Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Healthy Foods for Under a Dollar

I just had to share this from the New York Times...

Well: Healthy Foods for Under $1
By By Tara Parker-Pope
Published: December 29, 2008
A list of cheap foods to stretch your grocery budget during the holidays and beyond.

What I love about this list is that several items in the 20 listed are already staples in my kitchen, and the rest are good suggestions. (Except beets. I hate beets.)

"Diabetic" Food

One of the biggest things you learn in diabetes class is to avoid any food labeled “diabetic.” For one thing, they taste like ass. For another thing, you find a lot of them have a fairly high carb content. For example, all of those chocolates and candies made with sugar alcohol end up having about 13 grams of carbs per tiny serving. As I read the labels, I am finding that you just need to do some digging and a lot of low-carb options don’t have a low-carb, sugar-free, or diabetic label on them. On top of that, they taste awesome. Here are some of my favorites:

Scharffen Berger Chocolate (anything over 65% cacao)
– Holy smoke this stuff is so divine. Whereas a “sugar-free” bar will have about 14 grams of carbs for 1/3 of a bar, the Scharffen Berger stuff will have 13 grams of carbs for HALF a bar. There is nary a diet, low carb, sugar free label on a Scharffen Berger bar but damn is that stuff low carb and TASTY!!!!

Blue Corn Tortilla Chips – Nine grams of carbs for 15 chips. That’s tiny. When you measure it out, 15 chips are a lot. Double that and add cheese, chopped green onions, salsa, and cilantro and you have a party.

Chicken sausages – This counts as a no duh type of thing since chicken is all protein but these sausages relatively low fat content and high flavor gives you a lot of bang for your buck.

Trader Joe’s Gorgonzola Crackers – I call this mindful snacking. With little itty bitty crackers (like these and goldfish) you can eat half a box and not know it but if you actually count out the 33 crackers that are 21 grams of carbs, that’s a LOT of crackers. Cut that in half and you get 16 crackers for 10.5 grams of carbs. On top of that, these things are crazy tasty and pair well with a nice Pinot Grigio.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Pear cobbler for diabetics

So Christmas with the in-laws was delightful as usual. A ray of hope and a source of frustration is that my father in law seems to have controlled his diabetes so well, he pretty much eats anything now. That means the in-law fridge was set for a Texas style Christmas. Cheese and starch galore. I did great though. I had nibbles of everything and made sure I made a salad to be the bulk of my meal. So I wouldn’t feel left out of the dessert frenzy (12 kinds of cookies, two different loaves of quick breads and pie!) I made this cobbler. I calculated it to have about 20 grams of carbs for per serving (and I am talking a generous helping). It was incredible.

For filling
½ stick of butter
1 teaspoon lemon juice
4 cups pears chopped into large chunks
1/4 cup Splenda (the kind out of the bag that is equivalent to sugar. If you are using packets, use three packets)

For topping
1 cup of almond flour (I actually found hazelnut flour at Texas’ Central Market and used half almond flour, half hazelnut flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon cardamom
1/4 cup Splenda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup of almond milk
Accompaniment: Fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream (sugar free of course)

To prepare the filling:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Place the butter in an 8 x 8-inch square glass baking dish (no substitutes), and melt the butter in the microwave. In a mixing bowl, combine lemon juice and the pears. Add the Splenda and mix well. Add the pear mixture to the baking dish with the melted butter. Do not stir.

Make topping:
Combine all of the topping ingredients in a small bowl. Pour this mixture over the blackberries and bake 45 minutes, or until brown. This recipe is also good for apples, blueberries, and peaches.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

You Know What's Awesome?

A really good massage. Seriously, there's not much better. It's a way to relieve stress, work out tension, soothe aches and pains, invigorate the muscles in your body, and give you some really quiet, focused "me time" to think about whatever you want, and I usually end up thinking good thoughts about ways to take better care of my body and myself.

I always get a massage whenever I go visit the fam, cuz Mom treats me to an hour with her regular massage therapist. (It's MUCH cheaper in Bloomington than in DC, believe you me.) Mom goes about once a month, and while that still seems like a luxury I can't afford I think it's time for me to find a good, reasonably-priced therapist here. Getting just one or two massages a year in Bloomington, which mostly just serve to work out the kinks from air travel, isn't enough.

