Is one made a hippie or born a hippie? This is what I contemplated as I biked my way home from my locally owned market with my OPB (local NPR affiliate) reusable bag brimming with organic collard greens, beets and radishes. Yikes. I really am one of those people. Did this happen because I moved to Oregon? Has it always been in me? Did I read too many books and see too many documentaries on the state of US food production these days?
I was a kid raised on fast food, doritos and as much Dr Pepper that I could get my hands on. Let me break down a typical day of food in high school for me was:
Breakfast: Lucky Charms with marshmallows consumed last. If I had to (mostly because Lucky Charms weren’t on sale that week), I’d settle for fruit loops or rice crispies. Oh and those limited edition Cap’n Crunch Berries Only. Yum.
Lunch: Peanut Butter sandwich on the whitest bread possible, chewy chips ahoy and a coke.
Dinner: Taco Bell: three tacos and a Dr Pepper. Probably some Doritos at home if I could get them
I’m surprised I’m still alive after all of that. Gross. Imagine how much energy I would have had if I ate what I eat today instead. How did I have any useable, viable energy for sports? I probably would have been a better athlete. Grant it I was an extremely picky eater. Apparently sugar was the only product I deemed suitable to consume.
So now, it’s a lot more vegetables, fruit and a lot less crap. Eating out happens maybe once or twice a week. There’s no packaged food (does pasta count?) on my shelves. Just basic ingredients. Cooking is a fun thing to do now and not a chore. I think about what I can make for dinner ahead of time. It’s not always glamorous by any means, but it’s home cooked by my little hands. There’s a lot of learning still to do. Oh and I love cheese.
I stopped eating fast food 7 1/2 years ago. I don’t miss it. Even today I was thinking about how I still sometimes get Steak n’ Shake when I’m back in Indiana. This past time I got the chili and haven’t felt so terrible in such a long time. Looks like they are off my radar now too.
Dr Pepper though still holds a very special place in my heart. I can’t kick it and was extremely happy when they came out with Heritage Dr Pepper (real sugar. What a novelty!). It seems like it’s gone now though. Any suggestions on how to kick this habit?
Where has all this gotten me? I am still the same weight I was in high school. Physically I feel awesome despite being a bit weak muscle wise. I drink beer but don’t have a beer belly. I’m happier and have my life well sorted. Eating well won’t sort your life for you, but it does help.
Try it out if you can kids. You may surprise yourself. My picky eating days are behind me (ham and oranges, I still don’t like you sorry). Collard greens got on my radar a couple weeks ago and to me they are the best thing since sliced bread. I can’t stop eating them! I think about them all the time and how delicious they taste when I prepare them. Collard Greens, olive oil, garlic, onion cooked down and then spray with lemon juice. So simple yet so good.
Eat well and be well. Hippie life for ever.
Colleen, Fledgling Foodie.