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.


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.