Junk Food vs. Fruit

Here in Maine, our governor has been trying for two years to ban the use of food stamps to buy junk food. His reason? Because of the rise in obesity and diabetes “resulting from the consumption of foods with high sugar content.” I question a lot of things in that assumption. After all, people who are thin and don’t eat junk food can get diabetes, just as people can be overweight without eating junk food – and without getting diabetes. Or vice versa. Some people who do eat junk food don’t always get diabetes or become obese. So I was glad to see the proposal fail, in large part because the FDA doesn’t want to “choose winners and losers in the food industry” or to create different choices betw

Don't Let Food Control Your Social Plans

Maybe you’ve been here before. Someone asks you to join them for a meal, or you’re interested in going to a potluck event or a party, but your first thought is that you can’t – because of the food. This is something I still struggle with, especially when food allergies come into play. For instance, recently at work, the office lunch was pizza, rolls, stromboli, and a little salad. For someone with gluten and dairy issues, that doesn’t leave many options. (As a side note, the woman organizing the lunch did ask if I wanted her to get something else for me, since she knew I couldn’t eat much, but since I had other lunch plans, it all worked out.) But does it follow that I have to let food contr

Cake as a Weakness

Note: To learn more about the Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating program, visit www.AmIHungry.com, or my website. Imagine you could push a button and see a list of your weaknesses. Would food in general – or maybe a specific food – be included? In the movie Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, this was something the characters could literally do once they were in the video game. And I laughed out loud when “cake” popped up as a weakness for one of them. It got me thinking about what it means in the real world when a certain food seems to be our own Kryptonite. Luckily the results are less spectacular than in the movie, but it doesn’t mean these foods don’t have control over us or our lives. In the Am I

Ice Cream Every Day

I’ve been thinking a lot about ice cream lately. This may sound strange for someone living in a place that’s had sub-zero temperatures many recent mornings, although cold doesn’t seem to stop us Mainers. (In fact, of all the states, we have the second highest number of ice cream shops per capita.) But that isn’t what has me thinking about ice cream. It’s because of my maternal grandfather, Pepere, and a bit because of Mom. I remember hearing one of my relatives say that in Pepere’s last year, when he lived in the nursing home and his Alzheimer’s was pretty advanced, what he most looked forward to was having ice cream every day. When I mentioned this to other people, sometimes they’d say, “We

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