Now Rice Is Dangerous? (Food Cop)

Napoleon Dynamite: The Game

Napoleon Dynamite: The Game (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yet again, another startling report of a “safe and healthy” food proclaimed: DANGEROUS.” Yes, you heard me, it’s in the news, on television, probably messing up everybody’s head that RICE is very risky for your health. Why? ARSENIC.  Arsenic? Oh yes, they say calmly, everything from baby food, to rice cakes, to white rice and more importantly, brown rice. BROWN RICE, you know, the healthy kind. Well, the kind that we USED to think was healthy. Nope, not anymore.(Probably never was either.)

What about eggs? Where do we stand on those “incredible, edible eggs” now? Because first eating eggs was just fine, then the yolks were bad for you and they told us that they should be limited and some people were all “I”ll have an egg white omelette with onions and red peppers, hold the toast and potatoes please” then after that it went back to the egg yolks were an essential part of a healthy diet and you really could eat at least 2-3 eggs a week, guilt-free and be super-healthy with antioxidants and all that. I have no idea what the most recent statement of the egg industry is, (I did look it up but it seems to be controversial and different depending on what country you live in) and I really don’t care. Now, organic food is not that much better (if at all) than regular (tell that to all the moms and dads and granola crunching people who have spent fortunes on places like Organic Only stores (you know which stores I’m talking about.)

First, people tell us to not to eat red meat (I eat it sparingly) then the say pork is the”other white meat” (who believes that?) I pretend to believe that but I really don’t, that leaves chicken and fish. If I could, I’d be happy with a small tub of egg salad (I know, I know) and some multi-grain (Oh, wait, have we gone back to Wonder Bread yet, because I’m waiting for that one) or “Potato Bread (how dissimilar is that?) and I’m perfectly happy.

I’m tired of people, agencies, telling us things AFTER THE FACT. CAN’T THEY GET THINGS RIGHT THE FIRST TIME? Apparently not. Here is my theory: eat what you want, in moderation. Have fruit, vegetables, a little meat or chicken, (take note of the rice dilemma) some really good multi-grain bread and a small dessert so you don’t binge later (guilty as charged.) Allow yourself a snack (a small cup of cereal, or fruit or both if you are hungry later in the evening). Done.

I say to hell with it all. Napoleon Dynamite had the right idea. Forget rice, replace with tater tots. Tots. I grew up on tater tots, as did my children. Try to forget about  the hysteria they spew on television and in the news. Do what feels right for your body. Me? I’m trying hard to give up diet soda because of all the nasty chemicals in it and it is not easy. I’ve tried to drink water with lemon instead but it doesn’t make me happy. Here’s a tip, don’t get freaked out immediately like “yours truly” allow yourself some slack, eat things in moderation and always, and I mean always, eat a small dessert.

I gave my diabetic mother a present the other day, sugar-free Oreos, even I could handle diabetes with that!

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An Open Letter To My Fat Clothes

My mixed up salad

Dear Fat Clothes,

The first thing I have to say is: DON’T WORRY! I am in no way getting rid of you, not now, not ever. Forget what they say in all those Weight- Anonymous -Watch- What -You Are -Eating – Weigh- In -Clubs. I say NO. After being a three life-time membership winner to one of the above happy family groups I say, don’t listen. I will NOT throw you out or give you away because there is that chance that I will slip back to my slovenly ways again. I might. I’m not saying I want to but the truth is that it’s a possibility and I need to deal with that.

If it makes me feel better to have a corner in the back of my closet that have looser clothes for when I fluctuate (that I can theoretically wear on grundgy days) so be it. It makes me feel good to know that I have them. In fact, I believe you will find a whole array of sizes in my closet like a mini-mart of clothes. That’s alright too. Maybe I will get thinner some day, maybe I won’t. Right now I am comfortable where I am; I am right where I usually end up and if I put an effort into exercising a little more each day I will be downright proud.

The most important thing is that my eating habits have changed completely. I make healthy choices, yes to salad and vegetables, fruit and chicken; no to Twinkies and Snowballs. I haven’t had red meat for the last three months but I am considering eating it a burger on the grill sometime in the near future.

I hate to admit it but smaller portions and moderation are key. Also, I never drank any fluids during the day except my first cup of really strong coffee but I try to drink water now and have limited diet soda drinks, though haven’t cut it out completely (I’m working on it).

I’m not skinny nor am I fat, I’m comfortable, eating well and I’m sure my cholesterol is down. (It better be.)

So clothes, don’t despair, you are not going anywhere. You are staying here with me. Right where I need you and where you belong.

Love, Me

The Incredible Shrinking Sensa Lady

Cover to The Giving Tree, depicting the tree g...

