
Okay, fine, not really challenge it. Actually, I can honestly say that I don't know what was running through my head when I decided to eat only poutines for a whole week, and then blog about it. Stupidity? Probably. A love of Quebec's most famous dish? Yeah, sure. An enthusiastic need to prove to myself that I could somehow survive all those carbs? Maybe. Who knows, friends.
The point is, that I did it. For five days, I ate nothing but poutine. No apples, no salads, no plates of pasta - just pure, straight-up, poutine. And I documented it, for everyone to see.
If you're wishing me good luck - well, thank you. I really did need it.
On Monday, things were looking great.
I'd just been given an excuse to go beast on the world's greatest dish. It was a beautiful day. I was feeling good.
Bursting with the naive excitement of someone who hadn't yet sacrificed their arteries in the name of entertainment, I decided to jump into this assignment full-throttle and get the chouriço poutine from Mange-Moi for lunch.
Now, I don't know how many of you have eaten at Mange-Moi, but if you have, then you know that the portions are not small. I devoured that delicious poutine with the speed and intensity of a thousand blazing suns... and instantly regretted it.
Defeated, and full of poutine, I also instantly regretted my incredibly intelligent decision to embark on this journey.
On the plus side, I was too stuffed to have anything for dinner.
On the down side, it was only Monday. I had a long, strange week ahead.
I woke up on Tuesday morning feeling refreshed, bright, and optimistic about my upcoming day.
Realizing where I'd messed up on Monday - I really shouldn't have eaten such a huge poutine so quickly - I was better prepared to tackle the day, and possibly even the rest of the week. My plan of action was simple: Eat a series of very small, simple poutines, and continue through life as if I hadn't just sold my soul to french fries and squeaky cheese.
Sadly, that plan went to shit pretty quickly. Trudging through the morning without breakfast makes you insanely hungry, apparently. Who knew?
By the time lunch rolled around, I was seriously starving, and decided that I could probably just eat one huge poutine for the whole day again. To make things fair, I figured I'd probably eat another chouriço poutine - this time from Piri Piri, because I figured I needed to at least introduce some variety into this devil diet.
This time, though, I felt pretty okay afterwards. So good, in fact, that when my friend suggested heading to Lafayette for dinner, I replied with an enthusiastic, "Yaasss."
And, of course, I had their regular poutine. Those of you who know me, know that I could write an actual, full-length novel about how much I adore the regular poutine at Lafayette - and today was no different. Despite having a stomach full of Piri Piri's amazing poutine, I enthusiastically downed Lafayette's dish, feeling, for just one fleeting moment, like I might be able to make it through the week alright.
Then the pain kicked in. I don't mean stomach pain, either. I mean the type of pain you feel deep, deep in your soul. The type of pain that only comes after eating two giant poutines within a five-hour span.
I ended Tuesday, much like Monday, in defeat - and also, fighting off some seriously intense heartburn.
For breakfast, I had leftover poutine from the night before. I figured that I had to do something in order to avoid Tuesday's mishaps, and eating breakfast was probably a good start.
Sure, it was a breakfast of the thing I probably hated most in the world at the moment. But it would have to do.
It worked out pretty well for me, TBH. By midday, I headed down to Dirty Dogs for one of their awesome small, regular poutines. Want an example of how badly this experiment fucked me up? Their Mac N' Cheese poutine is one of my all-time favourite dishes in the whole, entire world - and I wasn't even tempted to order it.
This wasn't about pleasure anymore, friends. I was long past feeling anything like joy or excitement.
This was about completing a task, at all costs. And also, hopefully, living to tell the tale.
My phone had died by the time dinner rolled around, which I was actually secretly grateful for, because most of my friends and family were starting to get worried about the constant poutine Snaps I was posting.
I'd really like to tell you that I cheated and had a nice, fresh chicken salad; or a delicious smoked salmon bagel; or literally anything other than poutine.
Unfortunately, no. On my way home, I headed to Chez Ma Tante, and downed their poutine as quickly as I could. Although normally their poutines leave me with a huge, satisfied smile, there was no happiness in me on this day.
I was dead inside.
When I woke up on Thursday, I thought I was going to die.
Putting aside the fact that I felt a little shitty from all the carbs and fat, I woke up with possibly the worst headache I've ever experienced in my whole life. It was not a fun day.
Seriously, friends, migraines are not fun. I spent most of the day in a state of pain, confusion, frustration, and quiet self-reflection. I mean, I've gotten pretty bad headaches before, so I'm not saying that my all-poutine diet was the cause of what I'm pretty sure was an invisible gremlin stabbing me in the eye.
But, you know, I'm sure it didn't help.
Anyway, because I'm not a quitter, I powered through the headache and headed back to Mange-Moi for lunch, settling on their Meat Lovers poutine. Did it do anything to cure my headache? No. But I actually honestly enjoyed the merguez/karnatzel/Italian sausage/chouriço combination - which made me super optimistic. Maybe I wasn't actually dead inside after all?
Oh, wait, never mind.
For dinner, I headed out to La Banquise with some friends (who are now all aware of how crazily committed I can be when I get a bad idea stuck in my head).
My all-time favourite poutine from Banquise is their Taquise, with guacamole and sour cream. Which, apparently, is also super heavy, and not the best thing to eat when you've had about seven poutines in four days. But logic's never stopped me before, and so, with a defiant smile on my face, I ordered the Taquise.
I could only manage about five bites before I threw my hands in the air and gave TF up. My head hurt. I was very, very out of breath. I felt like a giant poutine. I just wanted to go home and eat, like, seventy avocados. I missed grilled cheeses. I missed pasta. I missed steak.
Most of all, I missed eating a poutine and really, truly enjoying it.
Friday could not come fast enough.
Oh, sweet relief.
Friday was the end of the work week, and there was no way I was extending this crazy plan into the weekend. I had things to do, and zero time to die of a poutine-induced heart attack.
Waking up with a spring in my step, and only the smallest lingering headache, I ate my leftover Taquise for breakfast and downed, like, an entire bottle of water. (Sidenote: Upping my water consumption by about 87% was the only thing that kept me alive throughout the week, I'm convinced).
Not going to lie, friends. I knew that the end was coming, and so it tasted very, very sweet.
While I was feeling super sluggish by Friday, the knowledge that I'd weathered the worst of it kept me super upbeat. I'd be reunited with proper nutrition very, very soon.
Lunchtime marked the last poutine I'd eat for the week (and maybe even forever, who knows!)
Trying my best not to burst into tears, I shoveled that poutine in my mouth as quickly as I possibly could. Sure, I've had awesome poutines in my life... but nothing tasted better than that last bite.
At this stage, I was already feeling really tired, and grumpy, and just... I don't know, not good. But it was over. I'd survived.
Look at the pain in my eyes, friends. I don't recommend this stunt to anyone.
Although poutine is delicious - and the poutines I ate during the week were definitely beyond amazing - I don't think anyone should willingly subject themselves to eating only poutine for five days straight. No good can come of it.
Unsurprisingly, I was super sluggish throughout the week, and I couldn't do some of the things I normally do. Usually, I'll wake up early and go for a quick jog around my block... But by Wednesday, this was out of the question.
I also got some really intense heartburn and headaches. Plus, I was in a really bad mood most of the time, which is really out of character for me. I'm the best...usually.
On Saturday, I threw out all the leftover poutine in my fridge, and ate a whole avocado for breakfast. It was awesome.
I'm pretty sure I won't eat another poutine for a really, really long time.
Probably won't, anyway...
Photo cred (all photos) - Miranda Cipolla