I am looking for a variety of lifestyle approaches to help me reduce stress and improve posture, and thus alleviate some (I hope) of my neck, shoulder, and back twinges. In the meantime, though, I think it will be worth occasionally giving myself an hour to let someone else work the tension out.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

'Tis the Season of Old Habits

As my co-blogger shared below, the holidays are a great time to revisit -- and learn how to improve upon -- some of those old family habits that helped shape the lifestyles that we live today. Since I'm with the fam now and just salivating smelling the Christmas Eve dinner that's in the works (a ham, sweet potato casserole, homemade mac 'n cheese, followed by sugar cookies and mulled cider), it seems like this is a good time to share a few thoughts on how those family food ties that bind, only if you let them:

I come from a small family, with no real relationships with extended family, so it's always been kinda the 4 of us against the world. Yet, at our mealtimes, you might just guess that we had a family of 10. Portion size was never our strong suit, and I am reminded of this every time I come visit because Mom and Dad still serve our meals on platters instead of plates. PLATTERS. I kinda get that in the psychology of our family, nurturing = nourishment, and abundance = affection, or something like that.

My parents seem to really value being able to provide for us kids, which they've always done very well, and that sometimes manifests itself in the food they make for us. Large, hearty portions, high-quality ingredients, homemade. This is not a microwaving family, and Dad's always been an excellent cook and Mom's a darn good baker. So my whole life, I do believe that a lot of our emotional attachments to each other have been communicated through food. To this day, Dad will start calling (now he even emails!) weeks before I come to visit asking what I want to eat, so he can plan out a lavish menu of my favorite meals every day I'm here.

A few years ago, when Christmas fell at a time when I was being really good about WW, I realized that I just could not handle eating in Dad's usual way while I was here. Literally, after 3-4 days of huge meals of mostly proteins and starches (meat, really good meat, at every meal), I felt sick. My body just wasn't used to those quantities or that kind of rich food, and I finally just had to put my foot down. So, ever since, I talk more clearly with my parents before visiting about what kinds of foods I'd like them to have on hand for me to eat while I'm here, things that I'm a little more used to -- Egg Beaters, soups, veggie sides. And that's worked pretty well for a while.

Then, last summer, my parents' lifestyle changed radically. Mom has been a health food advocate for decades, so she didn't often eat the same big, rich meals -- but a lifetime of doing so led my Dad to the point of a surprise triple bypass, on top of his high cholesterol, diabetes and high blood pressure. Face to face with this crisis, Dad came through with flying colors and radically changed his diet. Heck - he lost somethingl ike 50 pounds and climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro! He's doing great!

They now have very different kinds of foods in the house, which means my experience visiting is almost reversed -- in that I'm looking for snacks or some of my usual indulgences and they're no longer here! I'm not quite ready to be just a fruits-and-nuts snacker, sorry. I actually now learn a few new healthy-eating tidbits each time I come visit.

But, it is Christmas, so again my parents are really putting on a full spread for me and my brother, with steaks and lamb and tonight's ham. So it's up to me to enjoy these meals and the love they represent, while still keeping an eye on portion size and making sure I'm getting enough fruits and veggies mixed in there with all the meats and potatoes. Doesn't seem too hard!

So, with that, I'm off to dinner -- happy holidays, everyone!


So Oprah puts herself on the cover of her magazine. Not a surprise since she does that every issue but this time, she's confessing about her weight gain and how she continues to struggle with weight. Now this is even better than her cocaine confession!

For all of us who are struggling to deal with the healthy lifestyle thing, we should feel much better about ourselves. If Oprah with her trainers, chefs, personal assistants and fake fiancees, can't keep the weight off, what chance do us mere mortals have? I mean you can have personal assistants do a lot but, they can't work out for you and they can't make sure you actually eat that great salad your chef made.

Playing armchair therapist, I see that with the weight loss Oprah does well the with the outcome goals of losing weight but not with the process goals of living healthy (hence this blog). I do wonder if she sees just the weight loss without seeing the habit building. As we've both said before, this is stuff we need to do for the rest of our lives. If you are doing something that you will stop once the weight is off, stop doing it. The best example of this is her running, have you seen her do another marathon? This is the season for giving and thanks Oprah for giving us a little reassurance we're all struggling. Although the skinny picture is so clearly airbrushed it's not even funny.

