Here’s what’s in my fridge as of this morning, April 25, 2012: 3 packages of Shiritaki Noodles, a quarter-full bag of shredded carrots, a half-full bag of spinach, a container of grape tomatoes, five crimini mushrooms, a near-full container of Daisy Light sour cream, half a bottle of shiraz (it’s one red wine I like chilled), leftover tofu and veggies from yesterday’s Mad Mex fajitas, a couple bottles of salad dressing, some light string cheese, condiments (the holy trinity: ketchup, mustard and light Miracle Whip), a container of light butter, and a half dozen eggs. And a jar of horseradish and some tahini. There might also be some strawberry jelly and maple syrup in there, too, now that I think about it.
Clearly I need to go to the grocery store, but – along with some cupboard staples and a few things in the freezer – I have food enough for me for a day or two. Seven years ago, if I opened my fridge and saw Shiritaki noodles, spinach, mushrooms, carrots and tomatoes, I’d have said, “There’s nothing to eat in here!” and promptly picked up the phone and ordered what constituted real food at the time: pizza and cheese bread sticks.
Old Me didn’t completely avoid “nothing” foods. I’d eat fruit. I loved strawberries, blueberries, and apples, especially when they were surrounded by a pastry shell or sat atop a big bowl of Neapolitan and covered in fudge sauce. I liked veggies, too, but their little tiny portions got shoved to the side of the plate, nearly buried under a mound of cheese potatoes or some breaded chicken or pasta monstrosity. Eat a salad for dinner? Sure! As long as there were plenty of French fries, shredded cheddar, and ranch dressing on top!
Sometimes Old Me pops in for a visit, and for a moment, I see the world through her eyes. This morning, when I opened my fridge, the first thing I thought was, ‘There’s nothing in here.’ But as quickly as that thought came, that thought dissolved, and I saw the eggs and cheese and I imagined an omelet. Old Me would have been halfway to Eat ‘n Park for pancakes. I saw the spinach and tomatoes and planned lunch. Old Me would have debated whether to drive through McDonald’s or Wendy’s for lunch on her way to the grocery store. I saw veggie soup and one lone veggie burger in my freezer and that will be dinner. Old Me would have bought all the fixings for manicotti and garlic bread.
I’m not dissin’ Old Me. I give Old Me a lot of credit. Sure, she can be annoying sometimes, especially when she whispers, “What’s one more piece of chocolate? Go ahead, Lynn, you deserve it.” But even though she put away a lot of chicken nuggets back in the day, she eventually took off her blinders and saw the contents of the fridge and gave “nothing” food a chance. So later, in her honor, I’ll raise a glass of shiraz and thank her for making me who I am today.