I recently learned that I have gall bladder disease and am scheduled to have it removed in June. I tend to be the kind of person that likes to keep her body intact, so my husband and I milked the doctor for all the information we could, and began researching. As soon as they arrive, I will begin taking several supplements that hopefully will help me live in greater comfort until June and prayerfully avoid surgery altogether.
Of course, I’ve also had to change my diet. A lot. We make almost all our food, and value nutrition. Part of being a parent, I guess. I thought I had healthy eating habits until I went shopping for food I can eat. You know. No fat, no dairy. As I read the back of packages and gazed hopeless at the cheese section, I realized we humans aren’t as adaptive as we would like to think.
We get in our groove, and sometimes it takes a tow truck (or scalpel) to pull us out. Omitting the fresh fruits and vegetables my husband had already brought home, I stared at my puny selection of low-fat saltines, 0 fat yogurt, and “mozzarella like” cheese made with skim milk. I almost felt like crying. There were no cool animals in shades promoting these products. The packages were as boring as the contents. Maybe it was clever marketing to keep the kids out of Mom’s “special food”, I tried to convince myself.
Then I thought of some of the foods my students (immigrants and refugees from around the world) had to adapt to in their past lives. Asha had written of eating wheat gruel and little else for three long years. I they were able to earn enough money to buy an apple, they might killed for it on the way home to camp. And how many of my Haitians had had their bellies filled with mud cakes because mom and dad had nothing else to give them to ease the hunger pangs?
And here I was lamenting my date nights with my husband for ice cream or salad dressing that doesn’t taste like the package. I carefully laid my mango sorbet on the conveyor belt and smiled as I realized even the isolated woodpecker’s beak didn’t change shape overnight to help him better get the local variety of bugs.