Be Sure to Eat Lots of Fruits and Vegetables

From the heart…
Eat lots of fruits and vegetables!


Up until I was 26, the only “vegetables” I ever ate were baked potatoes, corn on the cob, or corn out of a can. My mom was a waitress and was always working, so didn’t spend much time in our kitchen. When Edna was in our kitchen, she was not concerned with nutrition. She gave me Coca-Cola in my bottle as a baby. There was always a bowl of candy on the counter. My meals were either TV dinners or Swanson’s pot pies. 


Mom spent more time in the kitchens where she worked as a waitress: The Black Oak. The Colony Kitchen. The Golden Tee. Different names, but basically the same in that they all had some sort of steak and potato plate on their menu. After school, the bus dropped me off at her restaurant because no one was at home to stay with me. I would sit in a booth and act like I was doing my homework as I waited for her to be finished with her shift. Mostly, I would talk with the other waiters and waitresses who walked by. 


When I was old enough to get a job, I too, became a waitress at the same restaurant as Edna, The Golden Tee. Steak, lobster, prawns, prime rib were menu staples, as well as my favorite--the trusty baked potato. I can’t even tell you how many of them I have had over the course of my life. And the butter! As Donnie Brasco would say, “fuggedaboutit”. I would carefully unwrap each of those gold-foiled butter squares and squish them into a steaming hot potato and watch the butter drip down the sides. Delicious. My friend Mary, who also worked there bussing tables, would do the same. We each weighed about 95 pounds and didn’t have heart conditions, so we ate what we wanted. 


I recruited two of my friends from high school to work there too--Charlie and Sydney. We made the restaurant feel like home. Even the other girls who worked there seemed like family to me--Mary, Brianna, Kelly, and Cathy. They encouraged me to include fruit in my diet, but that came from the orange juice in the screwdrivers we would sneak after our shifts! We were a partying bunch of chicks.


Sure, I was aware that there were healthier ways to eat because I experienced it when I went to my friends’ homes or looked at the restaurant menus where Mom worked. It doesn’t mean I ate any of it though. Like I said, I chose this limited “diet” excluding fruit and vegetables until I was 26. And the gradual shift happened only because I became pregnant and I forced myself to eat something more than just potatoes and corn. And of course, no more screwdrivers!


Somehow I made it through. I eat much healthier now, probably more healthy than most anyone that I know. Believe it or not, I eat better today as an adult because of my friends’ homes and the family I made with the friends in the restaurants.


I love that you were with me today. See you tomorrow!


Lisa A.K.A. Loopie

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