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Life’s Buffet

Years ago, when our family was young, poor, and living in Las Vegas, I woke our five small children on a Saturday morning and told them to get dressed because Dad was going to take them for a real treat. We piled them in our old station wagon and took them to the Circus Circus Casino for a special outing.

In we went, with our wide-eyed brood in tow. They’d never seen anything so big and exciting in their lives. We made our way through the Casino to their world famous breakfast buffet. Laid out before us stood a stadium-sized room with table after table filled almost to overflowing with every kind of sumptuous food imaginable. It was the Disneyland of food. Fresh fruits and vegetables cut into fun shapes, hot fluffy pancakes, waffles, eggs to order, meats, breads, muffins, cakes, yogurts, juices, hot chocolate, and more.

I turned to my children and said, “Okay kids, the sky’s the limit. Anything and everything you want. Go get it!” My wife and I just sat back to watch their excitement as they scrambled off to dig in. To our surprise, or I should say horror, all five came back to the table with huge bowls of Cap'n Crunch. Well, we had told them anything they wanted.

I was sure that first bowl would prove to be just an appetizer and that they’d then go for the real meal on their next trip. They finished their cereal, jumped up, and ran for the next course. They all returned with another giant bowl of Cap'n Crunch. Then a third. When I finally suggested they try some of the fruit, juices, or muffins, they said they were too full. I could have bought a big box of Cap'n Crunch, offered it to them at home, and saved the trip.

That experience was pretty humorous once, but would have been horrible if it represented all their future decisions. Life really does offer us a buffet, where we can choose anything and everything we want. What is tragic is the typical adult often makes choices exactly like my young children did. Instead of feasting on fresh fruits, healthy vegetables, and wholesome juices, they run to the buffet table piled with energy drinks, donuts, bagels, pop tarts, burgers, and fries.

There’s an old saying, “When you pick up one end of a stick, you also pick up the other.” In other words, we have our free agency, but with every decision we are also reaping consequences, for good or ill. It is sad that so many of us choose to eat a diet that results in poor health, obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and other health issues.

I’m glad to report that my kids have all outgrown their Captain Crunch phase and are now Sunwarriors, relying on the best foods. What about you?

Learn more about Dr. Steve Weston

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