Mum's the Word

Chocolate milk, obesity and pep talks

Posted: Aug. 15, 2018 11:45 am Updated: Aug. 15, 2018 1:55 pm

Someone spilled chocolate milk between the couch cushions. Said person did not report the incident.

I happened upon a crusty tacky spot on the side of a cushion and followed it with my hand. Terrified by this mystery brown substance with a cheesy smell, I realized quickly it was chocolate milk. Initially I was relived by this, but then that good feeling faded as I realized it had gone all the way to the carpet and pooled there. It must have been a very large cup and had aged about 1-2 weeks. We have a dark brown couch, and I think it had been that long since I've sat down. That old saying, "there's no use crying over spilled milk," is completely negated when the milk has turned to a brown cheesy paste that has ruined the carpet, and you need to strip the couch cushions. Luckily the couch cushions are removable so I take them off and wash them. As I wrestle the cushions back into their cases, wiping the beads of sweat from my brow, I have a thought. This is why my grandparents weren't fat.

I'm not sure if they had removable couch cushion covers but they never stopped physically working. They washed everything, remade beds diligently, planted/picked their own vegetables. As a generation they worked much harder than we do and had much less sitting time. They didn't need to take a class or run six miles, their chores kept them fit enough.

I'm not judging us. I'm just saying, I stopped by my blind grandmother's house a few weeks ago, in the early morning, and she had already bleached the floors and made potato salad. Then she asked if she could make me some tapioca pudding. Um, I'm not sure my floors have ever seen anything other than a swifter, and yes please, give me the pudding.

Clearly I will have to run six miles later to burn it off, because unlike my grandparents, I will not fix myself one bowl, I will eat the entire container in one sitting.

But that's what our generation does. We binge on things and have a drive-thru liquor store.

While our grandparents treat was sitting outside with a glass of sweet tea, our idea is three in one day made to order plus any other confectionery that tickles our fancy. I have a picture in my mind of my grandma having a Coke in a glass bottle on a hot summer day. She once told me that was a real treat and a rarity. I take a moment to wonder if this was of the time when Coke had coke in it and have a little giggle.

We treat ourselves everyday and must force ourselves to confess that our treats are no longer treats but our diet, and as a generation, our diets are terrible.

There was a discussion on the radio just yesterday about it. One thing that was brought up was how people that cook at home are much healthier than people who eat out because people are healthier than corporations. When people cook, they use less salt, less sugar and the food contains less preservatives. It's something we don't really think about, but if we did, we know it makes sense. I didn't realize pickles were pickled cucumbers until I was almost an adult because I had never thought about it.

Anyway, cooking is doing something, and that can conflict with our generational desire to do nothing.

Our lackadaisical approach to eating or "pickle coma" drastically can affect the health of our children. I cringe thinking about how many chicken strips and hot dogs my kids have consumed this summer alone. As a vegetarian, I eat lots of fruit and vegetables. I try to encourage the kids to do the same but they'd rather die than eat a salad, and we have eaten out quite a bit. Also, who told my kids they can have a treat after every meal? Um, No! You do not need ice cream after every meal or candy for breakfast. We've already gone over this!

When I suggest they grab some fruit as a snack, you'd think I had told them to run six miles to go get it. I tell them all the time, if fruits or veggies don't sound good, then maybe they're not actually hungry. Food for thought for us all.

So my continued goal from this summer is to cook more. We have a garden, and we are going to be more diligent about the upkeep and use what we have, just like Grandma. We are going to have fewer "treats" and more activities. Everyone is going to keep busy, be productive and do their chores without complaining (pipe dream). We will say no to sodas (unless it's an original coke in a glass bottle) and are not too good to drink from the hose. We will limit our treats, so that they are exactly that, a treat.

That's my pep talk anyway.

We are for sure not drinking anymore chocolate milk, at least not in the living room. Not cool!

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