Monday, May 10, 2010

Burger Bogey

I have to realize, as I write this, that the whole world doesn’t live in a house where the Golf Channel is on the preset list. Even so, chances are you’ve heard of Phil Mickelson. At the Masters tournament last month everyone had their eyes on Tiger (sing if you’d like) and his comeback (yuck, gross pun) after his rehab or hiding stint. Tiger played well but Mickelson won the tournament and waiting at the 18th hole was his beautiful wife Amy, who made her first appearance on tour after over a year of treatment for breast cancer. They were emotional and I, for one, was crying in my living room.

When my husband asked me what I wanted to do yesterday afternoon, for Mothers Day, my answer was simple. I wanted to be in the apartment alone. And so he took the boys skating and I lounged around, cleaned out the pantry and read the newspaper cover to cover. Heaven. Yet one article, in the Sports section, left me wondering. It was a silly piece about how Mickelson had a streak of golf holes without a bogey (one shot over par) and a similar streak where he went to Five Guys for burgers after each round. The column went on to talk about Mickelson’s burger history, growing up on In-N-Out Burger and even looking into purchasing an In-N-Out Burger franchise at one point.

Hmn. When clients come to me with breast cancer or current clients are diagnosed one of the first dietary changes I suggest is decreasing or eliminating animal protein. This isn’t far-fetched advice. Go-to doctors in the field of health and wellness from T Colin Campbell to Andrew Weil concur. Surely Amy Mickelson is aware of the connection of animal protein (burgers included) to cancer. Assuming that someone with access to the best of the best in terms of treatment is altering her diet in order to rid her body of cancer, is her husband’s burger habit questionable? Insensitive? Or maybe you think it is innocent.

If your spouse has lung cancer, should their husband or wife smoke? Or if it’s diabetes, should their partner do candy commercials, maybe look into buying a candy company? I know that to some people there is nothing wrong with a man’s love of burgers. For me, this left a bad taste in my mouth.
Do you think I’m overreacting? Should one spouse conform to the dietary mandates of the other’s disease? Should a professional athlete have burgers and fries multiple days in a row? Shouldn’t we all consider reducing our animal protein prior to a diagnosis?


  1. I agree it is extremely important for cancer survivors to change their diets to exclude processed foods and drastically reduce animal product consumption. I am unsure if Phil Mickelson still eats this way. True, he did try and buy an In-N-Out Burger franchise, it might have been before his wife was diagnosed. Sometimes our spouses support us to the fullest capacity they can, but that does not always mean giving up their favorite foods and adhering to the other's dietary beliefs.
    You did touch on another point: why are major athletes "endorsing" unhealthy foods? Look at Michael Phelps and McDonald's during the summer olympics. We look to athletes to be role models and want to emulate what they wear, eat, etc. in hopes of living or being as talented or great as they are. This is especially true for kids.

  2. I know that all of my food and exercise success can be linked to two people -- You Lauren, and my husband. Without your advice and my husband's support and participation, I never would have stuck to these changes as much as I have. If Amy Michelson's doctor gave her strict eating guidelines and Phil didn't follow them to be supportive, I'd be pissed as a spouse. When my dad received strict food guidelines from his nutritionist, my mom's attitude was that dad's food issues were his and not hers. Not very supportive, and subsequently dad rarely followed his nutritionist's advice.

    Slightly different take on the issue of professional athletes endorsing unhealthy food that Rachel raised -- why is the Susan Komen Foundation encouraging people to consume KFC? I get enraged every time I see those commercials. Seems like an even bigger foul than the Phelps/McD's relationship.

  3. This is so interesting! Thanks for sharing.

  4. thanks for visiting my blog I used a hand blender to make the salmon sauce interesting all in moderation i say


  5. First of all, I do live in a house where the Golf Channel is on preset! (Dare I go a step further and say my husband used to work for said channel?) I love your visits to my blog, and I love reading yours. Anyway, this topic hit home: I'm pretty much a vegetarian and my husband will not eat fish (which I do eat). I end up eating more meat than I'd like because: what else am I going to do? I used to cook tofu for me, chicken for him, etc. I suppose one could argue he can cook for himself, but if I'm cooking anyway (and like to cook). So we compromise on pasta, but neither is that a healthy dinner, night after night. When I had gestational diabetes he was supportive in NOT having pasta and in NOT buying ice cream for the house, etc. But the meat v. no meat thing is still an issue. Interesting post -- thanks!