That took me back to my working days. My company was 80% female. That means that there is a lot of food at work. Most of it is homemade. Birthdays were a smorgasbord of different dishes. With those meals came different perspectives on food choices.
I am a healthy eater with just a few vices. I don’t like fried greasy foods (except for French fries which are a vegetable) or heavy rich foods but I do like an occasional small treat. A scoop of fabulous ice cream (dairy group) is a small treat or a cupcake (grain group — yes, I know it’s white grain) or a small piece of cake (grain group). Nothing too big.
Well, there is the brown food group. This consists of coffee and chocolate. It’s my favorite!
But that’s not what this blog is about. It’s not about me but about what I learned.
There was a very young pregnant woman who worked at my company. Very young is key. She looked about 14. You would think that she wasn’t old enough to reproduce but there she was, bursting with fruit.
She was thin but obsessed with not gaining weight during her pregnancy. She stayed off of normal meals and ate “healthy” snacks. I guess she missed the part in biology class where it’s required that you nutritionally support two people or maybe even three.
From her I learned a new set of food groups. First off, dairy includes cheese curls, any chips with ranch dressing, and pretzels dipped in cream cheese spread. Fruits included Fruit Loops and gummy bears (I bet you guessed that one!). Milk and yogurt weren’t in her vocabulary. She drank Slim Fast to ensure she got enough vitamins in a slim way. I often wonder how that child made out.
I once worked with a pregnant woman who gained 60 pounds in her thighs from double cheeseburger snacks at 11 p.m. every night. Her explanation was that it was necessary to stabilize herself so she wouldn’t fall. Give her an “A” for creativity!
There was a woman who insisted that the best way to get omega fats was through deep-frying. Anything deep-fried – like even donuts. I wonder how her cholesterol is doing.
Then there was the woman who worked for me. She had a schedule. She ate a prescribed amount of a certain food every day at the same time.
I remember vividly that she ate 10 goldfish crackers at 10 a.m. every day followed by 6 grapes at 11. There were other foods and times but I just don’t remember them. If she was in a meeting, she would go crazy until she “caught up on her schedule.” She couldn’t concentrate and it threw her off her game.
She eventually got pregnant after she left our company. She didn’t allow anyone to take pictures of her while she was pregnant. (Why are women so neurotic about their looks? Pregnancy is beautiful!) I often wonder whether her daughter is being raised with the same intense sense of body weight. I met her mother and she wasn’t like that at all.
At the end of the day, I didn’t learn much except that people are crazy. I already knew that. I eat everything in moderation…except maybe French fries…oh yes and home-grown tomatoes.