We have many freedoms in this country. One is the freedom to vote for people to represent us in governmental offices, from our small town mayor to the president of the United States.

We have many freedoms in this country. One is the freedom to vote for people to represent us in governmental offices, from our small town mayor to the president of the United States.

Many of those vying for public office are currently exercising their freedom of speech to persuade us to vote for them. Some are exercising that right so extensively that they will probably need rehab following Election Day to recover from the strains, stretches and tears inherent to overextension.

When we do hit the polling stations, we will be voting for public servants we hope will preserve our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Even though both sides vehemently attest to how their opposition will systematically remove some of our rights and freedoms, we know in our hearts whomever is elected will uphold the Constitution as far as their special interest funding will allow.

While our Constitution and Bill of Rights provide us many freedoms, our bodies deny us one particular freedom. It is a freedom I thought all humans enjoyed regardless of our citizenship or government. It is the freedom to eat anything and everything our hearts, taste buds and stomachs desire.

Disagree with me? If so, you must be under 40 or over 90.

According to my recent blood test results, my body can no longer tolerate certain foodstuffs. This is not a situation in which I can simply cut back on this or that. Rather, I have a list of things I can never eat again if I want to avoid lifelong prescriptions.

I could go the pharmaceutical route. Many people successfully do. But my physiology is very similar that of my father. If I take something for cholesterol and do not make drastic changes to my diet, I will eventually need something for diabetes. And then blood pressure. And then whatever breaks down next.

However, if I never again let butter, white rice, white bread, white potatoes, highly processed foods or refined sugars pass through my lips, I might never need the cholesterol medication. And if I increase my exercise, I can greatly reduce my chances of ever crossing that diabetes line.

Do I miss white processed grains and cookies, cake and ice cream? I really thought I would. I assumed I would be hungry all the time. Cravings were sure to be my downfall, right?


So far, without any of those items in my diet, I am not hungry and have no cravings. I also eat much, much less. And I have all the energy I need to walk 10,000 steps each day; per the pseudo-accurate pedometer apps I recently downloaded.

But what of my Italian heritage? I’m supposed to be able to eat pasta, bread and cheese at will. It’s a birthright.

Olives and olive oil are my true heritage, as my mother’s relatives in Sicily owned — and I suppose still own — olive groves. Olives are still on my ‘can eat’ list. Also, whole wheat pasta, in moderation, is also allowed. I bake my own multigrain, 100 percent whole grain bread. It’s actually quite tasty. And I stick to the white, hard cheeses in moderation — that’s where I was able to work a little bit of white back onto my plate.

My new diet is also heavy in fish and seafood, nuts and seeds, and beans of every shape and color; all quite typical fare for a Mediterranean kitchen.

Would I like to indulge in birthday cake or a loaded baked potato? Of course. So, if any of you Democrats or Republicans running for office can promise freedom to eat anything regardless of what the blood test results say, while at the same time assuring me I will not need to hit the pharmacy on a monthly basis, please note it in one of your many commercials. Such a bullet point on the mailers might also catch my attention.

In the meantime, I will listen to my body. And my doctor. And I will stock up on olives, celery and hummus for the post-election parties.

_ Micki Bare is a columnist for Courier-Tribune in Asheboro, N.C., where she and her family reside. She is also the author of Thurston T. Turtle children’s books. Email: mickibare (at) gmail.com Blogsite: http://navigatinghectivity.blogspot.com