“You eat THAT?” How many times have I heard that question in my 20 years as a registered dietitian? Countless times. Some RDs find it hard to be in a profession where it is assumed your eating habits are perfect. With the eyes of the world on your every bite (yes, I am known to exaggerate) it might be a bit nerve-wracking when you’re at a family gathering, or meeting your boyfriend’s parents over dinner for the first time, or meeting up with some new moms at a playdate. “You eat THAT?” Why, yes, yes I do.
Perhaps I should call myself a Registered Not-a-titian? Nah.
Here’s the thing: I love food. All kinds of food. The majority of the time, my diet is made up of the good stuff like lean protein, low-fat dairy, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. That’s how I fuel my body, and my body thanks me by giving me energy to do all the things I love, like play volleyball, live an active pedestrian life, goof around in the pool, and play with my kids. I also love some not-so-good-for-you foods, and so have them only occasionally and enjoy them without one iota of remorse. Chocolate? Absolutely. Artificially colored salty snacks? Why, yes, I believe I will. Artificially sweetened diet soda, a throw-back from the 1970′s with a sketchy past? Sure, I like to live on the edge. Those things that make born-again nutrition believers cluck their tongues and shake their heads. I just laugh and help myself.
This weekend’s getaway with my scrapbooking friends is a great example of this philosophy. As the planning emails flew back and forth, the weekend food list slowly got decided. While breakfasts and dinners are provided by the beautiful Red Jacket Inn, we needed to take care of lunches and snacks. You might think I would jump right to veggies and hummus, or some fantastic dish featuring The Infamous Legume, or some whole grain, flax-seed baked goods. Nope. First of all, we are being very well taken care of by the inn, with unbelievable menu options at two meals already. Secondly, some of my gal pals already had great lunch options covered — like Corinne’s cabbage/spinach salad and Dee’s famous chicken salad and Shirl’s buffalo chicken crockpot delight. We were covered in the entree and sides department.
What’s an RD to bring? Sugar and salt, essentially. One of my all-time favorite sweets is homemade brownies exactly like my mum used to make when we were kids. I even do it in the same way, using a double boiler (not the microwave as the new-fangled recipe suggests). They are ridiculously dense and delicious. It is a basic Baker’s chocolate recipe, which you can find here.
Don’t they look killer? I added Andes candies to these for a wonderfully minty touch.
My salty contribution is a concoction I got from long-time friend, Shirl (planner extraordinaire of this girls’ weekend) and her husband, whom we affectionately call Beev. He created this for his poker buddies and so it is, oddly enough, called Poker Mix. The scrap chicks LOVE it, it is so addicting, so how could I NOT bring it? No recipe needed, just look at the packages
Yes, those are Andy Capp hot fries — still in production after all these decades.
Check out that brilliant orange color. No, folks, that color is NOT found in nature
Finally, my guiltiest pleasure of all, my bubbly friend, my icon of sunshine and good times…
I love TAB. I am sure it has something to do with the fact it was one of the first sodas I had as a kid, thanks to my big sis and the pocket-money she had from working at Sears. My mum sure wouldn’t have bought it for me :) It has stood the test of time, and as a product in the beverage industry, is truly a phenomenon, considering it does a million in sales every year despite zero marketing or advertising. And, it is my favorite caffeine-delivery vehicle, though fountain diet Coke from McD’s runs a close second.
So, there you have it, folks — my true confessions. I am not the perfect dietitian, and, truth be told, I don’t know any, and wouldn’t want to be friends with them anyway. I’m just a girl trying to keep her taste buds, muscles, and brain happy all at once. It works for me. What works for you?