That leaves celery
Well, it’s not as grim as my friend Wendy suggested. What can you do to lose weight and/or keep it off? Today the New England Journal of Medicine published a study. They, yes the mysterious they, had studied over 120,000 people for 20 years. Those who were studied were not obese. At least, not 20 years ago. On the average, the participants gained 17 pounds each. What happened? Well, the people they were talking to didn’t eat right or exercise. I know, huge (no pun intended) surprise. There were certain foods the participants wrongly (for their waistlines) chose to eat en masse. These foods will also come as no surprise: Potatoes in any form, especially (“Wonder Twins Unite!”) in the form of a potato chip or French fry. Butter. Ah buttah. Nothing like it is there? I bake with it, but I don’t cook with it (fine line there). I still remember Letterman’s gag about eating a stick of butter as a snack. However, one of my doctors said to use butter because it will help signal to the brain that you are full. You may recall that when fat-free foods, especially fat-free treats, were introduced, people didn’t seem to pick up on the fine details that fat-free didn’t mean calorie free, or sugar-free. You think fruit juice is healthy? Nah, eat the fruit, don’t drink it. Fried foods, desserts–yeah, you already know not to indulge in those. Personally, I rarely eat anything fried (although I am well aware of its deliciousness), I’m not into fruit juice and pasta is useless to me–I prefer the sauce. Sweets, there’s the rub. I bake them constantly. Then I usually give them away. My dad rarely eats them and he has a profoundly sweet tooth. As do I. Mmmm do you like potted meat? Well, it’s not good for you. An Italian sub is rife with processed meats. Tasty as they may be, processed meats should be avoided. Now lettuce turn to unprocessed red meat. Yeah, avoid that too. And that would be lamb, beef or pork that hasn’t been preserved in some manner. So no processed meat, no unprocessed meat, got that? Soda, that added at least one pound every four years. I haven’t had one since October 25, 2002. Yet sometimes I wistfully smell someone’s freshly poured Coke or Pepsi. God forbid I get near IBC root beer. Whole grains–good, refined grains–bad. Learn the difference. A refined grain is usually steeped in starchiness and chemicals. They occur when natural grains are stripped of everything good and decent about them and pumped up with chemicals and preservatives. For example, dark pumpernickel bread would be a healthier choice over that white bread that you can actually get to form a ball in your hand. Trans fats were discovered to be bad in the late 1950’s. And they’re still bad. Hydrogenated vegetable oil is Super Bad. That’s the ingredient you need to look for to avoid trans fats because, in the end, they raise your bad cholesterol level and lower you good cholesterol. Generically, you’ll find trans fats in all the foods you currently love: Pastries and cakes, French fries (unless fried in lard / dripping), doughnuts, cookies (the bane of my existence), chocolate (I thought dark chocolate was good for you? aaaaaa I hate these studies), margarine (see, butter is better), shortening, fried chicken, crackers. Sonuva. Crackers, that’s just uncalled for. Aren’t Wheat Thins health food yet? Because you can’t eat just one. And again with the potato chips. Well, all chips. As I look at this again, perhaps Wendy (www.weekdayjukebox.com) was correct. Celery is the answer. It is quite satisfying with garlic salt or hummus. Or garlic salt AND hummus. Here’s the good news. Wait, let me think of it. Ah yes, more fruits and vegetables. Try some new ones, hey, there are so few familiar food choices left to choose from so have at it. Chicken, turkey and seafood, they’re OK. Unless we’re talking mercury levels or hormones, but I’m not. But you already knew that didn’t you? If we all ate non-processed lean proteins and fruit and vegetables AND exercised more, we would lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. I know, simple, eh? You’re doing that already, right? Yeah, me too. Here’s the bottom line, we all know for the most part, what is a healthy food choice. And yet, we consistently don’t make them. Sure, I’m speaking for me. No, no, come to think of it, I’m speaking for most people. Two-thirds of Americans are overweight with a BMI of 25. One-third of American age 20 or older is obese. That means their BMI is 30 or more. BMI is Body Mass Index just in case you’re not keeping up. I had a BMI of 60. I was super morbidly obese. Please note, the super did not grant me the power to fly or be invisible. I refer to that Jane as the manatee. Even though the beloved manatee is an endangered species, I don’t ever want to look in the mirror and see that Jane again. Like I said, we all know what to do in order to be healthy. We are often bogged down by addictions, desires, compelsions if you’re Barney Fife, rationalizations. I can’t see if my arteries are clogged. But I can my jeans not easily zipping. So what I have to remind myself is what do I want more (Punk, I talk to myself in Dirty Harry’s voice). Do I want the half a brownie or do I want to wear my low-rider jeans?