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Help! I'm turning into my grandmother!

March 21, 2011 - Andrea Johnson
Sounding more like my grandparents on their latest fad diet is probably one of the prices I pay for getting older.

How well do I remember curiously picking up my grandmother's copy of "The Scarsdale Diet," a 1970s fad diet that had something to do with a notorious murder. The diet itself wasn't anything out of the ordinary. I seem to recall it suggested a breakfast of cottage cheese and fruit, which is what my grandmother was eating round about then. The murder was the only interesting thing about it. She also tried various other diets, one of which I tried for awhile with my grandmother and actually lost some weight. But, hey, I didn't talk about it all the time when I was on that diet! Nutrition was just the class I took in college so I didn't have to take a harder science. I promptly forgot everything I learned about calorie counting and lycopene as soon as I passed the class.

But as soon as the number 4-0 looms on the horizon, so do the calorie charts, cholesterol counts and other signs of one's mortality. They hang over your head like a French guillotine, reminding you that time is limited and will be even more limited if you don't get your butt in gear and start running on the treadmill or eating whole wheat instead of white bread or whatever the latest fad of the moment is. This sort of thing seems to gain importance as an antidote for other things that are well beyond your control, like a bad day at work or a depressing credit card balance.

Last night at the market (the one where you go to shop if you want to save a few bucks, though it be a corporate giant and fashionable for foodies to disapprove of), I piled rabbit food galore into my cart, none of which I really like. I am trying fruit that I would not eat except for it being high in such things as alpha and beta carotene and leafy green vegetables that make me feel like Peter Rabbit. I nobly turned away from the cart of jelly Bismarcks that I truly wanted.

I still find most of those healthy things things dreadfully boring and conversation about them even more so. I would far rather read a book or go to a movie. I still like sour cream and onion potato chips far better than the healthy food I force myself to put in the shopping cart. I have become the authority figure that says to myself, "No, you cannot have that chocolate bar. You have to eat all your spinach!" And now I am talking about it and boring anyone who made it this far in reading my column. I have become my grandmother.

It is all so very perplexing to be sort of mature.


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