Empty Nest

An empty nest comes with food changes.

IleneBy Ilene Raymond Rush

I love my children.

But when it comes to issues of food and eating, raising them has been an ongoing struggle. Bringing up two teenage boys who could and will eat anything in mass quantity – and I do mean anything – and still retain their svelte, muscled figures has not been easy on a carb-avoiding, type 2, endomorphic mom.

The eating game was complicated by my oldest son – now 25 – who has been a card-carrying vegetarian since he turned five. This meant a diet heavy on the potato and noodle food groups. In contrast, my younger, now 18, has always been something of a gourmand, with a wide-ranging palate that included artichokes, lobsters and black olives by age four, plus all the steak and hamburg he could swallow.

What the two always shared was a love of carbs, all carbs -- heaping plates of steaming pasta, towering bowls of sugary cereal and huge cheesy platters of homemade nachos.

So what's the problem? Well, this has meant that over the past 20 or more years, my cupboards have always boasted box upon box of macaroni, Raisin Bran, Oreos, chocolate bars and several flavors of salted chips. All delicious, and all deadly temptations for me.

The result has been more than one ‘good' diabetes diet day sabotaged by a single pantry trip to pull out a snack for the boys or a vain attempt to eat ‘just one' Cheese Doodle. But now, after all of these years of temptation, I've found the answer.

An empty nest.

On September 1st, my husband and I are about to become empty nesters. The oldest has been out of the house for a bit; the youngest will be heading to college. It's going to impact a number of things about our lifestyle. Among them: no gangly boys concocting odd combinations of food in the kitchen at all hours of the night, less dirty laundry, full gas tanks when we drive to work.

While it's tough to think of a house without the boys rampaging around in their boxer shorts chowing down at the kitchen table at 2 a.m., the return to a two-person family may lead us to healthier eating habits.

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Last Modified Date: February 15, 2013

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