Monday, January 11, 2010
Fattening, disgusting (and tasty) food
We had a nasty snowstorm last week. Thanks to pick-up trucks with plows on the front, our days of shoveling are long gone. However, a shovel is necessary to do a little extra clean-up. I also do the clean up at my mom's house. So off I went to shovel her walk.
Afterwards, I went inside and on her TV was a rerun of an unbelievable Food Network show about cheesy hamburgers. I mean, these burgers were a heart attack waiting to happen. They were HUGE (half a pound or more of meat) with tons of melted cheese (one burger had two slabs of jalapeno cheese, each a quarter-inch thick.) They showed patrons in the resaurant trying to unhinge their jaws to get these burgers into their mouths, which were soon dripping with secret sauce, melted cheese, and flecks of lettuce. Talk about food porn!
What is this romance Americans have with the absolute worst, bad-for-you food? Well, I'll tell you: IT TASTES BLOODY GOOD. Look at the crisp lettuce, that pink tomato (Okay, I'll grant you--it does look hothouse), and the sauce and cheese on the homemade bun. Couldn't you just shove that in your pie hole right now? (I guess I shouldn't write blogs when I'm hungry, eh?)
God, those burgers looked fantastic. (Don't even get me started on the fries soaked in vinegar and then deep fried. If the TV had smell-o-vision, I'd've jumped through the screen.)
Of course, there's a bad side to all these tasty lunch and dinnertime treats. Fat. Big gobs of ugly fat hanging off your body. Now, I don't happen to be a candidate for the lap band or gastric bypass...and truth be told, I almost NEVER eat a hamburger out. (And rarely at home, as well.) But there was something about seeing these people eating those burgers that had me salivating like Pavlov's dog. (BTW, that's NOT my flab over there. What, you think I want my blubber all over the Internet???)
Within the next few years, more people will die of diabetes than heart disease. And what about those clogged arteries? Angioplasty is now more popular than face lifts.
We're constantly being bombarded with food ads--on TV, newspapers, magazines--even the radio.
Wouldn't you like a nice Milky Way hot chocolate with an M&M donut (mentioned almost hourly on my favorite morning radio talk show); how about two sausage egg McMuffins for the price of one? We're temped to overeat from dawn until the drive through shuts down after midnight.
We're now the fattest nation on the planet. Up to 33% of the children in this country are obese. They don't run around playgrounds (the chance of lawsuits is way too high) -- and they eat fatty foods, and watch too much TV/play too many video games/surf the Internet. While schools are trying to convince the kids that eating healthy is good, if Mom still packs a lunch that's filled with fat, nitrates, high fructose corn syrup, and other empty calories--and supper might be a stop for fast food on the way to the soccer game where Junior sits on the sidelines because he can't keep up with the fit kids.
What's the answer?
Diets? They don't work. Lifestyle changes? Yes, but it's not easy. I did not make a resolution to lose weight this past New Years, much as I want to fit into smaller jeans. I knew I'd be off a diet as soon as my stomach was empty, so I vowed to eat healthier...and I'm making a bit of headway. (Rye instead of white bread. More fruits and veggies. Smaller portions (that one's proving the most difficult.) But lose weight? It's tough.
It takes commitment. It takes an in-house cook and a personal trainer.
Hey, that's the way Oprah did it! (And did it. And did it....) Any ideas on easy lifestyle changes?