Thursday, December 31, 2015

Sometimes We Eat Frankenfoods, and Live to Tell the Tale

There is Gatorade in my fridge.


A couple of years ago I ranted about how gross Gatorade is, and now I have it in my fridge.

We don't consume Gatorade with any regularity. I stand by my rant that as a casual beverage, it's yucky, but the pediatrician told me to give it to one of the littles because he was very, very sick and they were worried about his electrolytes. I know I provided links in my Gatorade-is-gross rant for homemade electrolyte-replacement drinks, but when your precious small person is sick and you're worried and exhausted, the last thing you want to do is whip up a batch of anything, so I gave him the Gatorade.

Does this make me a hypocrite? Am I poisoning my small person? Am I losing any sleep over any of this? I'm going to go with 'no,' 'no' and 'no.'

Here's the thing--I really believe it's what we do MOST of the time that matters, not what we do SOME of the time. Yes, Gatorade is full of sugar and artificial stuff, but if we only have it once in a while, I think we're going to be ok.

I also had some Diet Coke when we went to see Star Wars last week. Is Diet Coke yucky? Yes. Yes, it is. I think there are a lot of problems with soda in general and diet soda in particular, but somehow slurping down half of the Darling Husband's monster cup felt sort of festive. (And he didn't mind. No. Not at all.) A Star Wars movie only comes out once every few years, at most, so I think I'll be ok.

There are all kinds of crappy stuff out there. Lots of things rob our bodies of precious nutrients. But you know what? So does exercise, and pretty much no one tells you to stop doing that. But even exercise needs to be accompanied by moderation.

I just wanted to tell you all about the Gatorade. I know I write about healthy stuff, but I hope I never come across as perfectionist-y about food, or exercise, or anything else. I fear that I might have from time to time, and I'm sorry if I've done anything to promote the perfect-health dogma that exists in stark contrast to the SAD (Standard American Diet.)

What really gets my knickers in a twist is when these highly processed, frankenfoods are marketed as health foods. I think the frankenfoods can be fine from time to time, but let's not pass them off as healthy while we demonize real, whole foods like butter or red meat. Let's face it: the frankenfoods are convenient, and dare I say, some are even yummy!

Life happens. Little people get sick. Best laid plans go awry. A new Star Wars movie comes out. You drink a Gatorade, eat at McDonalds or schnarf down a couple of handfuls of toxic cinema popcorn.

And it's OK. It's what we do MOST of the time that matters.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

What Christmas is All About, and It's NOT SHOES
One of our local radio stations is playing non-stop Christmas music. You know, the pop-y kind. The small people absolutely love it, so I've relaxed my commercial radio ban for the duration of Advent.

Today we were driving to school and on came possibly the stupidest Christmas song EVER. It's called 'Christmas Shoes.' It tells a schmaltzy story of a ragged little boy trying to fork over pennies to buy shoes for his dying mother, because he wants her to look pretty because.... wait for it.... she's DYING. She might 'meet Jesus tonight.' It's sung in this croony country singer-type voice, a la 'Butterfly Kisses.'

I know the concept of dirty, threadbare child buying a present for his dying mother is supposed to tug at my heartstrings, but it doesn't. Sweetheart, if you mommy is dying, please go be with her!!! She doesn't need shoes! I'm guessing if she might die tonight, she's not even walking around. Seriously, no need for shoes.

So I start ranting in the car a little bit.

(Just a little.)

Me: Cuteface, are you listening to the words of this song?

CF: No, not really.

Me: It's about this boy whose mommy is really not well and might go to heaven, and the little boy is spending all his money on new shoes for her. I want you to know that if I get really sick the last thing I want is new shoes. I want you to come be with me. I want you to read to me or play Uno with me. None of this spending time at shops buying me stuff I don't need, ok?

CF: Yeah, that's dumb. It's not like she can use them anyway. We're all going to be running around barefoot in heaven.

Ha! Take that, Country Crooner!

I think the reason this song set me off is this horrible American Christmas notion that we make people happy through stuff. That buying stuff is what Christmas is all about. NO. It's about God Incarnate. It's about being with our people. It's not about leaving dying mother's bedside to buy her SHOES.

I drop off the small people and pull into my driveway. Guess what's playing now? Mariah Carey--'All I want for Christmas is YOU-OOO-Baby!'

I never thought I'd say it, but Mariah Carey hit the nail on the head.