The invisible line that I had drawn for myself. The line between eating a processed meat frank on white bread with mustard, and not eating one.
True, I have been experimenting with meats for a while. I have eaten a few bites of chicken tikka, a bite of my niece’s steak, various seafood dishes, and even a few pieces of brisket at a recent Esquivel get-together. But apparently, I hadn’t really made up my mind where I stood on non-vegetarianism. I knew I wasn’t going to eat much meat, that it would most likely be outside the home, and that it probably wouldn’t be fast food.
But last night, Justin and I walked downtown to watch a movie in the park (Raising Arizona, if you were interested), and I saw a couple of people with hot dogs. In little paper cartons. With mustard. And I wanted one.
What bothered me most wasn’t that I wanted a hot dog, but that I was embarrassed, ashamed that I wanted a hot dog. Has my food snobbery been keeping me from enjoying foods that I liked? From participating in family meals? From tasting new and exciting dishes? I tried to talk myself out of getting one…saturated fat! Processed food! Sodium! Possible food poisoning! What if one of my patients saw me?
Something clicked in my head last night. Something I’ve been thinking about for a while, but haven’t really internalized yet. Life is too short. Too short to deny myself things that I want for the sake of being nutritionally correct. I don’t plan on gorging on hot dogs, and I probably still won’t stop at a fast food restaurant. I’ll still buy soymilk and tofu, vegetables and brown rice. But when I want to indulge, I will.
Man, that hot dog was good.