Thursday, March 30, 2006

Step away from the cereal

Date: March 29
Mileage: 17.1
March mileage: 344.3
Temperature upon departure: 37

If you could give up just one thing - just one - that would instantly improve your nutrition and diet, what would it be? Trans fat? Refined flour? Red meat?

You know what mine would be? Artificial coloring. That's right. Not because I believe this colorful little chemical has any negative effects in itself, but because Yellow No. 5 seems to grace all of my most secret, most shameful indulgences.

In most bad eating situations, I'm a rock. I can turn down chocolate without flinching. Pizza? No thanks - I had yogurt for lunch. Even the free morning donuts at work, which my coworkers would argue have a gravitational pull equal to that of the Sun, don't get me excited. My coworkers think I'm a health food hero, known even to turn my nose up at Girl Scout Cookies (which I love, by the way.)

But then I leave work. I go for a bike ride. I come home to a house filled with produce, look around my kitchen with wary eyes, and begin to chow down like a 3-year-old turned loose in a grocery store. Fruity Pebbles - I can stuff whole handfuls in my mouth without even losing any to the floor. Jelly - who needs bread when you have a spoon? Cheetos - they got rid of the trans fat, so why not?. Capri Suns - they're like a goo packet you can actually digest! And then there are Goldfish. Oh, Goldfish. When will artificial colors stop tempting me with the sugars and simple carbohydrates they hide?

Last year, when I was making a conscious effort to cut calories, I decided to give up high fructose corn syrup. It seemed like a good idea at the time, until I got addicted to diet soda and learned the hard way about too many cherries. Since then, I've let my diet slip a little (a lot), and I'm trying to think about ways I could start eating healthier again. It's so hard. I could give up chocolate, no sweat. Full-fat dairy would be a challenge, but doable. I'd probably cry if you went for the Lime-Flavored Tostitos, and then I'd get over it. But try to take away my Cranberry Crunch, and you better have a gun. I guess we all have our weaknesses.


  1. The secret to eating well is buying well for us. We are VERY lucky to have a Whole Foods market 10 minutes from us and it's very easy to eat healthier when shopping there. Love the blog

  2. hey jill :)

    check out the ingredients on those cheetos. they can say "no trans fat" so long as there's less than a certain amount per serving - but if you see "partially hydrogenated" anything in the ingredients list, there's your trans fat.

    those sneaky, sneaky son's'o'monkeys.

  3. Those lime flavored Tostitos are addictive aren't they. Start smaller. Don't necessarily give up an ingredient, give up one of the foods that contains that ingredient.

    I've been trying to cut back on "easy" foods, meaning highly processed. I can't cut all processed foods out of the way, but by cutting back I'm getting way more fiber and I'm dropping weight even while adding calories.

    Best of luck!

  4. Hi my name is Jon and I am addicted to oatmeal. That may sound OK, but I tend to stray when I get beyond breakfast. People think I have a tape worm; I definitely eat for two.

    The easiest guide for me is the “freaky ingredients on the label” measure. My favorite: Cape Cod Classic Potato Chips. There’s no BS ingredients on the label: potatoes, vegetable oil, salt. Not enough to build a menu around, but if you're going to snack...

    Oh yeah, having a family upped our motivation for eating better and cooking at home. Though sometimes it makes us feel as though there is time for little else.

  5. I broke my collar bone a couple of months ago and since have't been very active. I just recently started trying to get back in shape but I was never one to eat healthy. I don't even have a clue what trans-fat is, or how many calories you should eat..... all I know, is that usually the good stuff is bad for you.

    I figure four or five hours a week at the gym and hiking will make up for all the bad stuff I put into myself.

    And if not, then I'll die happpy with a 32 oz porterhouse, covered in cheese and green chili on my plate. :)

  6. Ugh, nothing on your list of pig-out foods is appealing to me.

    Check out my standard Wednesday evening fare, though: pink coconut "Snowballs," a cheap Hostess fruit pie (any flavor, since they all taste the same), and a jug of chocolate milk. More hydrogenated tropical oils than you can shake a clogged artery at.

  7. Unfortunately, all of my pigout foods are totally taboo now dur to degestive mods! 1 Oreo™ is enough to make me feel like I WANT to die!

  8. YUMMMMMMMM. Such blogs are not good for a pregnant lady who craves EVERYTHING!

  9. Vegetables. All of them.

    Oh, wait, I gave those up at 18. Nevermind.

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  11. That's it. I'm doing it. I'm giving up broccoli.


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