Ah, the grocery store. Deep down, I love the grocery store (obviously I love it more when I can stroll the store by myself. Grocery store with kids? That’s a post for another day). If the bible is true that “where your treasure is there your heart will be also”, then my heart is in the grocery store. If I never had to worry about money, I would spend a fortune on food. And clothes from Anthro. I would shop at Fresh Market where the produce is way overpriced but looks amazing, so I would justify it. Same for the fresh meat. I would tell Kyle, “Hun, it’s okay that the 1 lb of beef was $10 because it’s organic, grass-fed, free range, no antibiotics, no hormones, no GMOs, Grade A beef.” Let’s face it, the grocery store makes all that healthy food look delish. The eggplants are the richest purple. The tomatoes are juicy and plump. The lettuce has ne’er a tear in its leaves. When I’m there, I want to try one of everything then come home and find some Pinterest recipes to use up all of my amazing finds at the store.
While looking at the rainbow of fruits and vegetables, I find myself scoffing at the thought of perusing the evil middle aisles. The aisles where high fructose corn syrup and artificial additives abound. I wouldn’t dream of browsing those aisles if it weren’t “for the kids”. Because in my mind they might die of snack starvation if they don’t have goldfish and gummy snacks. Of course if it weren’t “for them”, I’d never leave the perimeter of the grocery store. It’s magical, that grocery store.
But tell me if this happens to you.
Something happens to my healthy food on the way home from the store. It’s like the magical grocery dust is shaken off my produce, because when I get home and start putting my groceries away, I notice something. When I put my vegetables in the crisper drawer, they don’t look the same. They look….average. At the store they were pristine and now, sitting next to the half-eaten bag of baby carrots, they’re not as enticing. Maybe it’s because they’re sitting in a bit of week old carrot juice that somehow found its way out of the sealed bag. And as I look upon all my ordinary vegetables I realize I’m starting to get hungry. One would think I would go straight to those bright, green cukes I just purchased. One would be wrong.
This. This is what I reach for. Because they truly are magically delicious. But, in my opinion, they have way too much oat cereal and not nearly enough marshmallows. Let’s be honest, we’re all in it for the marshmallows. When my kids eat it, I tell them not to just eat the marshmallows, then I grab a handful and do just that. Of course, I turn around and don’t let my kids see, because I’m a good mother.
And it’s not just Lucky Charms. It could be any food that comes in a box with preservatives and artificial flavoring. It’s like my pantry has its own magical dust for junk food. And let’s face it, junk food is my jam. I can show restraint until about 4:00pm. Then it’s on like Donkey Kong. And I justify eating my weight in Cheezits by telling myself I was really good and ate a healthy breakfast and lunch. After I’ve eaten about 3 servings of Cheezits (does anybody eat just 1 serving?), my sweet tooth kicks in. Good thing I bought that candy corn from the middles aisle, telling myself all the while it was for the kids.
Soon after I’ve put myself into a sugar coma, it’s time for dinner. And of course, I have to eat all my dinner, even though I’m not hungry, to set a good example for the kids. I wouldn’t want them to think I’m a hypocrite. Let them figure out later that I hoarded chocolate in my nightstand and ate ice cream after they went to bed. They can hash that out in the “Mommy issues” portion of the counseling they’re bound to have. I digress.
As any good example would, I made a happy plate and ate all my healthy food. By this time, I’m as full as a tick (such a gross analogy). But don’t worry, little dears, come 9:00 I’ll be scrounging for more food. I know what you’re thinking, “She’ll probably pull out some tasty, raw broccoli for a late night snack. I mean, she was just talking about how amazing all the produce looked at the grocery store.” Sigh. Wrong again.
Broccoli? At 9:00pm? I’d rather eat cardboard.
Late night snacks are usually in the form of ice cream or chocolate. And the next morning, it all starts again. So, score one for the magic pantry dust. And magic grocery dust, you need to come up with a longer shelf life.
Comment and tell me if your pantry has magic dust too!