Friday, May 14, 2010




: having substance : involving matters of major or practical importance to all concerned

When I think in terms of SUBSTANTIALITY, I mostly think of food. I remember this was a word often used among adults, usually directed toward children, concerning the amount/quality/nutritional value of any given meal.

That's all you're eating? Don't you want something more SUBSTANTIAL?

My answer was usually: no. I ate a lot of junk food as a child, and I was more than happy with my choices. I never felt dissatisfied with meals consisting of half a bag of Cheetos. I probably would have benefited from something more SUBSTANTIVE, but I craved only junk.

Of course, circumstances are admittedly a bit different now. If I don't eat nutritionally-balanced meals, I feel pretty awful—weak, hungry, wanting, and sometimes even a little sick. When I see people eating pancakes for breakfast, I cringe a little bit, thinking—that's not going to satisfy them for long. It amazes me that dozens of customers come into my bakery feeding themselves on pecan sticky buns and bearclaws. When I stand in front of the case of pastries all I see is a vast dessert of sugar, and hours of post-snack discontent waiting to happen.

The change must have been fairly gradual. I still enjoy things like chips and salsa, but I'm not sure when I stopped considering that combination to be a "meal." Now, if my meals don't consist of fiber and protein and vegetables, I am pretty physically disappointed.

It's kind of a bummer in some ways. I mean, I feel pretty good, but sometimes I just want to eat bowl after bowl of cereal, and unfortunately for me, it will never be as enjoyable as it was twenty years ago.

This post turned out to be a lot more depressing than I intended. Perhaps I should eat something sugary this morning to boost my endorphins.

Then again, perhaps not.

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