Finally Marshmallow-Free!

Okay, so some of you really love marshmallows and don’t understand why I’d single them out for derision.

Allow me to explain.

Stay-Puft Marhsmallow Man,Maggie McReynoldsI don’t actually like marshmallows—never have. To me, they are little plump blobs of sugar and who-the-the-heck-knows-what-else. They are weird and unnatural.

But as it happens, I’m not talking about literal marshmallows. I’m talking about metaphorical ones: the sticky, gooey, unnecessary, over-the-top unhealthy stuff that so many of us pile into our holidays just as we pile them atop our sweet potato casseroles.

We don’t really like them. We don’t really want them. We certainly don’t need them. But there they are anyway, because Grandma always used them, or because we think everyone expects them or because it “wouldn’t seem like (insert holiday here) without them.”

These metaphorical marshmallows are white, fluffy La Brea tarpits of expectation and obligation, all our shoulds and supposed-tos and have-tos and ought-tos miring us in “tradition” and perpetuating guilt, shame and major blood sugar crashes.

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