Our fridge is loaded with things like sliced lean turkey without additives, baby carrots, unsweetened almond milk, eggs, sweet potatoes, granny smith apples. We have a large glass canister full of rolled old-fashioned oats, ready for a quick snack or breakfast. We don’t have butter or cream here. No chips or fried food. No candy or sweets. We’re all about green tea and black coffee. I am pretty proud of the way we eat.
There was something (well, two somethings) Michael and I both agreed we needed to purge our pantry of to clean up our act, more or less. His addiction: Nutella. Mine? Peanut butter. Chunky style.
Bit of a back story: I grew up hating peanut butter. The stuff in the processed Jif jars gagged me and felt more like floor wax in my mouth. Analyzing the back of each jar was an endless list of man-made chemical experiments that almost qualified as flammable. Skippy, Peter Pan, all other brands, as well. Fast forward a decade of years and a Costco membership later, I found a 3-pound tub of Adam’s Natural Peanut Butter where the only ingredient was this, you guys: Peanuts. Can you believe it? That’s how it should be.
It all started out innocently, my friends. I’m always the first out of bed, so I start the kettle for tea and pop a bowl of oatmeal in the microwave for Michael. 2 minutes later and I’m dazzling that bowl up a different way every weekday, from frozen berries, sliced banana and honey, sliced apples and cinnamon, or my (deadly) favorite, berries and PB (for a PB+J spin on oatmeal). Seriously. Try it. I’ll wait…
The way I kept away from that delightful tub was to remind myself that I bought it for Michael. It didn’t work for long. I unscrew the jar and immediately, those awesome aromas just wrap their delicate arms around me and entice me in. I’d begin adding to my own morning oatmeal. Then I’d sneak a spoonful after lunch. Then later that night over apple slices, with a banana, on some GF toast. This peanut butter is a player that attaches itself to many hearts. It gets around. It gets you soft around the middle. A great day of 1,500 calories and a hard workout could be ended in devastation with a spoon and that jar.
It was also the start and end to some awful binges. So with a lot of (emotional) pain, I suggested to throw away the jar. Michael refused. “We will not waste any food, Amy. We will finish it off first.” I still didn’t feel safe with the last 1/3 left, so when Michael wasn’t around, I’d sneak a large spoonful…. and scrape it into the sink disposal. By the next night, ‘Oh, Look, the PB is gone.’ I happily tossed the jar in our recycling pile and kissed that addiction goodbye. And the PB pounds fell off.
I’m doing my best, my friends, to play nice with food. To treat myself without the guilt. To enjoy my favorite things in moderation. But I know my limits, too, and that blissful, horribly delicious peanut butter was far outside my realm of safety.