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Are You What You Eat?

Aug 18, 2007
Home-cooked meals - pork chops, pot roast and roast chicken - used to be the norm. Now they're the exception. A family that can co-ordinate schedules to have dinner together has become food for thought.

Thoughts about food run the gamut from necessities to no-no's - from vitamins and minerals to Vic's pizza and Ming's chow mein - to take-out. Because we all seem to be on the treadmill of life, take-out has become the reality of today's family dinners.

Headaches, cramps and nausea have become my realities. I'd feel better if the condition had an exotic name - like the Southern Sumerian Virus - but it's just plain food intolerance.

I wish I had an intolerance to okra. I could live a full and productive life without okra. But no, it's milk and wheat - burger buns and thick shakes. I'm intolerant of McDonald's!

Take-out is tricky because my dietary demons can play hide and seek. There's wheat in mayonnaise and there's milk in salad dressing. With take-out food I have to be a dietary Dick Tracey.

Giving up coffee because of caffeine meant I also had to give up tea, cola and chocolate. The good news is there's life after chocolate, but no one truffles with your affection.

There seems to be an unwritten rule that the better something tastes, the more likely it is I'll have an intolerance to it. Refined sugar gives me stomach aches; but giving up foods containing refined sugar seems un-American - if not impossible.

Sugar comprises twenty-five percent of the average American's calories. I guess it's not coincidence that the average American is overweight.

Giving up sugar also means giving up dextrose, fructose and lactose. There was a time I thought they were partners in a law firm, but any word ending in "ose" is a form of sugar. "OSE" is a "four-letter suffix" spelled with three letters.

The average American - whoever he or she is - annually consumes eighteen pounds of sweeteners made from corn. High fructose corn syrup is mentioned on the majority of packaged food labels. In fact, the beverage industry uses more corn sweeteners than the candy industry - more corn than is in Cousin Walter's knock-knock jokes.

It seems that instead of eating, I should be grazing on a high fiber diet - on barley, buckwheat and oats. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough fiber in my vitamin enriched, corn crunchies unless I ate the box too.
About the Author
KNIGHT PIERCE HIRST takes humorous looks at life.
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http://knightwatch.typepad.com
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