There I was, lying in bed. Suddenly I desperately needed to know the name of the guy who played Jessie Pinkman on Breaking Bad and, there it was: Aaron Paul. Trivial, yes...but trivia is my oxygen...and the reason that, in the past, I have been able to beat your ass at, well, Trivial Pursuit.
Lately, it's been problematic. What was the name of the original actress who played Gladys Kravitz on Bewitched...the name of the kid* in first grade who wanted to borrow my copy of "Blueberries for Sal?" And what, in the name of all that's holy, did I come into Shoprite to buy???
Before the juicing or, more accurately, when a handful of Cheetos was my personal breakfast of champions -- as opposed to a pretty swirl of spinach, beets, ginger and a small organic lemon (the tang of citrus helps lessen the impression that one is guzzling a meadow) -- there was a grand, and rapid loss of mental acuity...and I ain't kidding, people.
I barely could remember who I was much less the names of your children when I ran into you in the very same Shoprite whose aisles I wandered in confusion.
I represent the certainty that if you eat Cheetos, you become a Cheeto...a slothful orange slug. Something that Dr.Oz longs to eradicate with a stomp of his enormous shoe (ever notice how huge that man's feet are?)....something that the current (this week's) object of my derision -- hipsters! -- would turn from in disgust, their lensless glasses fogging up until, that is, they decide that Cheetos actually are the hot, new trend. They're probably vegan since there are absolutely no natural ingredients used to extrude them.
Why, yes, ladies. I do have gignantic feet.
Cheetos, of course, merely represent my periodic poor eating. It might be a half sleeve of Oreos...and they might not be breakfast as much as a perceived "treat" after a tough, long or stupid day. Luckily I retain enough sense to remember how much better I feel when a handful of almonds or a hard boiled egg and banana are consumed, fueling productive thoughts instead of the desire to watch the (secretly mean) Wayne Brady be passively aggressive to a whole new generation of people dressed as playing cards on "Lets Make a Deal."
|I am mean because I hate|
making deals with idiots.
So, off to Trader Joe's I went, returning with several shopping bags full of leafy greens and colorful fruits.
Supplement that with some organic garlic and a few tablespoons of Chia seeds and, hopefully, I will no longer need to ask strangers in the supermarket -- in fake jocularity -- why I am there ("I am just so forgetful lately! Isn't that hilarious?")
My mother did not teach me to eat badly. In fact, that woman, unbeknownst to us at the time, was a true visionary.
She wore Birkenstocks before they were mainstream and demanded white American from the deli man, citing formaldehyde as one of the ingredients in artificially colored cheeses.
She added tofu to stews and sauces before anyone knew what it was and, to my horror, removed every vestige of non-whole grain bread from the enamel breadboxes of my youth, rendering me the sole diner at the Shallow Junior High lunch table who could not make (and "flick") tiny little balls of their Wonder Bread sandwiches. At the time, none of these things pleased me.
It is possible that the desire for Cheetos is a result of a junk food deprived youth. Not that I didn't get fun stuff, too...there were salty lunch meats (until Mommy read about nitrates and nitrates) and instead of Fluffernutter sandwiches -- which I desired with the fire of a thousand suns -- there was home baking, so delicious that I dream about it to this day.
|Truth be told, I still want|
one of these.
Pizza was exempt from any rules. This was smart on my mother's part because I would have left home sooner than be cut off from the single most wonderful and delicious thing ever invented.
That woman was so ahead of the damn curve that she used to mix skim milk equally with whole, thus creating her own version of a reduced fat milk. I, literally, thought she was psychotic at the time. Then a few years later, "Light and Lively" reduced fat milk hit the shelves and her status as legend was cemented.
The other day I was in CVS when the local high school had recently been dismissed and watched a group of rowdy teens lining up to buy their snacks. Their choices consisted exclusively of glowing neon-colored beverages, chips and other assorted junk. I had to turn away...partially out of desire to grab and inhale their candy without even unwrapping it but partly from disgust at those very same choices.
I couldn't help but wonder what great ideas and clever thoughts they would not have as a result of the brain-stultifying crap they were about to consume.
My nutritionally precocious and well-informed mother would have certainly had a juicer. She would have been stuffing wheat grass and ginseng root into it every morning and I think of her as I prepare my morning's array of fresh veggies for their journey through the gnashing teeth of my Breville Juiceman.
I dedicate today (and everyday's) good eating to her.
* The boy who wanted my "Blueberries for Sal" was Montgomery Evans.