November 28, 2007

Eating Healthy: A Waste of Time

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Lots of people want to eat like me, but many don’t because they don’t want to end up on “Big Medicine” the obesity-themed medical show on TLC. They don’t want to have heart attacks in their mid-20’s. They don’t want thunder thighs, stretch marks, cankles and ulcers. How do I stay in shape? How do I maintain rock-hard six pack abs, chiseled features, clear skin, sparkling eyes, and well defined calves? It’s simple really, but it is my darkest secret … I occasionally eat “healthy.”
Now don’t get me wrong. I never eat healthy without quotation marks. On the day I came home from thanksgiving break, I ate a bagel and a slice of cake for brunch, a bagel for dinner, and a frosted cupcake and a brownie covered in chunky peanut butter for snack. No, I eat “Healthy”, which means I do little things that I trick myself into thinking are healthy, but are at best nutritionally neutral, and are most likely actually unhealthy.
For example, I recently started a concerted effort to decrease the total amount of meat I eat. At first I tried being a vegetarian for a week, but I quickly abandoned that and decided I would try seven non-consecutive days of vegetarianism. I stopped getting steak in my Statler wraps and sometimes I get a veggie burger instead of a chicken sandwich. Don’t panic! I still eat way more red meat, sushi, and chicken then is recommended or ethical. I’m just shying away from being an exclusive carnivore. I’m Veggie-Curious.
Another “healthy” thing I do is that I drink tons of water. I think that drinking a lot of water is the equivalent of going to the doctor regularly, getting a full night’s sleep, exercising three times a day and wearing sunscreen every day. Cold water is also “healthier” than room temperature water.
Some snacks are rumored to have a “negative amount of calories.” The theory being it takes more energy to digest them then they actually contain. I have heard that celery is one such food. However, I personally eat my celery with peanut butter and raisins, creating what many after school moms call ants on a log. If celery has negative 100 – 200 calories, I guess this is a healthy snack. If it doesn’t this is merely a “healthy” snack. (Note: I also sprinkle some sugar on top of the raisins, so that they are more like the raisins in Raisin Bran).
Putting Splenda on ice cubes is my second-favorite form of “healthy” ice cream. My first favorite? Why frozen yogurt of course! No Cal, No Fat, makes-you-fart all the time ice cream from Jason’s or Tasti is a perfect “healthy” alternative to the dairy bar. Why isn’t this yogurt just plain old healthy? Because of my favorite thing in the world: The do it yourself sundae topping bar.
A sundae topping bar is a bizzaro salad bar where lettuce and cucumbers are replaced with raw cookie dough and Oreo crumblies. Dressing is replaced with hot fudge sauce, croutons are replaced with sprinkles, and cherry tomatoes are replaced with maraschino cherries. Some sundae bars even feature trail mix, which is like pouring a separate amazing snack on top of a snack that is tasty on its own. In short everything healthy is replaced with something amazing and delicious. Trivia time: What is the only thing on both salad bars and sundae bars? Answer: almond slivers.
Everyone finds it hard to stay healthy during the holidays, and since this is my last column of the semester, I’ll impart a little Christmas wisdom on your calorie counting asses. (You might think based on my curly-haired picture and last name that I am not qualified to impart Christmas wisdom, and to be honest, you are probably right.)
First of all, just because someone bought you an amazing pre-baked gingerbread house kit for your birthday, (Thank you Amanda Soled ’08) doesn’t mean you need to eat the whole thing. I mean you should start on the roof, which is frosted with white icing, but then you should probably stop before you get to the foundation. According to the box eating the entire house would set you back 6,000 calories. Similarly, you don’t need to eat the entire penguin cookie at Starbucks, you can just eat the head, which everyone knows is the tastiest part of the penguin anyway.
End of Semester Tangent: Thank you to my friends who I force to read this, and even more thanks to the anonymous fans I don’t know (drop me an e-mail, Niesenbaum@gmail.com). I’m going to shamelessly plug a student film I will be staring in called “It’s complicated” written and Directed by Sun Internet Video Columnist Matt Palmer ’08. It is showing at Willard Straight Hall on December 2nd (This Sunday!) at 7:30 p.m. To connect this to the snacking theme I will go on record and say that my favorite movie snack is popcorn, followed closely by pretzel nuggets and Raisenettes.