It appears that I have too much time on my hands…so…today I will recount my thoughts on the all-encompassing subject of FOOD.
While growing up in the 50’s and 60’s, food was used for survival. You only came in the house briefly to stuff down what mom presented for supper, and then back out you went to run through the neighbourhood playing hide and seek or tag.
You didn’t plan what you were going to eat for the week or even the day.
You didn’t break food down into carbs, fats and proteins.
You didn’t know what a “calorie” was.
You didn’t weigh yourself or measure yourself.
It was simple – if you were hungry you ate something. Of course, in those days there were no McDonald’s restaurants, fancy granola bars, or a Tim Horton’s donut on every corner.
Dessert was a staple only on Sunday along with a beautiful, big meat dinner – you know – mashed potatoes with its accompanying meat gravy, dressing and two veggie servings covered in melted butter – YUMMMM!
Now, food appears to be a big chemistry lesson. The component parts of food become its glory or its downfall. Forget about the memory of the good old days. Forget about the taste of all of those veggies smothered in butter and gravy. Forget about the camaraderie that existed in those days when the table was a regular gathering place for friends, family and lively conversations.
Family dinners were something you could depend on every day no matter what was going wrong out there in the world. To me, they were part of my security, my social foundation, my sense of who I was in my little nuclear nest. Food became the centre of those gracious, loving times. The centre, but not the focus.
I certainly enjoyed food but I was not fat . All of those dinners were eaten and enjoyed without any thought given to calories, nutrients or portion size. Second servings and sweet desserts every day just didn’t happen. Families in those days couldn’t afford to do that in post war Canada. Even so, I don’t remember being hungry after dinner or craving a donut.
Now the dinner table has become a place of challenges, requirements, guilt, and raw calculation. Parents are MAKING their kids eat food – even if they gag. Heaven forbid if they don’t eat all their carrots – off you go to your room without dessert. What does that teach our kids? Food is to be “managed” not enjoyed? Food is to be avoided if it is not chemically correct? Too much sugar? Ban it from our house. Taste good? Well that certainly could not be good for you!
As an adult, my pounds are adding up a little too quickly and in all the wrong places. I don’t play hide and seek anymore. I also find myself at Tim Horton’s too much – a convenient indulgence.
Let’s get back to eating because we are hungry – not because we are bored or lonely. Let’s eat with our family without dividing our plate into allowable amounts of carbs, fats and proteins.
Let’s play tag.