On another note, I'm spending the holidays with my in-laws in Texas and holy cow is the starchy food in abundance. I've done good though. Last night we went for Middle Eastern food at this place called "International Food of Denton." There was no way I was forgoing the best babaganouj and pita bread in the world so I asked if they could take out the rice in the entree and double the amount of grilled veggies. I chowed down on some awesome pita bread and babaganouj. This was hardly a hardship because the great family who cooks there makes these grilled veggies that are caramelized and flavorful.

Let's see how I survive the family Christmas where there will be cheese grits, pistachio cake, chocolate bark, and queso.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

You Are What You Eat

Sometimes you need little reminders of why it nutrition is important. Or, at least, I do. Take the last week for me, for example.

I was sidelined most of the weekend with tummy troubles -- not sure if it was a bug I caught (there did seem to be something going around the office) or not, but I didn't feel good for 3 days. Then, mid-week, with my defenses already being down and about 1/2 an hour of being caught in the freezing rain to kick it off, I picked up a cold that's been hunting me down for days. Sore throat, earache, coughs, etc.

So what's the point of me sharing this? In thinking about how I've just been feeling like crap lately, I couldn't help but notice that I've also been eating really poorly lately. I wish I could say I've been having as much success as my co-blogger but this has been a rough fall for me in terms of staying power, and I've got to work on the mental end of things.

But, back to the point, I counted back the food I've been eating over the last week and it just makes me mad at myself -- pizza delivery, chicken wings, Chinese food delivery, tuna melts and grilled cheese sandwiches, cookies, brownies, candy (damn holiday treats at work), Starbucks pastries for breakfast, need I say more? A coworker and I were commiserating the other day about having eaten so many treats that we both wished we could just grab a big hunk of iceberg lettuce and chow down, just to feel like we were eating something from nature.

Partially the holiday spirit is to blame, since there's so much bad stuff around, but I've also lost my groove of grocery shopping and home cooking. The worst part is that I've had very little variety lately, and that means very little in the way of fruits and veggies to balance out all the starch and fat. No wonder I've been feeling like hell!!!

So, once I had this little light bulb moment 2 days ago, I've been back to trying to work in the good stuff. And once I'm back from Christmas I'll go shopping again. I'm actually really looking forward to getting back on track with healthy, varied, fresh things to eat.

Setting goals

For my day job, I help nonprofits with capacity building and organizational development. That means I do a lot of training on strategic planning. A big piece of that is setting goals. After all, you don’t know the “how” unless you know the “for what.”

When it comes to goal setting, I have some standard rules. The first is that the goals need to be concrete. That means they are doable, measurable, and have a time frame. Here’s what I’m talking about.

Undoable New Year’s Resolution
I want to be healthier in 2009.

Doable Resolution

By the end of March, I want to bring my cholesterol down to below 200.

It’s a whole lot easier to keep yourself accountable if you have something where you can measure your progress and know at what point you will check in and see whether you have accomplish your goal or not.

The other advice for goal setting is to set process goals as well as outcome goals. What’s the difference? A process goal is what you do. And outcome goal is what happens after you’ve done it.

Outcome goal
Keep my blood sugar in range for three months

Process goal
Exercise three times a week for half an hour

Why do we need process goals? First, to give yourselves a pat on the back. After all, you are accountable to yourself. It’s a triumph to get things done. The other reason why I recommend setting process goals is that life is weird. Your body is weird. You can exercise for three hours a days and eat nothing but celery and that’s the week you don’t lose a pound. Sometimes your body just rebels and says, “no mas.” It isn’t a failure that you didn’t lose weight that week. You still kept yourself healthy. It’s important to celebrate the strides you make in building good habits not just whether your blood sugar stays low.

Speaking of strides, make teeny weeny goals. It takes a month to set habits. Before that it’s an act of will. You have to will yourself to do it and then after a month, it feels weird NOT doing it. So if you set a process goal, make it two weeks. Then try it for another two weeks. At first it will feel like a big ol’ pain in the ass. But then it just becomes what you do.

