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What's in a cookie


I love oatmeal. It speaks to childhood and grandparents and all manner of remembering. I had oatmeal this very morning for breakfast. It's a happy start to my day. This wasn't so much a bowl of oatmeal; the method of cooking differed slightly. Instead of boiling it on the stove, it was baked in the oven in a shape roughly resembling what you might call a cookie. I didn't exactly need a spoon to eat this version of porridge, but I did have milk with it. It had oatmeal and eggs and chocolate chips, a bit of flour and sugar. Okay, I had chocolate chip oatmeal cookies for breakfast, but it contained many of the same ingredients. The difference is merely semantics. If I was part of a large study group and was asked to raise my hand if I had a hearty breakfast, I would definitely raise my hand. I might even wave my arm over my head like I did in elementary school, calling out oh oh, as if that ever helped anyone get noticed. To be honest, I very seldom raised my hand in class, but my rating of my breakfast this morning is top notch, or just a shade below, the difference hardly worth noting.
I admire those who follow a strict diet, who ensure they are getting healthy calories rather than empty versions. I've read that if we restrict sugar from our diet we can fend off a good many diseases. I applaud that research, I do. But I wasn't blessed with the particular combination of genes that ensured my self-discipline encompassed diet and all things healthy. Self-discipline really is another form of being stubborn and I am brimming with many other forms of stubbornness, so it should balance out. I make great plans to follow a healthy regime when I go to bed at night , but before noon the next day, things have gone somewhere else in a handbasket. And now that I am at the age I am, is there really any point? If I have kale for lunch will I leap tall buildings in a single bound? I think not.
Aging feels a bit like I'm playing the starring role in an episode of Mission Impossible; the old television version, not the Tom Cruise version. I can hear the voice in my head: Your mission, Jim, or Wendi in my case, should you choose to accept it … translates to all manner of danger where aging is concerned. It seems I crawl into bed with a stiff knee on my left leg and wake-up with a sprained ankle on my right, as if I was playing a rough game of rugby while I slept. Well, Mr. Phelps and anyone else listening, I choose not to accept this mission of aging if I have to eat sensibly. I already feel like I'm living in the Twilight Zone and Rod Serling is pointing out that I can remember Marcy's mother had a green refrigerator whose freezer opened with a foot pedal when we were fourteen, but I can't remember what day of the week it is. I don't think any amount of kale in my diet will correct that bit of madness.
So, for now, I will practice moderation. I will eat only three cookies for breakfast when the urge moves me, instead of eleven cookies. That's a 70% reduction, praise-worthy for sure. And maybe I'll run to the mailbox instead of walking. Although, come to think of it, that may border on the ludicrous.

Read more from Wendi Steward in her weekly Column, Wendi with an 'eye'.

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