“Don’t” Doesn’t Mean “Don’t Ever, Ever!”


I don’t care who you are, sometime, someplace, a bit of junk is going to get in your mouth!

A few weeks ago I was walking by a reception table at my university, and a small slice of Pecorino cheese caught my eye and wouldn’t let go.  Damn!  Next thing I knew that evil slice of Pecorino was in my mouth!

When that happened I didn’t tell myself “Now I’ve done it!  I’ve put junk in my mouth!”  Nor did I delude myself with “That is so good it must be good for me” or “What was I thinking, I could never give up cheese!” or “Everything in moderation!” or “It’s from sheep milk so it’s not bad.”

No.  I just told myself that I had just put junk in my mouth.  It isn’t healthy, but I did it.  It is cheese, so it’s not good for me regardless  of whose milk it was made from – a cow’s, a sheep’s, a goat’s, an armadillo’s (just kidding – armadillos aren’t mammals!).

I didn’t make a huge mistake.  I consciously decided to eat a little bit of something that wasn’t healthy.  I won’t make a habit of eating cheese.  Nor will I make a habit of making excuses for doing what I do.  Nor will I pretend that what I did was good for me.

But nor will I pretend that I’ve fallen off the wagon into the pit of some catastrophic fat addiction and now I’ll be overdosing on fat until I’m hauled off to the detoxification chamber.  I will continue to get the lion’s share of my calories from eating starch, or complex carbohydrates, just as the science of nutrition recommends.

And someday, somewhere, under some untoward circumstances, another little piece of Pecorino will probably get by my lips.

I think of myself as a healthy-food-aterian because I get most of my calories from healthy food.  Not all of my calories.  Most of my calories.  Cut yourself some slack.  But don’t start lying to yourself.  You can enjoy a little slice of Pecorino and still recognize that it’s not healthy.  No big deal.