The Break Up


Last night Paul texted his sister. They both share the same dry sensitive skin and he wanted to know what she was using to keep the itchy skin at bay. It seemed nothing he was using was working. In the darkness of our room, her texted response seemed to echo.

“Stay away from sugar and avoid processed food.”

When he looked up from his i-phone, the glow from which made me feel like we were telling ghost stories, he asked me, “What would you classify as ‘processed food’ exactly?”

“Anything in a cellophane or foil lined wrapper,” was my quick response.

(Cue the shrieking violins.)

“Whoa, whoa, hey now… That can’t be right. Now your just talking crazy talk!” he joked with a grimace.

But I know he was really hoping for a magic lotion or a pill that would soothe his scratchy skin, not an actual change in diet! Saying sionara to all those shiny packages of salty sweets?  Let’s not get fanatical.

I know the feeling all too well. When Dean was a newborn, boy was he gassy! For three months his breathing was a constant series of grunts and burps. But when I asked the doctor, “What could be the culprit?” and he responded that I should avoid chocolate as it was probably seeping into my milk supply, I dismissed his little “observation” as just one man’s opinion. I mean, what baby doesn’t like chocolate milk? I rationalized that if I was going to save my boy from an awful fate like “chocolate allergies” I’d better inoculate his little system now, his gasiness a small price to pay.

(FYI, Dean’s almost two now, not gassy, and a fellow chocolate lover.)

But why is it so hard to give up the foods we love? I have health mentors who have been trying to get me off of dairy for years now. Something about the casein or the lactose…And yes, I know I’m not a baby cow. I know humans are not intended to nurse for life off of another animal. But I just can’t give up the yogurt, the cheese, or the perfect side to a warm chocolate chip cookie.

I’m sure it was a needed nutritional change that inspired Neil Sedaka’s number one hit single:

Breaking up with food is hard to do.

(Okay, so I added that last food part, but I’m still sure it was his inspiration. I mean, come on. You never have to see an ex-boyfriend again if you don’t want to, but I do have to walk through intoxicating bakery isles every week if I want to get to the produce section!)


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