Frozen grapes have been my favorite thing this summer.
That was unlikely due to some life experiences. A few years ago, I went to pluck a sour grape off the vine one sleepy morning, when I realized it was a spider. As I cowered under the covers, my only solace was that it was clearly dead from its long trip and refrigeration. WRONG! It started wriggling its legs on the counter as it warmed up, so my husband went from taking a picture of its distinctive red hourglass to smashing it under a glass. I have a pretty robust fear of spiders, and for a year or two after that, every time I brought grapes into the apartment they would go bad in the fridge. Which is too bad. I like grapes, and I’d still have them if I knew someone else had cleaned them. I’ve finally, slowly gotten over that fear of spiders.
Something else stood in my way, almost keeping me from the crunchy, cold, delicious snack that is frozen grapes, though. In the past, I’d heard of frozen grapes as a dieter’s substitute for summer desserts like ice cream or popsicles. That is clearly preposterous, there simply are no substitutes for ice cream or popsicles. My brain had always associated frozen grapes with dieting. When I was in a dieting mindset, if I wasn’t eating frozen grapes as a dessert substitute, they had no value. I’ve learned this summer that is clearly not the case.
It has also been the case with other foods. I never cared for salads as a kid, and had no reason to embrace them as an adult. But when I stopped dieting, I had the chance to just try foods- no judgement on them or me if I liked them or didn’t like them. Neither diet food, nor ‘bad’ food are off limits. Now that I pay attention to what tastes good, and what I’m craving, I notice when I need more veggies, or when I’m in the mood for chocolate, or when I just need some more water.
I like salads occasionally, I eat more whole grains than I ever have before, and I like trying new foods more than I did in the past. I also don’t have a panicked need to eat sweets or other foods because I won’t be able to tomorrow.
A dieting mentality impacts more than the amount of calories we bring into our bodies. It effects how we interact- everyone has that friend that can’t help but talk about their diet all the time. It effects what people wear, social events, advertisements…. It effects mental health and how much we enjoy life.
What do you eat now that you thought you’d never try? Have you written off something as ‘diet food’ or ‘bad’ food and love it now?
In case you’d like to know how to make frozen grapes, the recipe goes like this:
Wash grapes, remove from vine.
Place grapes in freezer.
Remove grapes from freezer.