Saturday, February 13, 2010

Ice Cream For Dinner

Yesterday afternoon I had some blood drawn (to make sure I have enough platelets!) and was feeling really tired afterwards, so I took a nap. Then I was hungry, but was still feeling really tired and the only thing "ready to eat" in my house was ice cream. So, for dinner I ate the end of a pint of Ben and Jerry's mint chocolate cookie ice cream and some Mochi Green Tea ice cream. Naturally, afterwards I felt sick to my stomach, because that was kind of a dumb thing to do. As I was walking from my apartment to the garage where my car is parked, I ran into a man who was looking for change in a tree plot on the sidewalk. As I walked by he said to me, "Could you help me out with some change? I'm really hungry." So, I thought for a moment and said, "What would you like to eat?" And he said, "I'd really like ice cream." So, I said, "Where could you get some ice cream?" He reminded me of the place pretty near by that sells gelato. As we were walking that direction, I asked him if he was sure that's what he wanted to eat. I told him that I also had eaten ice cream for dinner, but that ice cream wasn't a very nutritious dinner. He said he thought maybe it was nutritious because there's milk in it. I said maybe that's true, but there is also a lot of sugar in it. Then he said to me that he used to be an alcoholic who drank all day long, but that he'd been sober for 12 years. (He definitely seemed sober to me.) He said he could hardly believe it had been 12 years and that he used to get into a lot of trouble with the law. He told me that he had a sweet tooth and that sugar helped him with his cravings. He also said that he just couldn't seem to get his life together. He didn't know why, but he just couldn't seem to get it together. In the end, I decided to leave him some money and let him make his own choice and I wished him the best of luck. He said he thought I was very nice. I bid him good night.

Later, as I was thinking about that conversation, I was really struck by the fact that this man who used to spend every dime he had on alcohol was now spending it on sugar. And, it occurred to me that I wasn't that unlike this man, since I, too, had eaten ice cream for dinner. While I couldn't judge this man for the choices he was making with his life and I know that giving advice is usually fruitless, especially when it is hypocritical, I knew I could learn something from the exchange. I haven't been eating that well lately. When I live alone and eat alone, I have a tendency to not cook for myself. I eat Luna bars and yogurt instead of cooking a healthy meal with vegetables and grains. I think I'm going to change that.

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