Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Captain Crunchy vs The Junk Food Kid

The crunchier I have become the more I find that I have had to learn tactful and delicate responses to people who don't live as I do. I don't think of myself as a judgemental or critical person, but there are many times that I have to think before I speak when respond to the comments or actions of others.

This last month has been especially hard. Stephen and I took Midge to Iowa to visit family and I found myself smack dab in the land of processed foods. The first thing I learned was that the term "juice" didn't mean 100% organic juice but Kool-aid. What I call "soda" was "pop" to everyone else and it flowed freely not only to the adults but the children. So immediately I thought "Okay, I need to pick my battles but I also need to figure out how to communicate my feelings on junk food." So I allowed my son to have a sugary artifically colored nutritionally void drink and McDonalds chicken nuggets and fries. In conversation I mentioned that I try to keep a healthy diet at home but on vacation I would let things slide a bit. It was a vague hint but one I hoped would be picked up on. Fortunately our hostess filled the fridge with raw veggies and strawberries and I was sure to make a fuss over them. It was tough because we were staying with the sweetest, most gracious relatives and I didn't want to seem snooty, yet their definition of "the good stuff" was my very definition of "the bad stuff." So to be funny I made a joke or two about needing my "rabbit food" and even teased "I don't know how you all poop!" when I noticed their meals had no vegetables or fruits. I helped with dinners and clean up to show my appreciation but inside there was a loud voice that screamed "That drink has HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP and RED DYE 40!!" When a family member snuck Midge a sippy cup full of soda pop I gave my husband a look that said "DO SOMETHING!" He let him have a few sips and then switched cups out to one with diluted apple juice. And I noticed a huge change in Midge. He went from calm and sweet to grumpy and he was always asking for more junk food. He was more agressive and I could see him riding sugar highs and falling deep into sugar lows. By the end of the trip he was falling apart. Once we got him home and on healthy foods he went back to being his normal self.

I just hope to get the family out this way sometime. It may be a bit of a culture shock, but I guarantee you they will be pooping a whole lot more on a nutritionally dense diet! ;)