Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Eat This, Not That

Byrd is overweight and trying to shed pounds. I'm underweight and trying to gain.

I don't have high blood pressure or high cholesterol (yet), so I really don't watch what I eat. But Byrd does have high everything, and Byrd does have to watch his intake.

We're always having these major food issues as a result. Byrd designated me his "food police" to help him eat healthier. But he doesn't appreciate watching me practice the opposite of what I'm preaching. I stuff my face with whatever I feel like (even at my worst, I usually don't eat more than 1000 calories a day), while telling Byrd he can't have any.

Yet even after guiding Byrd toward healthier foods, packing his lunches, and cooking dinner five or six nights a week, neither one of us was having any success reaching our weight goals. I was burning all my calories preparing his meals (ha ha), and he was sneaking fast food during work because he was still hungry even after eating the lunches I made him (as I discovered when he got food poisoning last week, vomiting pickle slices, which raised my eyebrows since we do not have pickles in our house).

So I bought the book Eat This, Not That. And by reading it, I realized where I was going wrong. I recommend the book if you are a frustrated grocery shopper like me.

For instance, I keep buying the wrong wheat bread. I didn't realize that mistake until I read what the book described as a proper nutritious bread: high fiber, no sugar, serious grains. I buy a wheat bread that has barely any fiber in it and a lot of sugar. Mistake!

Similarly, in purchasing what I thought were healthy snack foods--granola bars, puffed rice cakes, Ritz crackers, and even yogurt--I was really buying foods with lots of sugar, trans fat, and/or saturated fat. I didn't bother to read the ingredients list or compare nutrition labels (I don't want to spend hours in the store, I want to grab and go). Dummy.

The nice thing about the book is that it has lots and lots of pictures. Pictures of things I should be buying, and pictures of things I shouldn't be buying. It makes for a quick and easy reference.

Byrd, who is close to illiterate and rarely touches books, really enjoyed looking at the pictures. This was great for me because I thought, hey, he will learn something from a neutral source rather than from his nagging know-it-all wife.

Well, okay, it was great... until he started recognizing things that I often buy. "Oh, look, that's our margarine spread under 'Eat This'," he commented, "but that spreadable butter you bought that one time is a 'Not That.' It is banished from this house!" (Insert dramatic arm wave here.)

I had to yank the book away from him before he saw which column my beloved Oreos fell into. He'll be banishing those delicious cookies over my dead body.

4 comments:

Dennis the Vizsla said...

Are these fudge-covered Oreos, by any chance? Because if they are and you need a place to hide them, I'll volunteer our pantry ...

Leila said...

Oreos fall in the protected food group along with Vienna Fingers. I would suggest a lock box :) for their protection for you.

Good luck! I'll have to look at the book, it sound interesting.

daisydog said...

I think I need to buy that book! I am forever trying to lose 20 pounds.

forsythia said...

MMMMMMM. Vienna Fingers. During the 25 years I was gainfully employed, I feasted on them every chance I got. Thanks to them, I put on a pound for every year at work.