Archives for: November 2004, 24
We are spending Thanksgiving with my husband's mom. She is from the Deep South and is an excellent cook. She fixes lots of vegetables; she also fixes lots of comfort food. Food and affection are hopelessly intermingled in the Southern culture, so refusing food must be done very cautiously.
It does not help that I have no nutritional credibility with her. When I married my husband almost 28 years ago, I ate like a typical American. Everyone got along fine.
When we had been married about a year, I found an Adelle Davis book on his aunt's bookshelf. I read about vitamins, protein, carbohydrates, and fats in a meaningful way for the first time.* I was young and starry eyed about nutrition. I thought everyone else would be fascinated with what I had learned. My husband's mother was not. We clashed about white bread and desserts. We clashed about breakfast. I said way too much about whole grains and sugar.
We reached a standoff. I ate lots of, and complimented enthusiastically, the foods I perceived as healthy. I politely declined or ate small amounts of foods I perceived as unhealthy.
Now my family and I come to her house on a diet even more radical. Her son and granddaughter are eating one way; her grandson and I are eating a totally different way. I am avoiding the very whole grains I used to push. If she is confused, I can't blame her.
I wish I could take back some of the things I said way back then, partly because it turns out I didn't know as much as I thought I did. Partly because if I had more credibility I might get an opening to explain the BTD and its benefits to this part of my family.
I came out better at our first meal than my husband. We had asparagus, broccoli, sweet potatoes, pork chops, and salad.
*So much of what Adelle Davis wrote was true and I still use it today - unprocessed food is better than processed, vitamin & mineral deficiencies lead to health problems, too much sugar is dangerous. However she had a shotgun approach to nutrition. Everyone should drink milk, everyone should eat whole wheat, everyone should get protein from meat, etc. It caused her and me and probably every single one of her followers eventual health problems. But I wouldn't know that until I read "Eat Right 4 your Type" 26 years later.