I’ve been at this healthy living thing for three months now. Here’s the fruits of my labor:

Process Goals:

Track all of my food intake – DONE!
Eat 3 meals a day at no more than 60 grams of carbs per meal along with two 15 gram snacks – Yes. Except I modified it to have a 30 gram breakfast and a 30 gram late night snack to keep my liver from making more glucose.
Work out three times a week – DONE! Along with doing strength training twice a week.

Outcome Goals:

Maintain normal blood sugar levels for three months – DONE!
Lower cholesterol levels to normal – DONE, except for my LDL which is a teeny bit higher than normal.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Weight Loss TV

So the work trip to Hawaii went fine health wise. My numbers went up to the higher side of acceptable but stayed within the normal range. Happily, I was able to maintain my exercise regimen. Actually it's easier to do so because I really need the workout to decompress from our twelve hour days. It's funny how much easier it is to work out when I'm traveling, either for work or on vacation. I always end up working out regularly when visiting the in-laws because my father in law goes every day to his retirement community's gym.

Since the diagnosis, I've been fascinated with weight loss tv shows, particularly the Biggest Loser on NBC and Ruby on the Style Network. I am addicted to them because they are so out of line with my own reality. They are these bizarre weight loss bubbles where the participants are in sink or swim mode constantly. Nothing in either show feels normal or everyday. Nothing in either show feels like (title of our blog!) a lifestyle. Here are some thoughts I had about both shows:

Addictive as it is, I have huge problems with the Biggest Loser. The whole, work people to death to make them lose weight strategy makes for good tv but it's probably the worst thing you can do when getting healthy. Even the trainers, Bob and Jillian will talk in other media about how noone should do anything on the Biggest Loser to lose weight. The missing piece in the Biggest Loser is the whole idea that the work you are doing is stuff you should do for the rest of your life. By setting up this bubble where the contestants are being boot camped and their environment is completely controlled, this is a guarantee that they will gain their weight back. Witness one episode where they go on a trip to the Grand Canyon sans gym and trainer. The contestants make half-assed attempts to work out but then just poop out. When your concept of exercise is literal torture, it's no wonder that you won't do it if someone isn't forcing you to.

On Ruby, Ruby seems to be having the opposite problem. While exercise shouldn't be torture, you should push yourself and you should sweat. There are two things exercise does - 1) burn calories 2) build muscle. Exercise breaks down your muscle tissue to build it up again, but stronger, faster, better. This is why eating is so important because in order to build up your new better muscle, you need the building blocks. When it comes to exercise, Ruby is dependent on her trainer to push her, and has a lot of fear about injury. We've only seen one instance where Ruby does water-based training, which is easy on her joints and allows her to push herself. Instead the show seems hell bent on humiliating Ruby, putting her through aerobics classes where she's completely lost. Not only that, Ruby wears converse sneakers. As someone who is half Ruby's weight, I could NEVER do strenuous physical activity in anything other than my trusty Asics. I cannot believe a show that has Ruby complaining about how painful working out (and even walking) is, wouldn't put her in some shoes that give her adequate support.

On the Biggest Loser, one thing that is an afterthought at best and a product placement opportunity at worst, is cooking. The show spends about ten minutes for the season talking about healthy cooking, usually to promote Jenni-O turkey products. The whole label reading thing seems pretty foreign to the contestants. And seriously that's the most important thing about healthy living. Being fully conscious about what you are putting in your body. And their stupid challenges are complete bullshit. There's this on challenge where they have two food choices and have to choose the healthier option. In one case, the shows says that a plate of MacNuggets is better for your than a loaded fajita because the fajita has sour cream and cheese (along with lettuce, peppers, onions, and chicken). Are you kidding me? Then all of these challenges where desserts are dangled in front of them to show their willpower. If I didn't say it before, I'll say it now, willpower is a load of crap. Jillian Michaels pours candle wax on her bread basket to avoid eating bread. She obviously has the willpower of a gnat if she needs to ruin a basket of bread to avoid eating it but she's removing a temptation. If the temptation isn't there, you won't eat it.

