Rules of Holiday Eating – Lessons Learned by JH Mae – December 4, 2013

turkeyCFN – Reese’s makes a seasonal candy for the holidays. It’s essentially a peanut butter cup in the shape of a pumpkin at Halloween, tree at Christmas, heart at Valentine’s Day and egg at Easter. There’s truly nothing special about it.

Regardless, every day for two weeks I’ve eaten a Christmas tree peanut butter cup has come out.. And you know what? I don’t feel bad about it– I’m 30 and I’m going to eat whatever I want!

I have a reason for sounding like a spoiled brat. Without going into sordid details that will embarrass me and disgust you, I have many digestive problems that have worsened since they started at age 16. The list of stuff I can’t eat is a mile long – cheese, ice cream, creamy sauces, fried food, ad nauseum (literally).

Smarty-pants types with their fancy degrees like to tell us what we should and shouldn’t eat. I can’t eat many of the things already featured on the “no-no” list, but I also can’t eat many of the things on the good list – fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, whole grains. Again, I won’t tell you why.

I also have this rather annoying quality – I hate being bossed around, much to my mother’s chagrin.

And speaking of my mother – she’s five feet tall and 100 pounds, and that woman lives off candy and cookies. She’s nearly 60 and thus far, has few health problems to speak of. As far as I can see, the candy and cookies have done her no harm. In your face, Dietary Guidelines!

Maybe I’m not a doctor and I don’t understand the effects of sugar on the human body, maybe I’m even being careless with my precious health. But I think I deserve a free pass.

I work in a place that sells pizza and wings, two of the most delicious foods on God’s greasy earth. Do you have any idea how hard it is to cook pizzas oozing with mozzarella, to parcel out crispy wings and onion rings and tender BBQ ribs to customers without partaking myself? It’s terrible!

I had an epiphany this week, and I think it occurred somewhere between my seventh and eighth peanut butter Christmas tree: the universe owes me candy bars and Oreo cookies and Cocoa. It took everything else away from me. Besides, I think the universe wants me to eat that garbage. My proof? Those foods don’t make me sick!

As I said before, I’m 30 – nearly 31 in fact – and the rules about eating cookies before bed apply to children, not me. I’ve earned the right to eat things that are horribly bad for me, I’ve paid my dues. I’m an adult, free to make my own (bad) decisions, free to indulge (and pay for the consequences later) and enjoy myself (all the way to diabetes).

The wonderful thing about being an adult is mommy isn’t over my shoulder telling me to eat my veggies. Today, rather, it’s Dr. Oz and other TV know-it-alls telling me what’s best. And what do I say in response? Let me eat candy!

JH Mae is a feature journalist and short fiction writer based in rural northern New York.

She worked for five years at a local newspaper, followed by three years as a secretary.

She recently left the office life to pursue a full-time writing career and now works in her pajamas.

To learn more about here you can visit her website by clicking HERE


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