Please pardon my lack of energy. I am having a bit of a sick day. Don’t worry. I am not contagious. I’m just nostalgic. I ate macaroni and cheese for lunch and sent my gut into rebellion. Add gooey cheddar pasta to the ever-growing list of foods which my aging stomach cannot tolerate.
So, now there's a whole list of foods I shouldn't eat and another one of foods I can't eat. The Venn Diagram of these two overlaps to a large extent.
I am not a reckless eater. I have known for years that the sweet and brightly-colored tip of the food pyramid was not for me. I quit eating candy years ago. The Halloween treats are safe with me now because all it takes is one very aptly-named Snickers for me to know that the joke’s on me. Between dental trauma and tummy troubles, the Starburst might as well be actual burning balls of hot gas. I have soured on SweeTarts and will now never know how many licks it takes to get to center of a Tootsie Pop. Candy? No can do.
Even so, I thought I would have more time to enjoy the savory comfort foods of youth. My recent lunch experience just emphasizes that I am probably going to have trouble with anything served from a casserole dish from here on out. I am married to a man whose South Dakota roots define a meal as a rectangular Pyrex dish filled with hearty food and sprinkled with either cheese, potato chips or crushed Corn Flakes and brushed with butter. These casseroles are delicious and economical. They also make my stomach hurt.
Also off the list are any meats that go on a pizza, ice cream, beer, French fries, chicken in nugget form, and anything consumed after 8:00 p.m. It is honestly as if I am being specifically punished for my college eating habits. The economy has not yet mandated that I return to my steady diet of packaged ramen noodles, but I’m betting that the experience would not go well. I no longer have the guts for that kind of poverty.
My cereal choices look like twigs and taste like nothing at all. I am all about fiber and whole grains. Not only would I be unable to consume bowl after bowl of Cap’n Crunch, but a single nugget of that once-beloved stuff would actually injure my palette too much to even consider eating more. The aged, tender roof of my mouth becomes too abraded by chewing to allow my stomach to even feel the assault of sugar, preservatives and more sugar. My tummy is so delicate that it now has other parts of my body working the door to keep out undesirables.
So, do not look for me in line when the ice-cream truck warbles to the neighborhood. I will not be waiting for you at . No, I do not need anything from the appetizer menu at . I am in looking for a benign version of loaded nachos.
However, don’t cry for me, Pepperoni. I’m getting plenty to eat. The fire in my belly still seems to require a lot of fuel. It just seems that I now need premium instead of leaded. And I seem to get fewer miles to the gallon.