Which of course leads me to Ruby and her incessant whining. Rather than show the daily struggles of losing weight, Ruby the Tv show, spends half its time dangling calorie laden food in front of Ruby and have her whine over and over again how hard it is to resist temptation. Why do we need to see Ruby go to a candy store to test herself? What about seeing her make the decision not to go to the candy store at all. And once again, Ruby seems to have a pathological avoidance of cooking for herself. She doesn't own a cutting board for god's sake. Thank god for her Hourglass meals. But that doesn't stop the temptation. She throws a party for a friend and somehow she doesn't think to makes things that she herself can eat. She doesn't prepare but eating her meal ahead of time so she will feel full and have less craving for food she can't eat. Not only that, but at some point she needs to stop eating the Hourglass. Healthy eating is a learned skill. It involves nutritional knowledge and label reading and knowledge of portions. She's learning nothing other than to eating an Hourglass meal.

What scares me about both shows is what happens when the training wheels come off. they are in this cocoon of professionals managing their every move. It doesn't seem like either show ensures people learn something.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Wish Me Luck

Flying to Hawaii tomorrow for a training (yeah life's tough). Let's hope I have time to work out. Because I work for a health organization, the meals and snacks are all healthy.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

ISO A Better Balance

I've had this post in mind for a while, but I've been putting off writing it cuz it's about something that really gets to the core of my problems right now and it's hard to think about. One of my absolute biggest lifestyle challenges is that I have a hard time managing stress.

You know, stress, that cross so many of us have to bear. I've reached a point in my career where I've earned a certain level of responsibility and accountability and a position of leadership, and that means a certain level of stress comes along with it. I know most of the pressure I feel is something I put on myself, and luckily I have a great boss and colleagues who are all mindful of helping each other stay sane and not letting things get to be too much whenever little mini-dramas arise. (Let's just say it's not uncommon for us to call a "time out" and head out for a glass of wine and mini-burgers when things get too tense.)

But -- when you combine my levels of work stress with my natural, inherited tendencies towards anxiety and the fact that I don't have a very good work/life balance right now, well, that's when I have my sleepless nights, my unproductive obsessing over things, my eating binges, my muscle aches and pains, my exhaustion, and - ultimately - my high blood pressure.

Ugh. That's my problem, pretty much in a nutshell.

I know I need to make myself more of a priority in order to seek that better work/life balance. And what I need is to build up more of the *life* side of that balance -- cuz especially in the last few months, my life has consisted mostly of work or just down time at home on my own. I haven't been doing enough fun stuff, or important enough stuff, on my own time to divert my attention from work stress and help clear my head. And all work and no play has just not been good for me.

It's been harder this year, as a few changes have happened in my social life -- I had to spend a lot of time focusing on moving, my living expenses are higher now so I've had to cut back on going out, and many of my friends have had changes in their own lives like new partners or moving further away. So, some of the fun I used to have of just hanging out with people who lived in the neighborhood or could meet up for a quick de-stressing dinner just doesn't happen anymore -- none of us can afford it and we all just need to plan further out these days. What I have to make sure to do is actually make those plans, and make sure that I'm finding time for friends both to keep up the good relationships and give myself more time to focus on the fun, exciting, personal side of life. It's amazing how you can spend a few hours with friends and never even think about work at all - what fun!

And, I need to find more things that I can do on my own that are personally fulfilling and help balance out my work concerns. I used to take photography classes, which were great and really helped give me something that was more *my own*, but my work schedule does make it hard to plan for regularly taking classes. I am going to take cooking classes in early 2009, but it's more likely that I can fit in one or two day things rather than a longer commitment. Every few months I think about joining a church of some kind, but then I remember that I really am not a religious person and I'm just looking for a social outlet. Religious stuff tends to give me hives, in actual practice. Maybe another yoga class? Or a new book club through a book store? Getting back into the swing of going to lectures at different museums? Or just regularly-scheduled stuff with friends?

I have to find what works for me, both in my interests and my schedule. But I've got to do something, cuz I can't let my workaholism-by-default continue to take its toll.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Food for thought - Read this!

This just blew me away. Very objective reporting.

Toxic Sludge

I am doing this as a public service. Smoothies are toxic sludge for diabetics. Just for reference, I shouldn't have more than 210 grams of carbs a day.

The Aloha Pineapple - 117 grams of carbs

Banana Berry Original - 112 grams of carbs

Citrus Squeeze - 110 grams of carbs

My dear friend The Librarian who is a total health nut, drinks diet soda. When asked about why he would put chemicals in his body, he responded, "Don't drink your calories."

