Food Bummer of the Week

My current feeding system has a mid-afternoon snack and I was very pleased to discover yogurt was recommended. I’ve loved yogurt since I discovered it in high school, if it’s the right kind (Greek-style is a big turn-off for me). Lowfat French Vanilla is the standard, with fruit — most often blueberries.

Then I ran across this weird warning: “yogurt is loaded with way more sugar than you would expect.” Oh, nertz. I checked it out, and yes, it was rather more than you might expect, but a fave brand, Stonyfield, seemed to have it reasonably under control, so I stuck with it and all seemed well.

Recently a new batch of Stonyfield arrived with an announcement on the front “Now with 25% less sugar.” Should be pure good news, right? Well, turns out that according to my palate, it now has about 25% less flavor and personality. I’m not going to change anything, but it shows that avoiding sugar has its swirls and snarls like anything else.

Fat ‘n’ Sugar ‘n’ Fat ‘n’ Sugar ‘n’ Fat ‘n’ Sugar? Don’t Despair!

I’m basically behind this article and agree the books sound too clickbaited. But two points —

The fat-phobia era did make a lot of food less savory. That the sugar industry was behind propaganda is a damned big story — simply because they knew fat-free remakes would require added sugar to taste decent at all. And checking on added sugar is well worthwhile (pretty easy to tell if it’s outta control).

Next, I think the common-sense council at the end of the essay is undeniable, but also not enough. For years and years I read similar advice, knew I was trying to be as common-sensical as I could and remained 30+ pounds overweight.

I would advise a visit or three with a pro nutritionist (now, thing is, I know they are like physical therapists — not all created equal or right for everybody; the one for you is the one where you get serious results following the advice). I found some fundamental things I considered common sense were not — e.g., pure OJ is a harmless thirst-quencher; intense exercise, as much as you can manage, is what will keep the weight off. And some essential affirmations: keep getting on those scales every week, dammit! Nothing becomes automatic — you will have to be mindful about your eating for the rest of your life. It is way too easy to chow too much when you work down the hall from your kitchen.

Visit a nutritionist.



Little Cambridge Anecdote and Sad Update

The only supermarket I could get to easily without a car when I first moved back East was the rather whimsically named Purity Supreme. Our local branch was nicknamed “Poverty Supreme” because it seemed only the downtrodden of Central Square shopped there. (Ironically, the only new grocery outfit to open while we were in town was the marvelously named Bread & Circus, which started out granola-mad but soon became a higher-quality alternative to Poverty Supreme, when we could afford it — B&C later was acquired by Whole Foods.)

Purity Supreme was a good one-stop because it included Supreme Liquors, where I bought my first beers in MA. The state liquor store system in MT made them all into faceless dispensers, but Supreme Liquors boasted entertaining clientele and employees. It was a totally independent business that took the name for convenience of association — so when the supermarket disappeared, Supreme Liquors continued on. A few years ago, out of nostalgia, I stopped by to see what the place was like in the 21st century. What. A. Dump. Only the most basic and commercial offerings.

Then this morning, driving through Central Square, I noticed Supreme Liquors had decided to overtly cater to alcoholics: NEW STORE HOURS: MON-SAT OPEN AT 8 AM, SUN OPEN AT 10 AM. As a wise old drunk in Missoula once told me, “Nobody needs to buy booze at eight in the morning, but some people have to.”

Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho It’s Off To Shop and Screw Up I Go

D has a bad cold so I have to do all the snow clearing and grocery shopping. First one I was really thorough and even bought a winter’s worth re-supply of my favorite de-icer , Safe Step Ice Melt. (Can’t seem to open up the site right now, but Google it and check it out. Does a quick, outstanding job and really doesn’t seem to hurt lawn or plants at all. Only problem is you can’t let it sit over the summer or it oozes out all of this nasty liquid.)

Now, the grocery store is another matter: ever since I started cooking for myself and buying ingredients in 1975 I’ve done better with a sharp-eyed, sanity sidekick. Hey, Vadalia salad onions right out the box — score! D’OH, I would have sworn both of those roasted chickens were Lime Cilantros, not one Lime and one (urgh) Plain.