#UpbeatAuthors: Healthy Eating

Like everything else, defining “healthy eating” depends on one’s point of view. What my niece with celiac disease considers healthy is totally different from the foods her sister who is allergic to casein (milk protein) knows are safe. Peanut butter was a staple in my house when the Chromos were growing up. It would be deadly in other cupboards

Too often we forget mental health when it comes to eating. There are days when nothing less than Chinese for lunch will do. Or a carton of Ben & Jerry’s. Or a jar of Nutella. On those days, these food are healthy. No apologies. No judging.

And what about comfort food? Homemade macaroni-and-cheese? Grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup? Comfort is good for the soul. That’s healthy, too.

Now, I’m not saying we shouldn’t be conscious of what goes into our bodies. Most of the time, I do try to eat foods generally considered healthy: Greek yogurt for breakfast, green salads for lunch, whole grain breads and low-fat cheese on my grilled cheese sandwiches. This past summer I swapped out making pasta salads for making quinoa salads, and it wasn’t a sacrifice.  My standard pot-luck contribution is a fresh berry/fruit salad. Naked. Lots of antioxidants and vitamins. Y-chromo called me the other night to find out how to cook butternut squash. X-Chromo preferred vegetables to any kind of sugar, even as a toddler. I stopped drinking coffee nine or ten years ago because the withdrawal symptoms when I was fasting were brutal. If I was that addicted to something, maybe it’s not good for me.

But don’t ever try to take away my Nutella.

 

Thursday Thoughts: Meatballs

Many years ago, when I first started working in local TV, I was introduced to a small groceteria located on the first floor of a nearby high rise (for this city) apartment building.  We called it the Skyline Deli, even though that wasn’t the official name. The store hopped during the lunch hour. They carried fresh rolls from a local bakery, hands down the greatest sandwich roll ever.

The owner of the groceteria made the best meatballs I have ever eaten in my life.  “Meatball on a DiLauro with provolone” was my usual order. For over thirty years.

The store owner died. His widow and son were forced out of business when new owners of the building raised the rent. I know I am not the only person to mourn the loss of one of the best lunch spots around.

I have been on a quest to find a comparable meatball sandwich, but so far the best I’ve found is merely adequate. And let me tell you: there are a lot of substandard meatballs out there, even in a city named Syracuse. But I am having fun trying.