Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Snacking Alternatives to Dead Food

We spend over-busy days scurrying around in cars running numerous errands or becoming one with the computer. It is here that humans continually nibble on whatever’s within reach. There are umpteen reasons why we snack: comfort, boredom, a quick energy fix, or just because of the desperate 'I want it now or I’m gonna rip someone’s face off!' feeling.

With beguiling vending machines every 10 feet, fast food and convenience stores of bar-coded death at every stop light sucking the life right out of you, it’s easy to be brought over to the dark side of American nutrition, or the lack there of. If you intend to compete with the pink Duracell bunny, it’s very important to eat foods that supply decent fuel. A new study carried out by researchers from the University of Michigan Medical School concluded that vended, prepackaged foods and sugary, faux colored beverages may be linked to diabetes, obesity, cancer, ADHD, ADD, and coronary artery disease. OMG!

Could we be squandering a golden opportunity to endow our family health equity? One way or another, everything we place into our Holy Temple affects health. As sure as I’m never going to have hair again, you’ll not find whole, restorative, socially redeeming fresh foods at a convenience store. I’ve seen freckled bananas, wrinkled oranges, and pulpy apples at the checkout of a few of them, but their existence depends on the demands of the local culture. Remember when they used to sell just gas?

May I turn you on to my fast food connection? Whenever the munchies attack, I head for the local grocery, waltz past the prepared hot food, then make a bee-line to the produce section where I grab containers of cut up fresh fruit or vegetables. You may want to cut your own the night before to avoid the MSG used to preserve them. Ack!! Then I truck to the deli for a container of humus, tabbouleh, sushi, guacamole, marinated olives, salsa, and some whole grain chips or crackers. One day I might snag a small bag of dried fruits, bulk granola, pistachios or walnuts to keep within arm’s length at work or in the car. Read labels, however, since some granolas have nefarious added fats. "All natural” fruit juice drinks and sodas, a meaningless term, can be saturated with sugar, which is a colossal contributor to the health care disaster. I’m wondering when moral authorities are going to connect the dots between chronic disease and the foods we worship.

In short time you’ll gain confidence as you note there is vastly more variety at the grocery store plus you’re getting up off your expanding, gelatinous, glutious maximus. Find strength within yourself and waddle past the potato chip, gooey thingies, cookies, and fried bits. If you take time to read labels, you’ll discover that major grocery stores carry healthful versions of your favorite treats. You’ll acquire increased energy and mental clarity. Science has deduced that eating junky, processed foods makes us ‘stoupid’.

Besides what I’ve already mentioned, my favorite snacks are raw veggies spritzed with low-calorie salad dressing, Kashi Go Lean cereal, Boca burgers instead of dead cow burgers, almonds, soy cheese and Wheat Thins, banana bits dipped in dark chocolate then frozen on a sheet pan lined with wax paper. Zip-lock them up for a sweet treat reward because you’ve been so good. God forbid you make popcorn from scratch. After all it’s so exhausting having to shake that darned pan while the colonels pop and ping against the lid.

1 comment:

Virginia Green said...

There was an interesting blurb in the latest ReadyMade magazine about microwaving popcorn in a brown lunch back, without salt and oil, then flavoring as desired after it has popped.