Image via Wikipedia

Every time I see the commercial for the  incredible shrinking “Sensa” lady on my computer I get agitated. I am like a 5-year-old child that wants to growl. I am Max of Where The Wild Things Are. I am a roaring lioness protecting her young. This stupid Sensa lady appears every day, first she is full-size (and there is nothing wrong with that) and then she diminishes on my computer to become a very skinny (too skinny) cartoon shadow of herself. The commercial comes on practically every time I turn on my computer and I want her to go away. Or gain weight. Or, most importantly, be happy with who she is without shrinking to a skeleton. I want to see her eating chocolate truffles, and fettuccine alfredo with garlic bread dripping with mozzarella cheese. I want to see her with a date, a lover, a friend, a husband, anyone. It’s time for “Single Shrinking Sensa Lady” to hit the road.

I googled “Sensa” and all I could find out is that it is something you sprinkle on food and, allegedly, you feel full faster, but don’t quote me. If it works for you, that’s fine. I am not judging the product because I don’t know it. (maybe I’m judging just a teeny tiny bit?) I’m sure you would get the same results without using the sprinkles and just using a smaller plate!   Brand recognition? Sensa, you win!  I recognize the product each and every time, but it doesn’t in any way make me want to buy the product, it just makes me groan out loud and roll my eyes. Wouldn’t that be negative brand recognition?

As one gets older your body changes naturally. There is not much you can do about it and really, why stress about it so  much. Try to be healthy but don’t hit yourself over the head if you have a slice of warm apple pie.  Life is short, enjoy it. As that great movie with America Ferrara says”Real Women Have Curves.” I’m happy with myself, you can be too. Feel beautiful for who you are not what you weigh. Weight gain, weight loss, isn’t it time we get over it already? Be comfortable in your own skin, be healthy, eat whatever you want in moderation and take a walk; maybe even try to walk a little more every day. Do what you can.

I am no Jillian Michaels (and  heaven forbid, I don’t want to be.) I don’t think people need abs like cement bricks nor do I think they have to be tortured if they don’t lose enough weight in a week (I know it’s a television show called The Biggest Loser, but still……)  Jillian, please stop screaming so much. People are trying as hard as they can; if I was at “The Ranch” your screaming would make me gain weight for the emotional stress you were putting me through. How about a nicer, softer Jillian..oh wait, his name is Bob. Tone it down a little, no tone it down a lot (and I don’t mean in a weight loss way).  Yell at me, bitch, just try. I am comfortable with my body and myself. I am not skinny, I’m closer to chubby, ok, full disclosure; I AM chubby and I am fine with it. Enjoy life, think things through, have dessert, have a big heart and give back to others. Read and reread The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. Success is not always measured in pounds, it’s also measured in pride.

Feel Good, Eat Cake

I just read a friend’s blog and while I have never met her in person, I worry about her. There is a definite bond for those of us who have some kind of chronic disease or illness. We feel for each other, and we really do care. I see myself sometimes in her writing,  stressed out, anxious and at times depressed. I have been there, done that.

Luckily now (even though I still have the same illnesses) I have taken the time to listen to my inner self (when it works). Sometimes it’s better than listening to many other people. Who knows you better than you? Also, apparently the medical world is trying (and succeeding) in making women go crazy. Let’s blame them. In light of this, take the newest controversy which has been a staple in womens lives for years: (and encouraged by all doctors)  calcium supplements.” You MUST take them”, my gynecologist says. “Definitely says my internist,” you HAVE to, it’s for good bone strength and preventing osteoporosis.” Oh, okay, absolutely. Now, just recently “we did a little research and the calcium supplements are now related to an increase in heart disease for women.” Huh?  I don’t understand how on earth we are supposed to know what to do, what to take. No one is making it easy for us, especially doctors. Ask a number of doctors one question, take your pick of the answers they give you. Why does this always seem to happen to women and not men? How come they don’t get conflicting and controversial views half as much as we do?

It’s all personal choice. Remember the saying “everything in moderation?” (if not, my dad used to say it all the time). I think that’s mostly true. Denying yourself certain things, certain foods will make you (okay, definitely me) crave them more. So, if you want dessert, order dessert. You don’t have to eat the whole thing. Ask the waiter or waitress to give you half and put the rest in a container to take it home if you want. As my friend Bruce always said “no ask, no get.” It’s really as simple as that and a motto I live by. (Thanks, Brucie)

We all have our individual preferences and rituals. For example: I make a mean banana bread (if I do so say so myself). I know that if I add raisins to the banana bread I could probably, with enough time, eat the whole thing. However, if I put raisins and chocolate chips in (the family favorite) I don’t eat much at all. Why? I don’t really like the addition of chocolate when I love anything raisin-like. It’s all a matter of trying to think things through first and that, I admit, is harder than it sounds and it  is an ongoing problem.

Let’s all try to worry less, walk a little more, take in a few minutes of sunshine and try to live life day by day. Not only “one step at a time” but one crawling, aching, stiff joints and baby step at a time. We’re all in this together.