Friday, June 4, 2010

Food Rules


I absconded with the February 2010 issue of Lucky magazine.

In it the beauty closet editor Jean Godfrey-June writes: "I am one of those lunatics who use only natural deodorant." Is that supposed to be amusing? She claims natural deodorant doesn't work so knows people will question her sanity in using it.

The list of uses of that word could go on and on. It screams at you. The word should be retired pronto. Were you to be gripped with schizophrenia there would be nothing funny about it. Equating the poor judgment of using natural deodorant with losing your mind is a mistake.

I would expect better journalism from such a magazine.

Then again I would question an advertisement for 100 calorie snacks. There's nothing healthy about consuming 100 calories of empty calorie food either. If you need a 100-calorie snack you can buy a banana for under a dollar or a pint of skim milk. You can go in Starbucks and get a KindBar with slightly more calories that will undoubtedly fill you up unlike the 100 calorie packages of nonsense food.

This is not a swipe at any particular manufacturer. It's a gripe against any food marketer who would ply women with unhealthful snacks in the guise of not gaining weight.

I so rarely eat junk food now. When you start losing weight it's a disincentive to continue eating chips. I used to buy Sun Chips because they're the lesser of many evils and most likely in a pinch I would buy them again.

What is a good option: buy Triscuits and bag them in zipper bags so you can control the portions and take them with you on the go. Yes that sounds like a good idea: I will buy Triscuits tomorrow night to snack on during the weekend.

You can make your own healthier 100 calorie treats this way by buying zipper bags to take with you and thus the cost will be cheaper too. Bag almonds. Buy cherries and wash them and bag them too. Buy Luna bars or Clif bars.

I sometimes have a Clif bar for lunch with a banana or a glass of milk.

You have to draw the line somewhere when you dine out and order the banana cheesecake for dessert. Though I must say I left a quarter of the cake on the plate. You see if I'm going to splurge I'm not going to snack every day on mini pretzels. I'm going to wait two weeks and dive into the cheesecake.

A woman wrote a letter to the editor in O criticizing the magazine for using the expression: "Nothing tastes as good as thin feels." She felt it would encourage anorexia.

I have gone around in circles on this when my point was that the word lunatic should be taken out of circulation not only in casual use but in any use. Then my SZ mind drifted to another page.

Nuts really are a good choice for a snack: especially almonds or walnuts. Walnuts have Omega 3 fatty acid if I remember this right. String cheese is another occasional lower-calorie snack that is also good for you because it has calcium and protein.

I'm not saying to have cheese all the time mind you.

The key is to eat what you eat in moderation. SZ magazine now has a food page that I'm going to read over the weekend. I printed up a Real Simple recipe that I'm going to try out next week too. I also photocopied some other recipes to try.

File this blog entry under strange. Don't get me started on the category of organic soda.

The take away from all this is that if we plan and prepare our snacks in advance we won't be tempted to chow down on junk food. This certainly benefits anybody on a weight-gaining drug. I have this theory that certain foods cause weight gain more than other foods. So I'm convinced if a banana has the same amount of calories as a bag of chips you should have the banana. It is not a scientific theory that pretzels cause a greater weight gain than a banana so don't quote me on this. Though I venture it's why you need to eat more pretzels to satiate your hunger than you do with healthful foods.

To me the goal is sustenance: food that is good for you can taste good. Everyone needs vitamins and nutrients to fuel her body. High fiber foods make you feel fuller than empty snacks do so you don't have to eat as much to get a big payoff.

I recommend the book Food Rules by Michael Pollan that is short and to-the-point. You can read it in under an hour if you're so inclined. I'm not the first person to rail against agribusinesses that would convince us high fructose corn syrup is really OK. I likely won't be the last person to lament that unhealthful food is so cheap and nutritious food is beyond the reach of many Americans.

What's the solution? Take back your power by voting with your pocketbook. Paying more for nutritious food is okay because when you eat less food to begin with you save money in the long term. This point was not lost on me when I read it in a review of Food Rules in a newspaper.

Now. I'm going to quit while I'm ahead. It's late and I must be going.

Enjoy your night.

No comments: