Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Eating right is hard

I was watching a Fox Sports remembrance of things past segment featuring Dorothy Hamill, she of the (in)famous wedge-cut and 1976 Olympic gold-medalist in figure skating. She was standing in front of a table with skin cream products, bowls of fruits and vegetables, rice cakes and nuts; apparently she only agreed to this appearance in order to pitch something. Dorothy went through the motions of discussing ice skating past and present, but seemed to be going through a slow boil: “Why are you making me look stupid talking about ice skating while I have all this stuff in front of me that has nothing to do with ice skating?” Finally, the interviewer allowed her a few seconds to talk about all that stuff sitting in front of her. It wasn’t anything we haven’t heard a million times before, the “secrets” of longevity and staying “young” eating the appropriate foods and using the proper skin creams. Just in case you needed more information, there was a website you could surf to. Dorothy also had a few milliseconds to offer advice for lazy people who don’t like to exercise: When you’re in a shopping mall, use the stairs instead of the escalator, or if you want a latte during an office break, walk to the Tully’s 10 blocks away instead of the Starbuck’s on the corner.

All which naturally brings me to the subject of healthy eating, which I find just as dull a subject as the Fox Sports guy. Vegetables are affordable, but they generally don’t taste very good; fruits and nuts are all right, but they tend to be expensive. Rice cakes with peanut butter on them are OK for a change of pace, but every day? Speaking for myself, it is very hard to eat right. Like Bill Clinton, I’ve been eating junk for decades, because pre-cooked “good” food is hard to come by, when it isn’t very expensive (alright, I confess: I don’t cook). We all know what happened to Bill; he had a heart attack from clogged arteries, and for awhile looked like the very visage of death itself.

This isn’t to say I can’t eat healthy food; if I don’t like something, I add sugar, and then it tastes good (although raw onions seem to be immune from the sugar’s healing properties). I also have taken to reading labels, especially for fat content and degree of corn syrup; I’ve come to the conclusion that a ice cream bar with 50 percent of the daily value of fat is not a good way to start the day. Dorothy told us that nuts have “healthy” fat; I’ve tried eating nuts on a regular basis, but they perform unfortunate and embarrassing acts within my system, sort of like apple juice past its expiration date. But I have tried. I tried to eat carrots; I tried to eat broccoli; I tried to eat celery. I went to cut-rate grocery store selling fruit from the producer’s remainder bin; but as they say, you get what you pay for. Then I fell back to my old standby of granola bars, chips and some cheap lunch-in-a-can or fast-food burger.

The fact I am in the same boat as many other people: processed food with all those preservatives and chemicals is what feeds the masses; only rich people can afford to eat “right.”

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