Monday, January 18, 2010

Talking smack on eating healthy OR Healthy food is for the produce vultures

Let me say straight out that eating healthy is overrated. I’ve been trying to do it for a couple of weeks now and it is zero fun, which is a conservative estimate.

First of all, fruits and vegetables are extremely overhyped. Fresh fruits and vegetables are supposed to be the healthiest kind, but they go bad before you can even get them home from the grocery store. Bananas turn to brown mush in the blink of an eye and fruit flies start to circle around them like some kind of produce vultures.

Second, so-called “health” food was created to serve the same purpose as luxury cars, designer clothes and indie music: to create a special class of elitist snobs.

The single-most overrated thing about eating healthy is calories. Supposedly if you track how many calories you are taking in you will be able to eat better, which all sounds very nice until you actually have to do it.

Tracking calories turns every meal into a huge book report/math problem. You have to remember what you ate, record it and then research it to see how many calories it was, which is a maddening process. For example, a four-ounce serving of cottage cheese has 116 calories, but how much is four ounces of cottage cheese? A tablespoon? A cup? A furlong? I don’t know! Just keep that cottage cheese away from me because it’s making me so angry!

Even with sane measurements food can still be difficult to track, like Raisin Bran. It has 190 calories in a cup, which is great but who really brings measuring cups to breakfast?

Then try totaling that mess up. It feels like I’m taking the ACT all over again!

#23. On Monday Jesse ate one bowl of Rice Chex with milk, a granola bar, a bologna sandwich and two servings chicken turkey oyster casserole. How many calories did he consume?

I was never good at math. Part of why I majored in what I did was because it only required one math class. (Note to fellow math-phobes: social work = no math). Numbers and I do not get along, so after a few days of tracking calories I went nuts! A complete health food melt down.

I bought the first pint of Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food ice cream I could get my hands on, but when I got home I discovered that the ice cream was all frostbitten and nasty. It was covered in thick ice and I had to scrape it like a car windshield on a winter morning. When I finally broke through I saw that the ice cream had devolved into some kind of shriveled ball. As best I can figure, someone let it melt on the front seat of their car with the windows closed on a summer day, refroze it and then sold it to me.

That’s pretty disgusting, but what is even more disgusting is that I ate the whole thing. I didn’t return it to the store and demand my money back. I didn’t throw it away. I ate it all in one sitting and was happier than a bull in a matador store.

Why? Because I’m an addict, of course! Junkies don’t care if their smack is mixed with baking soda, drain cleaner or huge nasty ice crystals. They just want smack.

Preferably smack with marshmallow, caramel swirls and fudge fish.


  1. this is the funniest thing i've read in a very very very long time! kudos to you ;)

  2. I remember all my psych teachers at BYU-I would go off on dieting and calorie counting. We'd talk about how putting up such a fuss and thinking so much about avoiding certain foods only made you think about and crave them more and in turn gain more weight.

    I notice when I eat better foods that I fell better yes, and I try to do that, but I fall victim to pizza and Oreos as much as the next guy. My philosophy is to have an active enough lifestyle so I can burn all that junk off and everything will be fine.

  3. Eating healthfully is quite the challenge. My problem is carb-loading. Bring on the french fries!

    Funny post!

  4. Yeah, that cottage cheese made me kinda angry too.

    You know what else you can take as a math-o-phobe? Linguistics. Or Spanish.

  5. Wah-hah! I liked the part about Ben and Jerry's the best. It reminded me of when I ate almost an entire pan of black-bean flourless/eggless brownies by myself. (Rafa wouldn't touch that stuff.) But hey, it all just matters how desperate you are.

  6. dude, you are absolutely right. which is why i laugh in the face of my healthy-eating boyfriend when we go out to eat and i order a bacon cheeseburger with no hesitation and he gets a salad with a heaping side of regret and sadness. bwahaha.

  7. I hate counting calories too... so I found this nifty website that has most of what you eat already cataloged, so you just look it up and it automatically tells you how you are doing:
    Check it out! (and don't give up, eating healthy can be great!)

  8. great post!

    i've tried to eat healthy as well and there are ways that you can make it interesting, however most of the time i find it a bore.

    im glad you mentioned the "special class of elitist snobs" i have a lot of friends who are vegan/ veggiterian and i find myself constantly having to defend why im ordering that big juicy prime rib with fries and how i can be happy stuffing my face with non "healthy choices."

    i tried to count my calories and that lasted an entire day. i was too stressed trying to figure out what i was eating that i was enjoying what i was eating and then was not paying attention to what i was eating. this just made me even more hungry because my brain couldn't register that i had eaten, and i ended up just eating more.

    after all that...i'm not going to worry too much about eating healthy. obviously im not going to eat fries everyday, but if i go two days w/o salad, im fine by that.

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