Eating Vegetables Is Weird!

Defending Your Right To Love Broccoli

You’re sitting in the staff room eating lunch. Leftovers always taste better the next day and so you’ve planned a week’s worth of lunches. Today’s lunch consists of pork chops, roasted Brussels sprouts and mashed cauliflower. Your co-worker sits down beside you with her lunch of fat-free deli meat on whole wheat bread, a diet Coke and a whole grain cereal bar. She looks over at your lunch.

“What are you eating?” she says as she eyes your mashed cauliflower.

“Mashed cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and a pork chop,” you reply.

She raises a quizzical eyebrow. “Mashed cauliflower? You eat so weird.”

Earlier in the day while you enjoyed home-made sweet potato soup for a snack, she had a muffin and a large double double from the neighbourhood doughnut shop. By 2:00 pm your co-worker is stalking the staff room cupboards and fridge like a lion on a gazelle. She finally sits back at her desk with a whole wheat bagel and cream cheese. You eye your apple and nuts in your cooler bag, but decide to eat them on the way to the gym later. Since your lunch was quite satisfying you aren’t experiencing the afternoon lull afflicting your co-worker.

Your co-worker is a little stressed out about dinner. The kids have hockey practice at 6:00 pm and don’t get off the bus until 4:00. She decides to stop at McDonald’s on the way to the arena. Your kids also have hockey practice tonight, but you’ve got a beef stew simmering in the Crock Pot. You’ll go to the gym right after work, pick the kids up at the sitter’s, enjoy some dinner and make it to hockey practice with tomorrow’s lunch ready to go.

While at hockey practice a friend sits down beside you with a package of the latest weight loss shake mix she’s into. She has struggled with her weight for as long as you’ve known her.

“Have you tried this new shake? It is so good” she says. You roll your eyes and say no.

“Oh, right, you’re into that cave man diet.” she says, rolling her eyes in return.

Sadly, it is normal to eat over-processed, beige and bland, chemically enhanced “food.” In this context the paleo diet is weird. Eating vegetables is weird. Eating real food is just so freaking strange that you have to defend your choices with every meal.

It is also normal to have family members with diabetes, high blood pressure and whacked out cholesterol levels. It’s normal to have joint pain, depression and anxiety, bad skin and out-of-control food cravings. It is normal to feel fatigued all the time. For many children, teens and adults feeling fatigued, achy and moody is normal.

Could it be that our food is to blame? Could those veggie-eating, grain-eschewing paleo  freaks who wake up without an alarm, have boundless energy, clear skin and never so much as a sniffle during flu season be on to something?

The truth is your co-worker,  who is slurping up fat-free yoghurt like it’s going out of style, doesn’t know she feels unwell. You could suggest a healthy alternative, but she’ll think you’re weird.

After all eating real food is weird.



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