The Terriblest Place

My mother pointed out that my last two posts haven’t been very entertaining. Tell me about it. It’s much more fun to write about food than its avoidance.

Just to review: I (a notorious Eater) spent three weeks on a diet that forbade the consumption of…most things. During that time I consumed nuts by the wheelbarrow load. I broke out in hives, and it seems I am allergic to nuts.



But which ones? The savory cashew (how I love it!)? The buttery macadamia? The adorable filbert? Not sure.

A week ago, (after I was told to stop eating nuts) I was munching mechanically on some dark chocolate almonds, making my way through the package with bovine determination when I paused, mid-chew. I was eating nuts. Be they ever so enrobed in a silky chocolate shell, these were nuts. And apparently, I was nuts. I know it seems obvious that they were nuts, but I got excited/distracted by the word “chocolate,” and I am new to food avoidance.

My husband reminded me that no matter how a nut comports itself, whether in oil and salt or lurking in toffee, it’s still a nut. This harks back to my initial tense conversation with the naturopath, when I told her that I am unused to not getting everything I want. It also puts me in mind of when my oldest was a tiny two-year-old and – in the throws of a particularly unsatisfactory day – she wailed, “This is the TERRIBLEST place EVER…EST!” “Why?” asked my reasonable husband, “Because you can’t get everything you want whenever you want it?” “YES!!!” she wailed. Sister, you said it! It’s the terriblest place.

Here’s a link to a nicer, nuttier time. These bars were delicious:

A Good Day to Diet

I don’t talk about diets here, mostly because I have been lucky enough to avoid them. I have a list of bodily insecurities a mile long, (Why are my eyes freakishly close together? A nasty boy in first grade always called me “Cyclops,” which seemed excessive) but I haven’t experienced much of a weight struggle. Following my two pregnancies, I decided I wasn’t going to go down without a fight, but that I also wouldn’t fight very hard. I settled for facing the fact that I would never be my pre-pregnancy weight, but it would be a cold day in hell before I wore mom jeans. So I suppose I settled for pretending, and that has worked pretty well.

I don’t think I have to treat my body like a temple. It’s more like a well-kept municipal park that occasionally gets overtaken by skateboarders. But my naturopath disagrees, (they always do) and has insisted, for years, that the whole place is a toxic waste dump. Ok, I’m offended, yes, but also curious. I am beset by foggy fatigue and allergies – could my brain and body be mired down in dairy, eggs, soy, corn, peanuts, gluten, grains of every stripe, plus tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant and peppers? Also citrus fruits? Oh, and refined sugar and alcohol? So, mired down in fun and joy then.

I like to think of myself as open to new ideas, (not really) so I decided to go on this month long hell-ride of an elimination diet (the name alone…).

After Dr. Meanypants got through the list of foods I couldn’t eat (this took way longer than telling me what I could eat) I said, “I am just not used to…um…how can I say this? Not used to…” “Not getting what you want all the time?” she finished my thought. “Yes!” I snapped my fingers. “That’s it! Ya, I don’t like that.” She made her “get used to disappointment, Princess” face. It’s built into the cost.

I have quoted George Bernard Shaw here before: “There is no love more sincere than the love of food.” To that I would add: and the love of drink. I realized that popcorn, treats, beer and wine were like special friends to me. But they are all gone now, to the houses of other people they like better.

My daughters agreed to release me from my morning baking duties since I am not inclined to churn out cream scones that I can’t eat. They are doing fine on Dave’s bagels so far, but it’s only been a week – poor things. They are sweetly sympathetic to my plight.

I assured them that the diet is not for weight loss, because it’s important to me to raise girls in an environment that doesn’t assume everything is wrong with the way our bodies look and that they are in constant need of tweaking and deprivation. “Oh Mom! We know!” I was pleased that they found the very idea of a weight loss program absurd, (this seems the best way to feel, at their ages) but I sensed something else in their tone. It was this: “We certainly hope it’s not for weight loss, because we all know that is never going to happen.”

Okay, fair enough. It’s no secret that I can murder a cauldron of popcorn. But not today. Today I am doing this. I am going against everyone’s (especially my own) conception of me as a person devoid of willpower. Oh, I am doing this. Stay tuned. Send flowers – I can eat those.


P.S. Today’s wacky meal combo consisted of: brown rice, garbanzos, watermelon, olive oil, butter lettuce, nutritional yeast, pumpkin seeds and kiwi berries.

P.P.S. My husband just left on urgent out-of-town business. Go figure.