London-Types-6Beefeaters once protected their monarchs by tasting the liege’s food to see if it was poisoned. During times of stress and/or great sadness, I become the Grief-eater. I taste the king’s food, the queen’s food, the knave’s, the footman’s and the scullery maid’s! I am all in everybody’s plates – all to ensure the safety of the household (from my mood).

After leaving the hospital Sunday morning, my sister and I stopped at a store to pick up back-ache remedies. Once inside, all I could think about was the bag of Cheetos we passed. I told my sister in a rushed and maybe even panicked voice that I was going to get some popcorn. What I wanted was to get the Cheetos and a bungee cord to secure them around my neck with; but, I was going to go with the lower calorie popcorn treat. I figured that I could stuff myself like a little piggy and not kill my calorie budget for the day.

Then I read the back of the prepared popcorn bag.

Smartfood, my aunt Fanny!  All of the additives jacked up the calorie count to near Doritos levels. That’s not helping anything if I choose that popcorn! So, instead, I went with the pre-portioned cinnamon roasted almonds and granola mix packets. At least with those, I got some nutritional value out of the snack and the controlled portion size would keep me from eating myself into a stupor – even though I really wanted to eat myself into a stupor.

Even after I arrived at my house where there were no witnesses other than the cats (who are easily bribed with a can of tuna) I ate lots and lots of vegetables, nuts, and fruit. I’d love to say that my good behavior was the result of an iron will, but you’d all laugh at the obvious lie. The truth is that my good behavior was the result of last week’s kitchen purge. All of the bad stuff was gone and I had plenty of healthful options available and close at hand.

We still have to make it through the funeral and long months of agonizing grief; but, with a sound nutritional game plan in play, we can come out the other side without doing too much damage.

No,  a squash slice dipped in hummus does not give the same chemical thrill that I get from a strawberry cheesecake Blizzard; however, I can fit back into my cute blue shorts and that more than makes up the difference.



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