Many moons ago, when I devoted this column to pontificating about ways ordinary folks could save money, I introduced you to a friend of mine, Harmony Moonbeam. (Name has been changed to protect the free-spirited.)
As a quick refresher, Harmony is my neo-hippie friend who has an essential oil to solve every problem, wants to live in an earthship someday and led the charge in my circle of friends to start eating things made chiefly from obscure ingredients like almond flour.
It was funny at first, and I took advantage of every opportunity to antagonize her.
“Hey there, Harmony. How’s that coconut flour shortcake with spinach dust and fake sugar? Because this apple pie is AWESOME.”
“Whatever, Abs,” she’d say in her calm and dreamy way, and we’d have a laugh and move on.
But gradually an uncomfortable number of people I knew and trusted got on board with Harmony’s antics.
It became a thing at every food-centric gathering for the Very Obscure Ingredient People (VOIPs) to have their own section at the buffet table while the Gluten And Sugar People (GASPs) defended their space.
Once or twice I snuck an item from the VOIP section and was surprised to find it less horrible than I’d anticipated, but no matter: You only live once. Eat the real apple pie.
A couple weeks ago, after eight frustrating months of trying to figure out the rhyme and reason behind The Architect’s wacky blood sugars post-Type 1 diabetes diagnosis (conclusion: there isn’t one), we finally decided something had to change to preserve her health in the long-term.
This was a difficult adjustment because we are carb people. We are sugar people. We are snack people and pasta people and bread people.
I would never, for myself, sign up for a lifestyle change that would take all those things away from me. I’m an “everything in moderation” kinda gal.
But hang it all, Harmony, I’ve now joined your VOIP Club because I love my kid, and I’ve never seen her blood glucose levels as steady as they’ve been since we became members. (Note: The rest of us cheat. I am sitting next to a box of Cheez-Its as I write this. Don’t tell The Architect.)
I’m not a doctor, but I do read books and attempt to make well-informed decisions for my family’s well-being. When you reach a point — in your health, career or life — at which something is not working, you change what you’re doing to make it better.
Change is uncomfortable and sometimes unpleasant and other times, just plain gross. (My first batch of keto blueberry muffins tasted like sand.) It’s also necessary for growth and, in more drastic cases, survival.
So now we’re closet VOIPs, and the adjustment has been a little rocky, but we’re in it for the long haul. The Architect understands our reasoning and is excited about trying new things — many of which she helps make.
Aside from the muffins, we’ve had a couple failures: Baked donuts that clung to the pan so persistently that I dug them out with a spoon, put them in muffin cups and called them ‘duffins;’ some microwave bread that was too eggy for any reasonble GASP to appreciate; and I still can’t get her to appreciate a good, solid batch of scrambled eggs.
But there have also been wins.
The clincher for me was the day we made keto-friendly cupcakes with icing on top. The Architect got to lick frosting off the beater for the first time in probably a year, a spontaneous childhood rite of passage I never thought she’d be able to experience without careful planning and dosing with insulin, which kind of takes the fun out of things.
That moment, for us, (and especially me) signified a type of freedom we took for granted in the years before it was taken away. And it made this sacrifice feel worthwhile.
So now I swap messages with Harmony every other day or so. She gives me insight into the VOIP universe and I humbly seek her advice, realizing that maybe we’re not so different after all.
I know there are folks out there who will see this as a deprivation of childhood. I see it as a chance to teach healthy habits so that someday, when my children are on their own, they know how to make good choices because they’ve been practicing for quite some time.
And then I can go back to eating real apple pie.
Abbey Roy is a mom of three girls who make every day an adventure. She writes to maintain her sanity. You can probably reach her at [email protected], but responses are structured around bedtimes and weekends.
Read or Share this story: https://www.newarkadvocate.com/story/life/2020/07/19/abbeys-road-hard-fought-journey-healthfulness/5445266002/