Category Archives: Thoughts

Eating Brown

Remember when people used to eat fluffy white bread?

Okay, I don’t either, though I’m pretty sure it used to happen… bread was bread, Cheerios were Cheerios, and there was none of this whole-grain, multi-grain, 9-grain, extra fibrous, sunflower-seeds-in-my-crust nonsense.  (Though I do love that nutty crunch).

But I guess it all makes sense.  The Carbohydrate Community has, undoubtedly, had it rough since, over the past few decades, dieting has become the number one most (futilely) all-consuming obsession nationwide.  The poor saps probably found themselves in a position not unlike that in which the Tobacco industry found itself once the word got out about the big C.

How can we spin this English muffin?  …they probably asked themselves.  What are we to do with these starch-white and suddenly stigmatized flour tortillas?

So, as follows, they turned their products cardboard-brown and put a lot of redundant buzzwords on the packaging.

No longer gold, the poor things
No longer gold, the poor things

This mass conversion from white to brown has caught on to such an extent that even Chipotle has had to follow suit.  People are in there like a bunch of A-holes, peeling their foil off of brown burritos filled with brown rice, knee-deep in the self-righteousness that comes with complex carbohydrates and the lower levels of the food pyramid.

I have to ask, what difference has all this brown food made? As far as I know, the obesity epidemic is only getting worse, and it is probably, at least in part, due to the fact that people are, in the spirit of heart-healthfulness and under the guise of vague weight loss goals, buying Multigrain Cheerios instead of Honey Nut (the latter being sixteen times more delicious), then eating five times the serving size in pursuit of that elusive feeling – satisfaction.

And satisfaction can be elusive, now that most things taste like squirrel snacks.

But hey! At least they’re getting their recommended serving of Wholesome Whole Grains!!! I wonder… if you get an entire week’s supply of Whole Grains over the course of one exuberantly heart-healthy meal, can you return to white rice for the rest of the week?  I’ll have to ask a nutritionist and get back to you about this, though I think the answer will be something along the lines of an irritated “well, no.”

And a quick word on all this fiber: If a semi-literate caveman meandered along the bread aisle of a Whole Foods, or even just a Safeway, he’d probably come to the conclusion that “fiber” is of vital importance, that it is a staple in our diet, a magically nourishing and life-promoting source of strength and health.  But, let me tell you, I’ve overdone it with fiber, and the results were not positive; let’s just say that more than one Fiber One bar in a day has the complete opposite effect from what you might think…

… Which reminds me of a joke my grandparents have told me several times over, because they think it is hilarious (which it was… the first time):

Them: Have you seen the movie Constipation?

Me: (Sigh) No…

Them: (Gleefully) It hasn’t come out yet.

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TV Panic

watching_tv

We’ve all experienced that brief moment of crisis, those few seconds of rapidly and exponentially mounting tension, when the television fades to black and remains obstinately so for just a tad bit too long.  Milliseconds, probably, but it feels like…  minutes.

Who knows… maybe some behind-the-scenes monkey dozed off and forgot to ensure that the cut to commercial break be as seamless as a Speedo.  Or maybe the film editors got lazy.  Or maybe you were watching something directed by David Lynch, in which case everything is intended to make you uncomfortable.

The thing is… we’re so used to sharp, quick, smooth cuts, cuts that leave no room for even the smallest lapse of attention.  After all, can’t let those eyes wander.  So when you’re sitting next to your homie on the futon watchin the boob tube while your buttery hands duke it out in the popcorn bowl, and the screen suddenly stays black for just a second too long… you are suddenly and rudely confronted with your own mortality.

Okay that may be a little dramatic.  Or not.  I mean I’m sitting there, blissfully allowing myself to indulge in the cheap and readily available form of escape that television provides, when suddenly my reflection, alongside that of whoever is bored enough to be watching television with me, is on the screen and will not go away.

I almost can’t breathe until the screen lights up again, and, with a sigh of relief, I can bask in the warm, familiar comfort of Alex Trebek doing something horribly condescending.

I think a large part of that panic, during those short moments, stems from the sudden and undeniable realization that I am, to boil it down, sitting still and staring straight ahead at a glowing box – an inanimate object that most certainly does not reciprocate my tender sentiments.  Oh, the horror.

Watching television: the anti-hobby of slightly shamefaced people everywhere.

It’s true.  Rarely does a hefty portion of TV come without a side of guilt and a dash of self-loathing.  Forgive the cheesy cooking metaphors.  (And that half-assed pun).

I mean, you probably didn’t intend, when you first pressed that seductively circled red play button, to spend fourteen consecutive hours watching Downton Abbey (or Walking Dead, or Game of Thrones, or Pretty Little Liars…) on your computer, lying on top of crumpled sheets and an ever-accumulating nest of crumbs. When you finally dragged yourself out of bed to brush your teeth at 3:30am, you probably weren’t thinking, Yes! I can check THAT off my to-do list!

More realistically, at least based on my own personal experience, while scrubbing those pearly whites you were probably slowly and painfully coming to terms with the fact that you do not live in early 20th century Britain, that you do not have to worry about Germans, and that you do, in fact, have to wake up in four hours.

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