That’s Not Hummus


I pride myself on healthy eating.

It’s my thing.

But I’ve been slipping lately. I work from home. It’s intense and hurried. I cram my work into the times my children are at camp and daycare, and I cram my food in, too.

I love my job. I do. It’s dreamy. I work on a cause I believe in, use many of my skills, and get to work from home with flexible hours at a respectable salary. I’m lucky. It’s a privilege. Most people don’t get to balance their profession, family, and personal time like I do.

But somehow, with all this blessed flexibility, it’s still hard to take a break. You know what they say about how you can take the workaholic out of the cube, but you can’t take the cube...? No? Well, I said it, anyway. Now it’s a thing.

I work hard. I’ve been called “intense.”

Apparently, however, I’m the poster-worker for self-care and balance because I seem to be one of few people who has put parameters around my availability on evenings and weekends. With fibromyalgia and four kids, there is no way I could handle the 24-7 intensity so many others engage in.

Also, I guess I’ve learned the hard way in other jobs that if you say yes to everything, people will start to take you for granted. It actually devalues you, and it’s a trap many women fall into considering how so many of us want to make nice and please people¹, especially when you work in the helping professions and on social causes.

(Psst! Look at that! I figured out how to make a footnote!)

So, considering my poster-worker status, I was asked to co-lead a workshop on time-management and self-care at a training in a couple of weeks. Never one to present a training without doing some research, footnotes notwithstanding, I was googling around for resources on self-care and found some great materials at the University of Buffalo School of Social Work.

While I was reading them, I started thinking about how I need to take breaks and prioritize healthy eating, exercise, and getting outside. According to their self-assessment on whether you are burned out, I’m heading down that road. (Or else I’m just a chronically grumpy person who happens to be sleep-deprived thanks to my lovely children.)

Deciding to practice what I preach, I put together a healthy and delicious lunch of lentil salad, hummus, olive ciabatta bread, and watermelon (left-overs thanks to my husband) and took it outside to eat at our new table under an umbrella in the shade. I brought my iPhone but resisted checking emails and Facebook. Instead, I enjoyed the garden, the visiting hummingbirds, and decided to breathe deeply and focus on all the sounds of nature: chirping birds, a cawing crow, an occasional barking dog, and a neighbor’s clucking chickens.


Now, I’m someone who frequently drips food on my clothes, and looking down I saw a blob of hummus and lentils and quickly swiped it up and popped it into my mouth.

It wasn’t hummus.

Hummus isn’t gray and white and slimy and sourish.

I spit it out and gagged. I tried to eat my lunch, but kept gagging. I had to take extreme measures and just… let it all go. I ran inside and visited the porcelain throne. Goodbye lentils and hummus.

Goodbye olive bread.

Goodbye watermelon.

And good riddance guano!

Annnnnndddd that’s the last time I’ll be taking a “healthy break” outside. It’s cookies at the desk from now on.

¹I’m sure there’s research on that somewhere on the internet.

What’s the grossest thing that ever happened to you?

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Part of the solution since 1973.

18 thoughts on “That’s Not Hummus

  1. It wasn’t me but I was privy to a restaurant dining mate pulling a ball of hair out of her mouth from the soup she was eating. Years later, “rats-ass soup” is still a catch-phrase in our house.

  2. Wow! That is horrible! I think the grossest thing I ever ate was a Wasabi chip. It made me gag for 10 minutes! But I can’t remember eating anything else really nasty (although at my age, I probably just can’t remember it). 😉

    1. Wasabi–it burns! It burns!

      First time I had sushi, my friend and I tried to find our wasabi taste buds by dipping small amounts of it with chopsticks on various parts of our tongue.

      They all hurt.

  3. Cookies and the Internet. Sounds like a winning combination to me! The worst thing that happened to me, Kylie, was when I poured a bowl of corn flakes and a cockroach came out into my bowl! I’ve never been able to eat corn flakes since.

  4. Hahahaha, I’m sorry for laughing, but that’s funny and so so nasty. I don’t think I tried hummus until I was in my 30’s for god’s sake. It’s so good! My kids love it. They didn’t sell it at McDonald’s though. Such a deprived child I was.

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