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Why I'm Not a Food Cop

When I was growing up in Michigan, my dad worked out of town during the week and got home Friday nights. My mom was a teacher and was quite busy teaching and raising three kids. I remember having scheduled meals only on the weekends–pot roasts, chicken and dumplings, baked or fried chicken and occasionally something awful like liver or chow mein with mashed potatoes.

The first time mom made tacos – probably 1965 or 1966 we had such a laugh. With the first bite, the shell crumbled and the whole thing fell onto the plate. What an odd kind of food we thought it was back then.

I Grew Up on Fast Food, Junk Food, and Cigarettes

During the week, we fended for ourselves. I developed a taste for fast food and snacks. After my school tennis class, I rode my bike to McDonald’s and had a Big Mac, French fries and a chocolate shake. To this day when I eat fast food, that’s still my fast food of choice. Amazing after all these years. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to what we feed our children because many of their lifetime food preferences are formed when they are small.

In college I continued eating fast food, drinking Coke, smoking cigarettes, and eating lots of candy and ice cream. Surprise, surprise, I didn’t like very many vegetables…just corn and potatoes. And peas if I had to. My diet stunk but I remained relatively thin because of my youthful metabolism.

Healthy Eating – the Final Frontier

In my 30’s I got the exercise thing down. See story here. So food became the final frontier. I just didn’t like the way health food tasted. Bluchk! My tastes were trained by what I ate as a child…and much of what I ate as a child and young adult was kinda junky. Changing my dietary habits has been a continuing journey. Ups and downs. You might see me in the grocery store with a low fat, high fiber salad in one hand and a pint of Haagen Daaz in the other. But now I know a lot about what a good diet is and can make great choices (when I want to).

Considering my history of dietary challenges, I don’t have many judgments about food. And when I hear judgments from the food cops, it annoys me–especially if they are commenting on what I’m eating. A macrobiotic chef I know calls milk, cow puss. Now isn’t that a great visual. Makes you want to eat your cookies and milk in the closet. I believe we should all be able to eat the kinds of foods we want once we become adults. No food cops, please.

And it’s extremely wise if the foods we grow to love are also good for us. We can make that transition if we do it gently and consistently. We can nurture and train ourselves into a wonderful, healthful diet. Our own judgment and that of others can slow the process down, so let’s let go of judgment. K?

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