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Yesterday was the 1-year anniversary of a co-worker's tenure at work and we went to a Vietnamese restaurant. Yep. A Vietnamese restaurant. Vietnamese food, where there's an entire category of entrees with the name caramel. Guess what? I ate smartly and my blood sugar stayed within range. Admittedly this was a gringo style Vietnamese place but it was great to have options and the food there was awesome. This is what we ordered:

Watercress salad with beef (tricky because there's usually quite a bit of sugar in Vietnamese sauces)
Sauteed pea shoots (SOOO tasty and SOOO good for me)
Salt and pepper squid (calamari so remember to calculate the breading)
Curry chicken
And of course, rice

You know what I'm finding out? Rice is my friend. Even white rice. Why? Easy to portion out and eyeball how much. All in all it was a nicely balanced meal and way satisfying. I didn't even have my afternoon snack because I was so full.

The other victories for the month is that the running is getting way easier. I've upped my the amount of running from 3.1 miles per run to 4.5 miles per run with a weekly long run for 6 miles. It's definitely hard to do a long run on a treadmill at the gym because people start giving you the stink eye. I've limited my long to run Saturday mornings where the gym is empty.

The other thing I'd recommend, especially for women is dancing. Last month, J and I went with our friend West Coast Rebecca to see her neighbor do flamenco dance. This neighbor is normally a research chemist and looks like Mary Alice from Ace of Cakes. But not on that night where we wore swishy dresses, had her hair slicked back and dramatic makeup. She was incredible. It's great to claim your space as a person and make it all about you. and really, it was all about her. When she would do the group numbers, I would look at a couple of her classmates and feel sorry for them because they didn't have her hips and bust.

This inspired me to go to a zumba exercise class at the gym. This was an aerobics class that incorporated Latin dance moves. For many parts of the class I looked like a fool but when I kept up, it was so much fun. I say this to you all, dance. Even if it's in your own house cleaning up. It gets your blood going but more importantly, it helps you say, I'm HERE.

Monday, December 1, 2008

That thing we diabetics have in common with vegetarians

So Thanksgiving was awesome. My family was on their best behavior (even with my Dad and his endless pontificating), my sister's boyfriend was positively delightful. And I ate. A lot. And didn't see my blood sugar go out of range. Not only that, I exercised like a mofo. My sister, her boyfriend, and my brother are all athletes. They run and play tennis was love being actives. It was great to just hop out of bed, get ready and play tennis without the making plans that usually happens.

The eating was great. I am really developing the ability to know when i am satisfied. Not full to bursting, but satisfied. Thanksgiving dinner itself was a joy. We had turkey, stuffing that my mom made, cauliflower puree, asparagus, and roasted carrots. I had to be pretty intentional about eating lots of stuffing because my mom supplemented it with shitake mushrooms and ground turkey. I had three servings because there was a whole lot less carbs per serving than the box said. Thanks Mom! On top of that, we bought a nice chocolate ganache cake in honor my my aunt who joined us for the holiday. It was really easy to say no because i made a batch of sugar free chocolate mousse (from a box). How easy is that? I had to guard it jealously because everyone wanted a taste of the mousse.

Saturday, I drove up to LA to visit two friends who are vegetarians. We spent a lot of time sharing eating stories. Like vegetarians, those of us following a diabetic diet get lots of questions and concerns about what we're eating. The best thing to do is not make it a big deal. Like vegetarians, I don't want to be asked if I miss pastries or sugar or whatever. Vegetarians that I know are pretty comfortable having other people eat meat in front of them. They just wouldn't eat it themselves. Same with me as a diabetic. I have alternatives. I make alternatives. I eat alternatives. You eating sugar in front of me isn't going to make me desperate for sugar, if I am snacking away at my sugar free chocolate mousse. Conversely, I don't feel violated or freaked out that someone is eating something in front of me I can't eat. My vegetarian friends feel the same way. The biggest breakthrough I realized in talking with my vegetarian friends is that I'm not living a lesser life, a second rate life, because of this disease. They certainly don't because there are things they choose not to eat.

If I could ask anything of the people who care about me, I ask that you not treat this as some kind of punishment. This is my life.