I love food. I really do. I don't mean that in any kind of snobby way either, believe me. I'm not some kind of "foodie." (Can we make that the last time anyone ever uses that word? Thanks!). Almost any kind of food will do because it's all pretty great. The only food I really hate is asparagus. Honestly, asparagus tastes like what I imagine Satan's armpit tastes like; which is something I really try not to imagine very often. Even if I somehow manage to choke some asparagus down, it's still not over. Later that day while enjoying an otherwise pleasant restroom retreat, it comes back to haunt you like the Ghost of Bad Meals Past. I don't care how much salt or garlic you put on it (by the way, those are like the Duct Tape and WD-40 of the culinary world; they can fix nearly anything), the asparagus taste will manage to sneak out and kill every other flavor.
|Typical college midnight snack.|
I now pose the question of the week: how did I get here?
It happened slowly. When I was younger, food was what I ate when I was hungry. That was it. That was really its only purpose. My younger brain simply computed "hungry" + "food" = "not hungry" and I moved on with my day. "Food" didn't really have any other pros or cons. As long as it was something that would cancel out "hungry", I was happy. But when you grow up, you realize that not all food is created equal. Filling my stomach with chocolate icing is significantly different than filling that same space with chicken and broccoli. It's not like I didn't know this information when I was 20; I just didn't care. Something was triggered in me to suddenly look at food as more than just something to cancel out "hungry." It has a far more multifaceted function to it now and I see it in a list of various pros and cons with every meal. "This has a good amount of protein in it which is nice because I'll stay full longer, but it has more calories than I'd really like it to. Although, I could use the carbs in this meal over here since we'll be going for a run later. And this salad has everything I need in it but, you know, IT'S A SALAD and I'm not a woodland creature." The fact that salad is even an option in my diet these days is astounding. The only way I would have eaten a salad 10 years ago is if you replaced the salad leaves with roast beef and the tomato with brats (but keep the croutons, onions and bacon bits please. And add more cheese for love of disregarded cholesterol.)
Maybe it's getting married, maybe it's having kids. It's likely my taste buds have just worn out over the years and I can no longer tell how terrible squash actually tastes. Maybe it's just that my "try not to die before you're 40" instinct has kicked in (that's Survival Instinct's sad cousin). Whatever the reason, I eat plenty of healthy food on purpose now. And you know what? It's pretty good. I feel good almost all the time and I'm hopefully setting a good example for my kids. I'll even eat vegetables. Well, except asparagus. There's no vitamin on earth they could put in to that plant that would make me choke down it's disgusting taste. You know, at least until I'm 60 years old and writing a blog about how great asparagus is.