Diet pop culture: Dietene (with Vitamin G!)

Good Housekeeping, June 1935


My first thought was, “What in the HELL is vitamin G?” Turns out that’s what they used to call riboflavin (now known as vitamin B2.)

Mmm, riboflavin.

My second thought was — “a shake for breakfast, a shake for lunch…and then a sensible dinner!” And this is from 1935, when, apparently, a sensible low-fat dinner consisted of 900 calories. Holy shit.

I mean, my breakfast this morning was likely 900 calories, but that was greasy-spoon diner breakfast. I can only imagine the volume of food required to make up a low-fat 900 calorie meal.

Not to squick people out with numbers and calories or anything. But these are things I think of, and numbers (oddly) don’t bother me anymore.

In other news, what a week it’s been. I ran around to three different hospitals, working 10-12 hours per day (mostly because I was feeling crappy, and everything took me twice as long as usual.) I saw patients, I wrote chart notes, I counted people’s calories, and I thought about food.

I thought about how much cancer sucks. And how much the treatments suck.

I thought about how scary it must be to be stuck in a hospital bed in a strange country.

I thought about how lonely it must be to have dementia and not know who anybody is.

I thought about how much it must suck to be terrified of eating.

As much as it also sucks to struggle with normal eating, with negotiating one’s way through a culture riddled with anti-body minefields, I couldn’t help but feel grateful for the health I now enjoy, and the relative ease with which I eat.

I also couldn’t help but feel that one day — maybe tomorrow, maybe in 50 years — I will be one of those patients.

I will have troubles of my own, and I will count on someone like me for help.

Also, now that the crazy-ass work week has ended, I go back to my largely-lady-of-leisure status. Which means writing some actual content-containing posts, and responding to people’s emails. So if you receive a random flood of emails from me in the next week, don’t be alarmed. I’m just getting caught up.

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