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Are We What We Deny We Eat?

Left under the bed by a 'super-health conscious' Airbnb guest.

For a year and a half I worked as a cooking demonstrator at a large grocery store chain. I was required to prepare a protein-based dish almost daily.  Shoppers' reactions were fascinating. 

I had my regular fans who enjoyed the cooking tips. I'm pretty sure I was running a soup kitchen for some folks. Many would grab a sample and run. I had one woman tell me that I was the only person in her life who ever cooked for her.

Some people just ignored me. I get it. People have allergies, food phobias and germ issues, and just could not bring themselves to taking a sample. Truth is, given the stringent food safety protocols in place, my kiosk was a thousand times cleaner than any kitchen counter.

Vegans avoided me altogether, making big wide arcs around the kiosk. I understand the reasoning behind the prohibition of animal products, but I had concerns for those who thought it is a wise weight management strategy. There's some really fat vegans out there.

If we were living in our natural state we would be omnivores. Omnivore comes from the Latin words omni, meaning "all, everything," and vorare, meaning "to devour." So an omnivore will eat pretty much eat anything in sight.

I buy local. I garden organically. I try and eat healthy most of the time. For me, cooking and eating is about fun, friends, fellowship. But let's face it, we are far from our natural state. Especially when we're at a kiosk or on vacation.

I viewed my job as an opportunity to help people come up with healthy ways to answer the age old question, "What should I make for dinner?" But food, like other vices, can be less about nutrients and more about medicating. Many are in denial about their bad eating habits. Yesterday I pulled into a Panera parking lot next to a woman shoveling an egg souffle (damn they are awesome) into her mouth.  I paused. I went in.

So I admit that I occasionally fall off the healthy eating wagon and make bad food choices. Fast/junk food is just so damn easy, delicious and satisfying. I think they might put opioids in there. Finding balance in how I medicate is my ongoing struggle. Everybody medicates. Laughter is the best medicine. Case in point, the tweet below:

Bon appetite!

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