Broccoli vs. cheeseburgers.
Lettuce vs. filet mignon.
Apple vs. hot fudge sundae (with whipped cream and a cherry)
It’s a food fight! Memories of golden honey glazed ham, apple pie a la mode, and dark chocolate mousse battle with the harsh reality of what’s good for you. The words dance in our heads like defeated politicians.
There’s no pivoting: it’s time for a food fight.
A food fight demands change. Cardboard-flavored crackers, rubbery fat-free cheese, and tiny bags of 100-calorie snacks designed to replace buttery entitlements. There are so many reduced calorie, low fat, sugar free foods that you wonder what’s left on the shelf.
Processed air? Right wing culinary doublespeak?
Let’s face it – can spaghetti squash compete with angel hair pasta smothered in creamy Alfredo sauce? Does skinny bread with sugar-free jam beat croissants? Do low-fat cold cuts replace sizzling rib eyes?
It’s all about the veggies.
Baked skinless chicken breasts and steamed veggies replace buttered chops and creamed corn. Mouthwatering eggs benedict morph into egg white omelets. Hot dogs with all the fixings is as untouchable as a defeated MAGA.
You really need an imagination.
Attack ads bombard you with alternatives to lose weight fast and painlessly. Fitness programs campaign with photo-shopped bodies fueled by Fitbits, gentle yoga, and not-so-gentle gyms. Experts spread guilt like hot fudge on frozen yogurt.
“Healthy eating begins with you!” screams the National Council on Aging.
“Eating right doesn’t have to be complicated,” insists the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
The real facts stand on their own.
*A well-balanced diet helps reduce the risk of chronic health problems.
*1 in 4 “older” Americans has poor nutrition.
*Caloric needs decrease with age.
What can a food fight offer quid pro quo? Dreams of the grand old days of gooey hamburgers, salty French fries, 7-layer cakes, and chocolate cake? No.
A food fight inaugurates fantasies of kale, chia seeds, and green smoothies.
According to Health.com, to win a food fight you have to get back to your “healthy, happy self” with stuff like oatmeal, Greek yogurt, beans, and veggies. WMagazine advises you to emulate the “rich and fabulous” – go to a resort, mountain trekking, or a spa for de-briefing instead of eating.
For those who can’t afford a Sherpa in the Himalayas or a visit to Mar-a-Lago, there are simpler ways to replace the joys of rich munching. Fake foods are a start. Try some parsnip, lentil, or baked potato chips. How about zucchini pasta? Chow down on “superfoods” like Goji Berries, quinoa, and teff. There’s even the old standby, popcorn (if it doesn’t stick in your teeth).
Indulge with environmentally-friendly high protein edible insects. Yes – you read that right. The Huffington Post reports that “it’s healthier to eat a bug than it is to eat a steak.” While a McDonald’s burger has 8 grams of protein, a 3.5 ounce serving of grasshoppers has 14-18 grams of protein; red ants have 14 grams of protein; and the giant water beetle supplies a whopping 20 grams. Depending on the bug, you get additional unsaturated fat, vitamins, and minerals.
How about some grasshopper sushi?
Maybe the cardboard-flavored crackers, rubbery fat-free cheese, and tiny 100-calorie snack bags aren’t so bad?