Carb unloading after years of happiness
Special to Stars and Stripes August 23, 2021
We used to be so good together. You comforted me. You made me happy. I loved you ...
But after all these years, I've become too dependent and I now realize, it just isn’t healthy. I need more balance in my life. I need to strike out on my own and try new things.
It's not you, it's me.
Carbohydrates, I'm breaking up with you.
In the early days, I couldn't foresee how addicting our relationship would become. I didn't fear our love affair, because I believed the science of the 1990s, which decreed that low-fat carbs were healthy fuel for my body. I was so naive, ignorantly indulging in second helpings of sticky rice, snacking on crackers and adding a hunk of ciabatta bread alongside my lasagna. Oh, the ciabatta bread!
When I gained weight, I never blamed you. I thought fats were my enemies. As long as I didn't put peanut butter, mayo or cheese on my sandwich, I believed it was health food. As long as I ladled red sauce instead of white on my heaping plate of spaghetti, it was good for me. As long as I used skim milk — a big bowl of cereal, a glass of juice and butter-less slices of toast were the perfect breakfast. What a fool I was!
When I married a Navy man, you didn't leave me. In fact, we were all quite happy. Together, you and I won my new husband's heart, and his stomach, too. We knowingly triggered the salivating jets under his tongue, as we plied him with homemade pasta dishes, starchy casseroles, pies and cookies. We moved, unsuspectingly, from duty station to duty station — fat, dumb and happy.
While stationed in Monterey, Calif., you introduced us to the wiles of sourdough. We were so naughty, loading chowder into your bread bowls. While stationed in England, you never told us that the baked beans the English dollop on their breakfast plates, pour over their toast and glob on their baked potatoes were as bad as the scones, biscuits and puddings. Excess glucose surged through our blood while we were stationed in Germany, as we washed pretzels, noodles and potatoes down with wheaty beers. In Florida, we were so busy avoiding fried pickles, sausage gravy and boiled peanuts, we didn't notice that you were secretly feeding our addiction with sweet tea, sticky barbecue sauce, and starchy corn bread. You followed us to New England, tempting us with molasses-sweetened brown bread, clam cakes, frozen lemonade, maple syrup, whoopie pies, jonnycakes and Boston Cream Pie.
Worst of all, I could never seem to resist the chocolate with which you regularly seduced me. How could you smugly stand by while I wallowed in guilt over the fat content? Little did I know, your sugar was the culprit all along!
You betrayed me, and as hard as it is for me to say this, it's over.
Sure, you will always be a part of my life, but I'm ready to explore the rest of the food pyramid. The grilled meats, crisp vegetables, juicy fruits, nutritious nuts, olive oils and avocados … the glorious avocados! I don't mean to hurt you, but there are a lot more fish (like salmon with a generous slathering of yogurt dill sauce) in the sea.
When we do run into each other, I hope we can be civil. I won't rudely turn away from you on special occasions (especially if you come in the form of homemade macaroni and cheese with buttered breadcrumbs on top), but let's keep our contact to a minimum. Of course, the kids will still want to have you around, but during scheduled visitations, please keep your high-fructose corn syrup to yourself.
One last thing before you go. If, by chance, I should have a moment of weakness over, let’s say, a bag of Hershey’s Kisses during a hormone spike, I can tell you right now that it will be nothing more than a meaningless fling.
So long, excess carbs. It's been nice knowing you.
Read more at themeatandpotatoesoflife.com, and in Lisa’s book, The Meat and Potatoes of Life: My True Lit Com. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org