Why is it we’ve ascribed certain magical powers to specific foods? For example, I was at the grocery store tonight and the guy in front of me in line was buying a frozen pepperoni pizza, a pack of Marlboro reds, two pints of premium ice cream…and a Diet Coke. Really? You’ve already got the nicotine, nitrates, sodium, cholesterol, sugar and caffeine – would a little more sugar make or break you?
Women (and maybe men too) are taught at an early age various food truisms, such as, “Diet Coke cancels out whatever else you’re eating “Eating celery actually burns calories because of the energy digestion requires.” Or my personal favorite, “broken cookies have no calories.”
Why do we need to convince ourselves of these completely illogical notions in order to justify the dietary choices we make? Why not just eat the cookie, feel no guilt and simply do a few extra crunches or climb an extra hill? Or, even more radically, accept the implications for our health and our waistlines if we make less-than-perfect food choices?
Far more thoughtful writers have considered the incredibly backward relationship many Americans have with food and it’s far beyond my capacity (or that of this blog) to solve the crisis of unhealthy eating patterns ingrained into our culture. However, I will say that it’s time to get past the guilt, past the ignorance and past the insanity. And while you’re at it, pass the celery. It’s bikini season after all.