When people find out about my food allergies, one of the first questions they ask me is: “What can you eat?” That seems like a perfectly acceptable question, but the truth is, I can eat a lot of foods and I probably can’t think of them all on the top of my head.
In fact, I believe I probably have a more varied diet than the average American. Because I can eat fewer foods (though still many), I eat most of them. Whereas, when you have the whole world of food open to you, you make select choices based on what’s easy, what you prefer, and what’s familiar. There’s got to be a term for this, but I just came off a 12+ hour day on set (fabulous shoot btw) so all I can think of is the tyranny of the majority. Which, if you think of certain food groups as the oppressed minority sort of maybe makes a little bit of sense if you’re willing to really stretch for it.
Think about what you ate this week. Maybe not you, loyal readers, as you probably care quite a bit about food (you’re reading a food blog, after all) and that separates you from the masses. But think about the people around you and what they eat. Same lunch day in and day out? Similar dinners? Making a large pot of food on Sunday and spreading it through the week? Probs.
In a typical week (I’d count this week, but I’ve got a cold and had an allergic reaction yesterday so I’m all out of sorts), I eat:
corn quinoa pasta
chips (either corn or potato)
And that’s not counting lentils, millet, carrots, quinoa, tomatoes, and peppers which make regular appearances in my diet.
I don’t always use the same recipes, I don’t always eat the same combos at meals, and of course, I only eat each food item 3 times a week.
I feel like I have a fairly diverse diet each week. Fine, so I can’t experiment with new foods (except weekly, when I experiment with new foods at the doctor’s office), but I eat what I can. I’m not saying I don’t get bored. Oh, boy do I get bored! But most of the time, it’s easy as switching out Honeycomb for Captain Crunch. Or eating white beans instead of black beans. Yams instead of sweet potatoes. Meatballs instead of pepper steak.
I think back to two years ago, when I was overdosing every day on pasta (with sauce and cheese for lunch and chicken or beef for dinner…occasionally subbing pasta for rice). I could eat a lot more (sort of, I mean, since no doctor had told me I couldn’t yet), but I actually ate a lot less.
Too often, I think of my allergies as a burden. This week, especially, when I reacted to nothing, simply because I’m already under the weather. But then, I realize that in a lot of ways they’re a gift. Today, I’m focusing on how they’ve taught me to broaden my horizons, care more about my daily food intake, and pay more attention to nutrition in general.
Now excuse me, as I plan for tomorrow’s lunch…